CategoryGriffydam (The Travellers)

The King of Griffydam

The Travellers at Griffydam Leicestershire was unique both as a building, and in the people working there.

Especially King the handyman and door supervisor.

On one occasion he is alleged to have propped up the back wheels of a car on bricks – just enough to lift them off the ground. When the owner, a barman, left work to go home; he started the engine, put the car into gear and gently accelerated.

The car didn`t move.

The poor man continued to accelerate until the engine screamed and still no movement.

The air was blue when he discovered the prank.

On another occasion King was recruited to try and solve the mystery of the disappearing light bulbs.

Someone was stealing the pip lights that followed the edges of the various roof levels of The Travellers.

The manager decided that a surveillance operation was needed, so the two of them crouched behind the hedge opposite so as to nail the culprit. Each time the low level bulbs were replaced they had been stolen the same night, so catching the culprit should have been easy.

After three nights of observations King had to withdraw from the job. The culprit had not been caught, and his back was agony from all the crouching.

It later transpired that he had found out who the thief was, and tipped him off.

But he had found a great way boost his wage packet with the overtime.



Image from The Traveller`s Facebook page


The Crazy Sundays at the Travellers with the topless/nude models

We are having difficulty keeping up with all the stories coming into Locarno Boy, and had completely forgotten the crazy Sundays at the Traveller`s with the topless/nude models.

The club was hired by a promoter, who booked the girls, then charged the photographers an exorbitant fee to snap away to their heart`s content.

Apparently there was no difficulty in getting bar staff to work, plus an abundance of executive visits to ensure that all was honest legal and decent.

Don`t suppose we`ll ever know the answer, but there was much smiling in the Leicester office on the following Mondays!

Wonder if clubs could still do that – what with all the health and safety?

Would a special risk assessment have to be carried out? How many paramedics would need to be on site to deal with everything from spider bites to heart attacks?

Best of luck to anyone who cares to give it a go.

We still have an old Brownie box camera tucked away somewhere in the office!


Image from 


Midlands region First Leisure office Christmas Party – no expence spared

It was the Midlands Region First Leisure office Christmas Party – no expence spared – photos were taken – and now we have memories revived.

Or have we?

We can remember some of the names – but others need to be refreshed – so for the record, all assistance will be appreciated. The venue was Cairo Jacks Sheffield

No one can forget Ian Bomber Harries in the thumbnail shot at the start of this post – and below we have Adrian Martin and Dave Howell

On the shot below from left to right we have Hillary from Seventh Heaven, Dick Child, Bomber, not sure, Tony Gorbert from the Travelers – then Andy Conquer from Peterb0rough

Next we have Andy Mac and Jason Smith from Cairo Jacks Sheffield

Johnny West and Angie Weston from The Pink Coconut Derby

Not certain of the everyone`s names – but we definitely have John Sulley and Trish Cosgrove in the middle

Linda (formerly Tony Spragg`s secretary – the cashier at Cairo Jacks – with Area Controller Alaister Braid in the centre.

Betty from the Slick Chick Derby – cashier  and the best agony aunt in the business.

Sorry guys – can`t remember – and they are so happy.

Another shot of Trish and John – she looks coy – but she likes his style

Maureen, cashier from Shanghai Sams Peterborough

Andy Mac`s team from Silks and Cairo Jacks Sheffield – probably waiting for everyone else to go home

Not sure how true the story is – but it is rumoured that one of the managers collected in the party hats and sold them to try and get his petty cash to balance.


Don`t forget to credit Locarno Boy if you copy any of the images


The Allo Allo night at Shanghai Sams Peterborough – RAF Wittering and two strange German Officers

When Nigel Leason decided to hold an “Allo Allo” night at Shanghai Sam`s Peterborough it was a must for at least one of the managers in the First Leisure Midlands Region to support him.

Tony Gorbert from The Traveler`s at Griffydam Leicestershire immediately volunteered. He knew of a rental company in Coleville that hired out uniforms, and he was determined to be an officer. Regional Manager Dick Child agreed to go to with him, so plans were made.

It should be noted that in the “Allo Allo” comedy television show, German officers were the subject of ridicule, and very easy to outwit.

Tony would only drive if he could keep his hat on, and being so tall had to open the sun roof.

Because anything over 50 miles per hour blew it off.

So it was a long journey, but one that amused everyone overtaking them, including police patrol officers.

Nigel was there to greet us. Unfortunately he didn`t watch much television, so came dressed as one of the Three Musketeers. Bless him – it was still French.

So what! The night was brilliant. Lots of people in fancy dress, everyone laughing and smiling, and a capacity. audience. The German officers genuinely were regarded as figures of fun – but strangely very attractive to the girls, who bought them endless glasses of mineral water, lemonade and colas.

They left the club with hundreds of Allo Allo catch phrases ringing in their ears – “I will say this only once” – “You stupid woman” – etc etc ……and set off for the A1 north.

But before they had reached the intersection, they were both feeling very uncomfortable from all the liquid hospitality! And matters became much worse traveling up the A1 at 50 miles an hour – so Tony could keep his hat on.

Discomfort evolved into desperation, until they had no alternative other than to stop the car and stand with their backs to the road like two men enjoying a Eureka moment.

“Why is that Harrier jump jet parked there?” asked Tony.

“We are at RAF Wittering, where the Harriers fly from.”

“Good Lord,” gasped Tony. “Here we are outside a military base dressed as German Officers in compromising circumstances. We could get 10 years for this! Come on. Lets get away from here before they arrest us.”

After further delay they climbed back in the car, and roared off……………. at 50 miles an hour!

Tony still refused to take his hat off.

What an event – the Allo Allo night at Shanghai Sams Peterborough – RAF Wittering and two strange German Officers – and a most inappropriate call of nature.


Allo Allo image from

The lady from head office – and the very windy day

It was part of the Regional Manager`s duty to inspect the First Leisure managers` company cars on a regular basis – so the managers` coaxed, bribed and threatened their assistants into action, in the hope receiving the “Best on Car Park Award”.

On this occasion the managers decided that this should be a black tie event, and so begins the story of the lady from head office – and the very windy day.

Not only was it windy, it was also very cold, but this did not prevent the beautiful secretary Dorota from travelling Head Office with me to help with the inspection – and to present the “Best on Car Park Award”.

Unfortunately the evening dress she was wearing was adequate for the office, but something of a free spirit in the wilds of outer Leicestershire.

With the transport and managers all lined up – the inspection began – Dave Cahill from The Dome Birmingham, Tony Walker from The Pink Coconut and Molly Magoos Derby, Hillary Lockwood from Seventh Heaven Donaster and Matthew Clements from Shanghai Sams Peterborough each stood by their cars.

While Marie Burton from The Travellers at Griffydam (who did not have a company car) stood beside…….. a horse.


Amid a flurry of skirts and waving arms Dorota set about her duty, but because she could not find anything obviously wrong with the cars – decided that the horse should receive the award.

“Oh no,” said the Tony Walker. “You should first examine the car engines. Then decide.”

“Oh no,” said the other managers who had not had their engines steam cleaned for free by a customer. “Give it to the horse.”

But Dorota was having none of it.

“Bonnets up everyone,” she announced,  fighting strong gusts of wind and a rising skirt.

Clearly Tony Walker was the winner, despite calls for his disqualification due to inside knowledge, and for Dorota to inspect the horse`s teeth.

Tony won the “Best on Car Park Award”, amid a chorus of the others – and the event was over.

But few will remember Tony`s victory.

Although everyone will remember the huge gust of wind that lifted Dorota`s dress up to her waist, and absolutely refused her frantic efforts to retrieve it.

I never had any volunteers to help with company car inspections from hereon.








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