Pink Coconut days – when the men were men – and the women were ……………….grateful!
And a few more “bits” from the good old days –
Throughout the years the Police have been kept very busy in Derby, especially at The Pink Coconut, Molly Magoos, Romeos and Juliet`s and The Slick Chick.
And some amazing officers – and some not so amazing – have graced Colyear Street in the name of upholding the law.
On the Christmas Eve afternoon of 1983, when the Pink Coconut was only a few weeks old, there was a full house of happy, dancing customers.
And a team of scallies from one of the estates going around stealing purses – many of which contained large sums of money.
So the “street police” officers were asked to solve the issue quickly.
So they did – and quickly got to work.
One officer announced that he should be off duty really, but he wanted to hang on until he arrested Jesus!
He had already arrested Matthew, Mark and Luke – and was pretty certain that he would eventually get a full set.
It transpired that they were all brothers, but their capture may have not have been out of the Police Training College manual.
One of the officers had approached a young male and told him that unless he found out who was stealing the purses, the officer would tell a local villain that the man was having a secret affair with his girlfriend (which apparently he was).
But it solved our problem.
But not all of the police officers were destined for the higher ranks. Like the officer who was in Romeo and Juliet`s off duty when an argument broke out by one of the pool tables. So against the manager`s advice he interviened, inflamed the situation to such a point that he was hit on the head with a pool cue.
Flashing blue light – two men in court for assaulting a police officer – “Police Officer Hit on Head by Pool Cue” headline in local paper.
Fortunately he left the force shortly afterwards.
Then we had the Inspector who arrested the Manager of The Slick Chick and Regional Manager for “Contravention of the Lord`s Day Observance Act” which did not allow public dancing on a Sunday. This Act has its roots in the 1700s, so to get around it “members” could dance, but not the public. As the Slick Chick did not have a membership it was apparently illegal to allow anyone to “shake their booty” to music.
Even though the dance floor was full of tables and chairs!
But it never went to court – the City Council changed one of its by-laws –
And “booty could be shook” on Sundays til the cows came home!
It really was a case of – Goodbye Slick Chicks – Well “Hello” Molly Magoos! –
Once the builders had finished the management and staff could then stamp their personality onto proceedings.
Molly Magoos Derby opened on Thursday the 27th of April 1989, after a 6 week refurbishment of the former Slick Chick “Fundrinkery”.
The new decor was more mature than that of the brash fun pub theme of the the Slick Chick, and it was anticipated that a slightly older audience would be attracted. Extra staff training had been given, and disabled access made easier. Forty full time and part time staff had been employed. New sound and lighting had been fitted –
And she was ready to go.
Molly Magoos was to be open 7 nights per week, with a “Happy Hour” policy Monday to Saturday from 6pm to 8.30pm, with basket meals, salads and tacos available from 7.30pm. Closing time was set at 11pm, with Sunday hours from 7pm to 10.30pm.
This all sounds very familiar, it had all been said before, but when you add in the personalities of the management and staff together –
The whole thing became alive – and Molly Magoos became a key player in the Derby pub and club scene.
In many cases under the banner of “what goes there stays there” –
And if only half of the stories that filtered through to the Regional Manager were true- it was one helluva place to work.
The customers loved it – the staff got up to all sorts, and kept smiling – and the accountants said –
“Brilliant, more of the same please!”
We had lift off!
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.
Thought you would like to meet the team that created some of the best Midlands clubs
Staff nights out were a must – and they could be very boozey affairs –
So we worked hard and played hard
And this was only the start of the night!
Would you believe it? Marie on the pull!
Look out he`s behind you John!
Billy on the left was an absolute star – no one messed about in his toilet!
There`re getting louder – is that Mark Jameson leading revelry? Even Tony Pinkstone and Nigel Leason are swaying.
Is anyone in charge?
Just another quiet meal together.
Tony Young from Sloppy Joes at the cocktail bar in the Pink Coconut
All the monsters sit down for a Halloween meal!
Littleman Jason Molloy, Dave Burley, Johnny West and John Kay – what an entertainment team! And a fabulous leg from Jason!
Mark was sooooo happy!
The Boss – Tony Walker. One of the best managers in the industry.
But could you tell us what happened next?
Andy Mac with his drinking braces on at the Black Orchid!
All images from Locarno Boy – Please include source when copying