TagThe 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 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 kanke.com

Durham Ox at Sixhills – we loved that place.

What about the Durham Ox at Sixhills?

Not a sniff of a mention on this site. Well let me tell you – you can stick your Ritzys, and Pink Coconuts and Paradises up your jumper.

We loved that place. The best music, lovely people, it just made us want to come back for more.

Leicester clubs scared us half to death with all their rough bouncers and stories about who protected which clubs. You wouldn`t catch us there, but we did laugh when the manager at The Pink Coconut Derby hired two thugs from Leicester to sort out the lunatic Derby County supporters. Eeeh!

Heard a story about a Leicester bouncer who had been hired to kidnap someone. He needed a rope to tie them up, had left it in the car so asked them to wait. Yeah!

They scooted off. He scooted to jail.

Back to our nights out-

When we talked to other customers at the Durham Ox they came from Northampton, Lincoln, Sheffield and other far flung places. So it wasn`t just us smiling and giving it some on the dance floor. The place was busy with people who`d traveled a long way for their night out.

Oh! Sorry Travellers at Griffydam.

Loved you too.


Note from Locarno Boy

The Durham Ox continues to present amazing Six Hills Singles Discos – new members are always welcome, so we have added the following links –

E: sixhills-singles@hotmail.co.uk
W: www.sixhillssingles.co.uk

Even more pictures of the Midland`s team – a few interlopers – and a short history of the local club scene.

Sorted a few early day Romeo and Juliets pics – then even more pictures of the Midlands team – and a few interlopers – and a short history of the local club scene.

First off with Dave Morris and Martin Raynor from the Romeos entertainment team – this picture was taken shortly before Dave left to build up the business at Clouds nightclub, which closed very soon afterwards and became The Slick Chick – then Molly Magoos – Brannigans and more. Not bad for a former luxury cinema!

Then one of Martin in very familiar mode!

And Dave Morris could Bee anyone he wanted to Bee – The guy on his left was the one we thought may not be cut out for MI5

Dave and Paul MI5 Walker – not sure what was happening this night???

It`s that man again – Johnny West preparing to cast off his crutches – maybe that fact that he wedged against the makeshift bar had a bearing. To the left of the poster is Pink Coconut lighting technician Lee Poulter.

Fancy catching Lee with a pint!

This chap must have slipped in under cover of the smoke from the bonfire that refused to burn. Mark Shaw, manager of Midsummer Leisure`s Paradise night club. He not only sneaked in – but tried two steal two of our women – Debbie and Helena. The pained expression on his face is probably from squeezing into the Rollerworld Big Boot he occasionally drove around Derby. Clearly the girls impressed him, as he came to work with us just afterwards, managing The Travellers at Griffydam.

Chris Shore was managing Mecca`s Babbington Lane Ritzy nightclub, but he must have been lost in the smoke so no pictures. Chris now manages Stringfellow`s Wardour Street club, with a clientele that includes Lily Allen, Drogba etc.


What better setting for a manager`s meeting than the patio at The Travellers. Ian Bomber Harries organised the cooking, while John Sulley and Tony Walker pretended to be helping. But who is that by the back wall? Could it be the man who had to decide between being a professional goal keeper and a night club executive. We think it`s Tony Gorbert!

Tony was the manager of The Travellers at one time, as were John Bunce, Marie Burton, Mark Ovenden, Mark Shaw and others.

Food cooked the lads relaxed with the Black Orchid Manager Mike Hilkene. What a treat to then discuss facts, figures and budgets in an almost Mediterranean setting!!!

But who have we here – is it Masterman DJ Chris Steadman – seemingly pulling girls two at a time?

Now on to the Pink Coconut Pictures – and first off with Celebrity customer Stan Hall – who may have made a serious error with his chat up patter!!!

A general shot of the stage (sorry about the picture quality – thank goodness for today`s digital cameras)

The next picture is of Dave Howells – and I dare you to call him a chicken!

And Finally we have a picture with Ian Stanley in the orange T shirt, and Raj (I`m not looking at the camera) Sandau on the right – but who are those small guys in the middle???

Good times!





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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