Article on a fashionable young man who worked at Tiffany’s Wakefield

Laura Henderson sent us a post entitled Article on a fashionable young man who worked at Tiffany`s Wakefield –

“I manage a vintage clothing store in Belfast called the Rusty Zip.

Today whilst I was sourcing clothes I came across a very well preserved newspaper with a fascinating article about a man named Frankie Johnson who worked at Tiffany’s as a photographer, artist and DJ. I thought that I might as well google him but I knew the chances of finding him would be near impossible! I came across your site though and I thought I’d share with you anyway the blog post I made –

Frankie Wakefield

I would love to know more about him or find images of Tiffany’s if you come across any.”

Note from Locarno Boy

It would be great if we could help Laura.

We suspect that Frankie probably worked in a number of clubs in the Wakefield and Leeds area

All help will be much appreciated


Mecca Dance Halls and Managers from Summer 1961

We thought you would like to see a list of the Mecca Dance Halls and Managers from Summer 1961.

Clearly there are many town and cities not mentioned – such as Bristol, Birmingham, Glasgow, and many many others, but perhaps there is a clue in the number of planned openings highlighted in the list below.

Basildon Locarno – Town Centre – Manager     M Green

Belfast Plaza – Chichester Street – Manager    D R Clark  – Phone Belfast 25294

Blackburn Locarno – St Peter Street – Manager B Gee – Phone Blakewater 85538

Bolton Palais – Bridge Street – Manager W. McLeish – Phone Bolton 1451

Bradford Locarno – Manningham Lane – Manager Alan Boyce     (Opening 9th September 1961)

Burnley Locarno  – Manchester Road – Manager  C Isherwood   (Formerly the Mechanic`s Institute)

Bury   Prince`s Ballroom – Bolton Street – Manager L Byron – Phone Bury 1705

Coventry Locarno – Smithford Way – Manager R Bloxham – Phone Coventry 24570

Derby Locarno – Babington Lane – Manager A Ferris – Phone Derby 41441

Edinburgh Palais – Fountainbridge – Manager G Knowles – Phone Fountainbridge 7427

Hull Locarno – Ferensway – Manager J Munro       ( Opening 16th September 1961)

Ilford Palais – High Road – Manager B Foster – Phone Ilford 3128

Leeds Locarno – County Arcade – Manager J Savile – Phone Leeds 31046/7

Leicester Palais – Humberstone Gate – Manager G Pickavant – Phone 69967

Liverpool Grafton Rooms – West Derby Road – Manager T Reid – Phone Anfield 3928

London Lyceum – Wellington Street, The Strand – Manager D Preedy – Phone Temple Bar 3715

London Carlton Rooms – 140 Maida Vale, W 9 – Manager J H Richardson – Phone Maida Vale 5289

London Empire Rooms – Tottenham Court Road – Manager C Self – Phone Euston 4173

Manchester Plaza – Oxford Road – Manager P Wild – Phone Central 7441

Newcastle upon Tyne  The Mayfair – (Planned for opening during October 1961)

Norwich  Sampson and Hercules Ballroom – Tombland – Manager R V Shackell – Phone Norwich 21541

Norwich Norwood Rooms – Aylsham Road – Manager G Barbour – Phone Norwich 46751

Nottingham Sherwood Rooms – Greyfriar Gate – Manager N F Kemp – Phone Nottingham 50555

Nottingham Locarno – St Anns Well Road – Manager G Lloyd – Phone Nottingham 44354

Rochdale Carlton – Great George Street –  – Manager E Mills – Phone Rochdale 3347

Sale Locarno – Washway Road – Manager J Goodings – Phone Sale 1508

Sale Embassy Rooms – Washway Road – Manager H Burnett – Phone Sale 7522

Sheffield Locarno – London Road – Manager M S Proctor – Phone Sheffield 22586

Stevenage Locarno – Manager B A Elmer-Smith   (Opening September/October 1961)

Wakefield Locarno – Southgate – Manager R Keith – Phone Wakefield 6515/6

A late August Bank Holiday Sunday visit to Wakefield – but it was more like New Years Eve

You know the feeling; it`s late, your not in your 20s any more – and it would be so easy to find a reason to stay in!

Instead I made a late night August Bank Holiday Sunday visit to Wakefield – but it was more like New Years Eve. Westgate was packed with people. The police were out in force, and the girls challenged for the shortest skirt – the highest heals – and the best stagger/totter in town. Nevertheless they were all dressed up for a big night out.

Not going to mention the guys.

HD Sport`s Bar was the first call – and to see the management team – Adrian Stones and Oliver Millar; also met up with Regional Manager James Cleminson.

The building was packed; the atmosphere  tremendous and the music absolutely correct. The design is excellent – the customers well chosen – and the door team firm, friendly and effective.

There`s no doubt about it –

It was “New Year`s Eve”.


Then met Hannah Green from Boomerang. She was her usual bubbly self, but with a slightly jaded overtone.

“Where did all the customers come from?” She laughed. “We`ve never stopped running tonight”.


Note – the above image is from the Boomerangs Facebook.

On Sunday he room was full of wall to wall people – and with yet another fabulous atmosphere!


Wakefield is now becoming a Stag and Hen destination from around the country – and why not?

Why should “New Year`s Eve” be restricted to the 31st of December?


A visit to The Hop,Mal at the Black Swan, and Fanny and Bacardis Wakefield – an amazing experience

No West Yorkshire nightclub visit is complete without a visit to The Hop, Mal at The Black Swan, and Fanny and Bacardis Wakefield – a amazing experience.

But first you must explore the diverse bar and club options in an area with more licensed premises than you can shake a stick at.

Whoever you are, whatever your choice – there is something in Wakefeld for you, so off we went.

Our first call was to The Hop. Clearly a play on words – with lots of real ales, lots of “hoppin` and boppin`” to the music, in a venue that is a must to explore.

So we explored the ground and first floors, finding “tucked away” bars, two rooms with live bands, a smoker`s patio, and retro background music perfectly chosen for the near capacity audience. Loved it

Had a look around Westgate, it was not busy. Plenty of police and street marshals though. Just a shortage of the customers who were clearly anticipated in some of the large, but heavily staffed, near empty premises.

It was only 10.30pm. Plenty of time for things to pick up!

So off we went to see Geordie Mal at The Black Swan – and WOW – we weren`t ready for this!

What a fabulous venue.

Wall to wall smart and mature customers; perfectly chosen music, smiling, enthusiastic friendly staff, and an atmosphere that lingered long after we had left the building.

Our final call was to Fanny and Barardi`s. The latest addition to Wakefield`s late night scene.

A venue with an overworked House Full sign; one with camp overtones, but with a policy that attracts from throughout the locality and beyond – although it is rumoured that “spikey haired angry dykes” are not welcome!

Fanny and Bacardi`s offers a night of fun, cabaret and feel good factor – one that owners Dale and Andrew seek to take to other towns and cities; and why not – especially after watching the customers arriving in min-biblical numbers – from 11.30pm onwards.

Security staff were attentive and friendly at each of the premises visited, and certainly added to the first and lingering impressions.

None of the premises had the “corporate – I`m doing things this way because the manual says so” feel.

And every one of the premises would be an asset and motivational yardstick in other towns and cities.

Congratulations to everyone involved!


Image from leedsmusic scene


A night out at Buzz Wakefield October 1997

Note – the current operators of Buzz Wakefield were in no way involved with this venue on the night of our visit.

A night out at Buzz Wakefield October 1997

We visited on a very cold Wednesday night. The streets were quiet, but those who were out were smartly dressed. As thought anticipating an over 25s night that had failed to materialise. Many went  up to the illuminated frontage of Jumpin Jaks, but the building as closed, as was Club Ikon.

There was very little traffic in the Westgate area, although police vehicles maintained a constant presence. Most licensed premises were also quiet, with any customers rushing in to avoid the intense cold.

Yates`s had notice of an application for an Entertainments Licence to allow them to use a J to allow music for dancing – something from history in licensing terms

The busiest pub in the area was the Foreshaw and Firkin. Customers were casually dressed, but the atmosphere was excellent.

The Exclusive Exchange Bar certainly lived up to its name. They had only had two customers up to 10pm. The barman told us that Buzz was the best place to go afterwards, although it was reputed to be very overcrowded on weekend nights. He had been going there for two and a half years, but he was bored with it, and now favoured Jumpin Jaks; especially the Sunday Comedy Nights.

We also visited A Taste of The Alternative, a very busy student bar; also Rumours, a feeder bar for the LA nightclub underneath, which was open until 1am. We then moved to Barristers, a Wetherspoon`s look-alike bar, which was also quiet. The staff told us that Buzz was becoming very rough and ready, but that Jumpin Jaks was “brilliant”.

A lone door supervisor stood at the entrance to Buzz. He had an unfriendly style, and ignored us as we entered. We paid our £1 admission fee, while some others signed the guest book and were admitted free.

It was a 70s night, with all the bar staff dressed in the sort of accentuated costumes that give the decade a false image. The DJ called himself Johnny Diamond, but there was little sparkle to his performance. He played a selection of the most boring and overplayed music of the era – which reinforced the negative comments we had experienced in the earlier bars.

Gradually the building began to fill with mature and well-dressed customers. Bar service was good, and all drinks were 50p before 11pm, which caused some people to hoard, but as most people did not arrive until 11.30 and later, the discount had little impact on the vast majority of those attending.

The toilets were dreadful, and with the complete absence of a cleaner. Cubicle doors were broken, locks were missing, tiles cracked and/or damaged, and damp patches on the ceiling.

When we spoke to some of the other customers it was apparent that most of them were from outside of the Wakefield area, and were either on business, or training courses. With Buzz being the only main stream late night club open, and the attraction of a 1970s night, they had decided to give it a “go”.

Locarno Boy Note – we had visited Buzz on an earlier weekend night, but did not take notes, although we remember a great section of differing music styles in different rooms, plus a friendly and switched on management team – who were highly regarded by the licencing authorities.

We were particularly impressed on that occasion by the 50s room, which was full of young people dancing to their “parents” music, although we suspected that if the parents did come along the young people would quickly scarper.


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