Attractions at the North East Bailey Clubs from December 1966

I wonder how many of the attractions at the North East Bailey clubs from December 1966 are still remembered today.

The Cavendish Newcastle, Contessa Middlesbrough, La Bamba Darlington, Wetheralls Sunderland, Marimba Middlesbrough, Tito`s Stockton, La Dolce Vita Newcastle and Latino South Shields listed the following artists in their December advertising –

Lance Percival   –   David and Jonathan   –   The Paul Andrews Show   –   The Four Pennies   –   Dickie Arnold and Dottie   –   Virginia Lee   –   Jack Hammer   –   Malcolm Mitchel   –   Gordon Peters   –   The Denis Lotis Show   –   Ronnie Dukes and Ricky Lee   –   Paul Andrews   –   X`Caliburs   –   Acker Bilk   –   Wee Willy Harris   –   Valerie Masters   –   Virginia Lee   –   New Vaudeville Band   –   John Bouchier   –   Millicent Martin   and 1964 Miss World Ann Sidney

Each act was a club-filler, many of which were television and recording stars of the day

And just in case you thought that audiences were prudish – we have added an image of Dickie Arnold and Dottie ……….       at the point where she walks away from the guitar …………

And of course the guitar (sorry lute) comes apart ……………………..

Just in case you wondered.


Dickie and Dottie image from myspace  – Four Pennies from 45-rpm.org.uk





We went to the Cavendish on either a Friday or Saturday evening

In 1964 whilst working as a full time Design assist for Albert Hurst in the Interior Design dept at what was THE WALPAMUR Co LTD Paint firm  I was unmarried. I had joined the firm as a junior design assistant in 1962, having completed a Foundational Arts cours. at the then Blackburn college of Technology and Design. A few of the girls there invited me to go dancing with them on a Monday evening. This we used to do. I would walk from my family home near Suunyhurst Woods in Darwen, catch the bus down into Blackburn and meet them there outside the Mecca Ballroom. I cannot remember how much we paid to get in.

There was an all wood foyer entrance, and one of our group would go to the booking in area and collect our tickets. We would hand in our coats and get a little ticket. Happy and curtious people would hang up our coats on hangers and we would receive a ticket back to redeem our coats at the end of the evening.

I used to drink soft drinks, and there was even milk shakes if you preferred. A lovely balcony with tables which had little lights on them so you could sit and watch the Artist/Artists if you wantedc to. Everything was well run, yet seemed informal We just felt safe and we enjoyed the friendly atmosphere. Personally there wasn’t anything I disliked. I did not go in pubs.

In July 1964 whilst out with my friend from schooldays and work colleagues in walked a group of young men some dressed in Beatle suits and winkle picker toe  shoes. At this time records were playing . The track came on of The Four Seasons “Rag Doll”, and this handsome fair haired young man asked me to dance – with my bag on the floor in front of us as was the norm for young ladies,  we danced the night away. His friend asked my friend to dance, it was lovely. We had in fact met our future husbands.

Artists like  Hermans Hermits, The four Pennies and Gene Vincent being some of the ones I remember were an attraction. We liked the Live Artists.

Much later on when the Cavendish became fashionable we all used to catch the bus into Blackburn to the Boulevade bus station. Walk up the old Dandy Row into the town centre. It was before any of us had a car.  We entered a little entrance waited for a lift which took us up to the Cavendish Nightclub. I cannot remember much except we walked through the passage from the lift .

There was a Big room with tables to the side for the Artist Cabaret etc. Good prompt waiter service – a meal or a bar snack on reuest. My fiancee as he then was used to have a long wait at the bar.There was a Casino I believe, but I never went in there, and a lovely Lounge  Called the Latino Lounge with soft seating, concealed lighting and a small glazed dance floor in colouerd glass.

You could stay all night if you so wished but, in the late sixties and seventies not all young people did that. My fiaccee paid. At about 11.30 pm we would ring for a taxi and my fiancee would take me home to the next town. He would either walk back to his  home off Livesey Branch Road Blackburn or get a taxi. We saw many super groups the most memorable were THE FOUR TOPS. We went to the Cavendish on either a Friday or Saturday evening not during the week when we had to get up to go to work.

My fiancee then, and now, drank Beer (Bitter). I used to drink Lime and Lemonade or a glass of wine chilled when we had a meal.

I would not say we could be referred to as clubbers as such. My husband was in a darts team. He used to go to a Pub called The Earl of Derby, The Robin Hood and Three Pigeons with a group of friends. We only go to pubs now for family events or a Lunch. We like Carvery’s.  Our drinks havn’t changed much and my husband as he now is drives a Vauxhall Astra.

We remember with fondness the years of our courtship as we spent a lot of time just dancing the night away at the Mecca and Cavendish.

Wonderful memories.


Four Seasons image from Wikipedia 

Great days at The Cavendish Blackburn

Most nightclub managers had no idea where Blackburn was. Once they worked there at The Cavendish they never wanted to leave. Sid Stewart was the Area Manager, and the club continued pretty much as it had from early Bailey Organisation days.

It had two rooms with big one fitted out as a cabaret room. Think the other one was a disco.

There were some great characters working there. Andy Conquer looked after security. Rod Pearson was the assistant manager. There was a strange little handyman called Frank – with the only handy thing about him being that he lived in Blackburn. Sylvia Boldison seemed to keep the show together, and she was helped by the beautiful Twiggy Sue. Guy Crilley also worked in management there. I think it was after his club burnt down in Liverpool.

Sid Stewart had a cancer operation, so the club was overseen by Alan Birdsall. An ex-Mecca manager who drank Benedictine. He sometimes fell asleep mid conversation often landing in his dinner. Funny thing was he could keep the conversation going when he woke up covered in gravy.

You don`t forget working at The Cav

Great characters. Great days


Image from thejunkinmybrain.blogspot.com

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