TagRomeo and Juliet`s

The Pink Coconut Derby opened during December 1983

The Pink Coconut Derby opened during December 1983, although it could be said that Romeos and Juliets never really closed.

When the company directors set a profit target for Romeos and Juliets, they also promised a £230.000 budget for a complete refurbishment of the Colyear Street nightclub. In nightclub terms the budget was small, but luckily the company culture of the time was to ensure that everyone involved with decision making had a clear view of the facts.

Without doubt the sound systems had to be renewed to allow greater control of the volume throughout the rooms. The dance floors needed enlarging. And the toilets – oh dear – the toilets. How anyone coped with the tiny facility for such high attendances in Romeo and Juliets days is unimaginable, and probably best not asked.

On the positive side a near perfect team of entertainers, staff and support was already in place. There was also a capacity attendance of loyal customers, despite worn out carpets, wall coverings etc. To close the premises was unthinkable, where could the customers go to? And what if they found somewhere else and enjoyed it so much, they refused to return? No – the building could not close; and so the rolling refit began.

Romeos, the larger of the rooms was closed immediately. The room was stripped bare and major works began. Screens were built to cordon off the the work area, but some bare lighting was left on to show the customers how their club was progressing. Juliets was to become the Palm Grove, with the work undertaken from Sunday to opening time on the Thursday. The club only traded Thursday to Saturday.

Management were amazed at the enthusiasm of the staff and customers, who often helped to sweep,  dust, move building materials and generally tidy up. Later in the evening staff were often handed hammers, drills and other tools they had found in the club.

Group Northern, the design and build company may have an alternative view, but to the staff the refurbishment went like clockwork. Customers were amazed as shining chrome palm trees, illuminated planters, and neon covered bar ceilings reflected the symmetrical chrome features, glistened and reflected as the room came to life.

Whilst we now refer to the club as the Pink Coconut, it never had a working title because there was no budget for sign-age, letterheads etc. Luckily the Pink Coconut Brighton played a huge part in moving things forward.

On Tuesday the 13th and Wednesday 14th of December, the club opened to invited guests for trial runs. Then with all cylinders firing on the Wednesday for the VIP night.

It seems odd that one of the comments about the VIP night highlighted the number of millionaires in the venue, but this was well matched by the regular customers who felt they had been treated like millionaires. Because one thing was for sure –

Everyone was a VIP.

The image below gives a reminder of the simple but effective moving lighting feature, that filled the back of the stage, and illuminated the room.

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Wonder if the guy in the striped shirt knows that he is mirroring the wallpaper, upholstery and carpet colour. He would have taken some finding if he had fallen asleep.

Tony Walker, Marie Burton and the management team worked hard, alongside Molly, Tracey and the remainder of the bar girls in their Lycra body stockings, Ida and the team in the cloakroom, Brenda on the buffet, Greg, Dave and co on the door, and the inimitable Bill in the gents toilets.

All in all a tremendous team, and a far reaching memory not only for former Derby club goers, but also those from around the country who visited the amazing Pink Coconut.

 

 

 

After the embarrassment of the previous year

After the embarrassment of the previous year when their raft sank, and the crew had to be rescued from the River Derwent, the Pink Coconut Raft Race Team set about building a vessel to restore pride and draw a massive “Oooooh” from the crowd.
Chief Engineer Mick Maloney drew up the plans, and a cacophony of hissing, crashing and booming echoed out from a secret location.
Eventually the vessel appeared. Solidly built out of oil drums and welded steel, and painted in bright pink, she was a creation not to lose sight of.
Unfortunately she was built for safety not speed.
Despite the valiant efforts of Tony Walker, Andy Ray, Stafford Scalley, Mick Maloney and others, she never drew the massive “Oooooh” from the crowd. It was more of a kind applause for having taken part.
Shortly afterwards she disappeared and has never been seen since.
There was a suggestion that she was being used by drug runners in the West Indies, but this has never been proved.

The other mystery involves American Rude Beer; stacks of it, from floor to ceiling.

Shortly after the Miss InString competitions of the Romeo and Juliet`s days, the manager announced that he had agreed to help out with a huge stock of Rude Beer from Peppermint Place Blackburn.
It was delivered in a huge lorry. We had no-where to store it, and no idea how to sell it.
And, to our horror, it was way out of date. The manager had been duped.

“Build temporary bars wherever you can, fill tubs with ice and make displays, then offer any of the female staff an incentive to sell it providing they wear string vests”, he announced, as he went off to chastise the Peppermint Place manager.

So we had semi topless staff, selling out of date beer, on a miscellaneous collection of “bars”, at ridiculous prices – and it worked. Within a three weeks it was sold out – but there is a rumour that at least one bottle has survived to this day.

Can you help? Do you know what happened to the bright pink raft? Do you know the whereabouts of the last bottles of rude beer? Does anyone have a photograph of the raft?

And while we`re on photographs – what about some from the Miss In-String days? There must have been hundreds taken.

We`d love to hear from you.

1979 – Romeo and Juliets Derby – One Year Old Tomorrow

The year was 1979 – Romeo and Juliets Derby – one year old tomorrow – a real “rocker from the locker” story.

It had been a great first year for Romeo and Juliet`s Derby, and to celebrate the occasion – a full week of activities was planned by the management team below – who are –

Left to right – Assistant Manager Phil Riley – Food and Beverage Manager Marie Burton and General Manager Mick Jordan.

The celebrations included a Mr and Mrs Competition, a computer dating roadshow, an appearance by No1 Funk Band “Spooky”, and a free champagne dinner for the 500.000th customer to visit the club during the first year. Which was some total!

We are not too good at maths here in the office, but we reckon this works out at 9615 customers per week, and as the club did not open (as far as we know) on Sundays, gives an overall attendance of 1603 customers per night.

WOW. Wonder who the prize winning customers were?

The resident DJs were Bruce Greg in Romeos and Glen Rogers in Juliet`s, and the resident band was called “Clinton Cardine”.

One of the busiest nights of the year had been the World Disco Dance Competition, when we are told that Paul Melba was one of the judges.

Wednesday night cabaret was promised for the future, with bands such as Marmalade, The Foundations, and Bill J Kramer – as well as a competition to find the best DJ.

Of course Romeos and Juliet`s remained until its transformation into the Pink Coconut in 1983.

Happy Days!

 

 

Sorry gents – no white trousers tonight

We could go on for ever about dress restrictions.

Must be wearing a tie. Collar on your shirt. No jeans. No Burberry etc – which brings us to the story of Hull Romeos and Juliet`s and the sorry gents – no white trousers tonight story.

It began when the manager became very excited with his new CCTV system. He could now see who was joining the queue, and what they were wearing.

Soon after the system was fitted he had spotted a young man trying to get around the “no trainers” rule, by taking off his black socks and replacing them over his trainers.

In fact he could sit in his office and observe all the comings and goings at the front door.

And also have some fun!

During the past few weeks the club seemed to have lots of  trouble from guys wearing white trousers.

Something had to be done, and the new CCTV system was the inspiration.

He would ban all males wearing white trousers. Door staff were instructed, and everyone understood.

So the new rule came into play.

On that same night he gathered support management and some of the DJs in his office, and became very excited just before 10.30pm.

“Look,” he enthused. “Watch. Any minute now.”

“What for?” asked the bemused audience.

“Any minute,” he replied, with an excitement he could barely contain. “Just watch.”

So they watched. No one was wearing white trousers. Everything was in order.

“There!,” he shouted pointing to the screen. “Look there – at the end of the queue. There he is.”

And sure enough there he was.

The man wearing a pair of trousers with one white leg and one black leg.

“Look. Look,” laughed the most enthusiastic manager in Hull. “Just wait. See what happens next.”

His audience were doubly amused. In the first instance at the schoolboy enthusiasm of their boss, then by the man in the trousers, laughing and chatting with the customers and pointing to his contrasting legs.

“That phone will ring in a minute,” declared the manager, as though having hatched a plot to to rival a John le Carre novel, while the man moved further up the queue.

When he reached the reached the front door; the phone did ring. It was the head doorman.

“Got a bloke here in a pair of trousers with a black leg and a white leg.”

“Are you sure,” snorted the manager.

“Yep. What shall I do?”

The manager was going to say “well let half of him in”, but the words were stifled by laughter.

After a long pause he replied, “you get paid the extra money to make decisions like that”.

At which point the doorman immediately shouted to the man – “the boss says you can fuck off”. After which the man walked away.

Half an hour later the man was at the bar having a drink with the manager, and wearing a very smart pair of black trousers.

Did the door staff take any notice?

No they were quite happy.

Because he wasn`t wearing white trousers.

Rules is rules!

 

Image from stylehive.com

 

The last band standing at Romeos and Juliets Stoke on Trent

The picture below shows the last band standing at Romeos and Juliets Stoke on Trent, it also shows some of the detailed finishes to the Juliet`s room where the photo was taken.

The band was called Endless Flight, but unfortunately the flight had to come to earth. The nightclub public wanted high energy, high production music, which was best delivered by DJs, so live bands were not cost effective.

We know that the girl was formerly one of the children featured in our Liverpool Empire post – re Dusty Springfield -but who are the guys?

Second from the left (we think) is Andy the keyboard player from the West Midlands – but who are the others?

 

Image from Joe Torlati Hanley

 

 

 

 

 

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