Mock Blue Plaque

Call for Recognition

The Dungeon Club in Nottingham was open in the 1960s, a place to showcase the emerging soul, Motown, jazz and r&b music and the many bands and artists playing in the country as well as those visiting from the States. It also provided a home for the Mods and their fashions springing up in Nottingham.

The Twisted Wheel in Manchester and The Golden Torch in Stoke-on-Trent were both recognised as having a large impact on Britain’s youth through the music and social life and as such have been celebrated with plaques hung on the walls of their homes. The Dungeon is considered just as important by its regular clientele but has not been acknowledged in the same way.

Can this be put right?

As one Dungeonite put it: “The Twisted Wheel was never as lively as the clubs in Nottingham, we went there (the Wheel) all the time, it was good but listening to conversations nowadays it was The  place to be, (we know different). Had loads of mates in Manchester used to come to Nottingham and loved it.”

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Suggestion

In January this year, 2017, Alan Askey suggested the idea of a Blue Plaque being mounted on the wall of the solicitor’s building on Stanford Street to honour the presence of the Dungeon Club back in the 1960s.

Suggestions were made that maybe it was the responsibility of the Council or that approval was required by the Council, however both of these were considered not true as such a sign would not protrude from the building. There was even a suggestion that the solicitors who owned the building from a conversation in the past were happy to participate.

“It’s the 50th anniversary of that infamous raid by the police on the club this year, maybe we should all meet there?”

“Yeh! We could tip the old bill there’s an odd going-on with lots of people gathered outside a building on Stanford Street and get them to do a raid! Just like re-enacting the night! … This is a joke by the way!”

“Brilliant, don’t forget to tip off the press as well.”

“Should have a street party, plaque unveiling and book a band!”

“Can we get the Temps’… pleeeease …”

“Whatever band is booked I’d bet that a bus with police on it will get there first!“

“Who cares ! Block Stanford Street for the day. Do it on a Sunday.”

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British Plaque Trust

It was noticed in February that the BBC was running a nationwide campaign through their local radio stations to celebrate a local music venue, influential singer or producer.

For BBC Music Day on Friday 9th June, 2017, all 40 BBC Local Radio stations in England would be teaming up with the British Plaque Trust to unveil 40 historic Blue Plaques celebrating iconic musicians and venues. Suggestions would be accepted from the general public via Twitter or Email.

Mike Read, Trustee of the British Plaque Trust explains “We’re looking at nominations for people, who have contributed significantly to our musical heritage. We can also include iconic places of musical importance or where something significant has happened musically.

“Suggestions can be across the musical genres – classical, pop, folk, blues, jazz, musical theatre or music hall.

“Blue Plaques are footprints of our history, commemorating those who excelled in their particular field.”

A committee in each BBC Local Radio area would discuss the suggestions and create a shortlist of the most deserving, which would then be passed to the national committee to make the final decision.

It was felt that this was a good opportunity to get a plaque for the Dungeon, so several members sent in nominations. Then it was a case of sitting back and waiting till June when the decision was to be announced.

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Awarded?

The day came … and the Dungeon was not selected. The local Nottingham Blue Plaque was awarded to an opera singer from Bulwell.

The members were disappointed but not downhearted – ‘maybe lucky next year’ or ‘maybe we could look into doing it ourselves’ were the cries.

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Mock Blue Plaque?

Then Ann Barry, the Facebook Group administrator came up with a suggestion. Let’s mount a Mock Blue Plaque.

“If you can be in Nottingham…SAVE THE DATE!

The Afternoon of Sunday September 10th.

M.O.D.S reunite. Outside The Dungeon Club, Stanford Street, Nottingham.

Plans so far … press coverage, mock plaque, scoots, local hostelry afterwards. More details to follow.”

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Deanna Fahy & Simon Wainwright

Later , “UPDATE…..I’m looking at a 12 noon meet on Stanford Street, but we could make it later if that’s better for people. What are we actually going to DO? Unveil our mock plaque, take some pics, look fabulous. Anything else? After a bit the landlady of The Royal Children will be happy to welcome us. After all, that is where most people including the bands ended up. Thoughts, comments …?

Other ideas/offers welcome.”

A buzz swept round the group.

Linda Hatcher announced “Mock plaque work in progress as we speak, Ann.”

“Sounds a wonderful idea, perhaps after we can go to the Bell and listen to jazz. With the old people!”

“No, you have to go to the ‘funnies’ on Sunday afternoon to sleep after the all nighters.” *

“Yes we will be there, Ann, I can see the headlines now, 300 senior citizens arrested for ‘Dancing in the Street’.!!!!”

“Boys to wear mohair suits and girls to wear mini skirts?”

“I wish I had kept mine (mohair suit), but think 36″ chest and 30″ waist might be a bit tight now.”

Note: * – the Scala Cinema on Market Street in Nottingham was purchased by Classic Cinemas in April 1964 and until 1972, when it was converted to a 3-screen cinema, it operated as a news and cartoon cinema, showing classics such as ‘Tom and Jerry’, ‘Roadrunner’ and the like. This place was known as the ‘funnies’ and was a regular haunt for Dungeon-goers on a Sunday afternoon between club sessions.

 

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Sandra Ward  & David Wilcox

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The Unveiling

The big day arrived. People started to arrive for 12:00. Peter Wilson brought his ghetto blaster and the music of those halcyon days blasted out – Otis Redding, the Four Tops, Wilson Pickett, the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Sam & Dave and much more.

Alan Jukes, Simon Wainwright and Andy Stevenson arrived on their scooters. There were men in suits, ladies in mini-skirts, everyone talking, laughing and full of eager anticipation.

The Mock Blue Plaque had been drawn by the resident artist, Mick Hatcher, mounted on cardboard and fixed to one of the columns outside the entrance to the Club back in the 60s. It was covered with a ‘veil’ which was to be pulled off at the appointed hour by the ex-owner of the Dungeon, Mick Parker.

Soon, there were 60 to 80 people. Mick was due to unveil the plaque at 12:30 and a few minutes before, he came walking down the road. Ann gave a few words of introduction: “… we’re here to unveil our mock plaque. I don’t think he’s going to say a few words unless we can coerce him, so can we all welcome the person, the reason we’re all here and all had such a wonderful time in this club in the 60s, Mr Mick Parker.”

Mick then stepped up and tore (carefully) the veil from the plaque. The crowd cheered and applauded, cameras whirred and clicked everywhere and the deed was done.

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The music restarted and all that was left was for everyone to be photographed in front of the Blue Plaque. It was not exactly orderly, there was not a queue, but it went off without incident.

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Refreshments

After the photographs, people one by one started that walk up the hill, as they had done perhaps 50+ years ago, not to the graveyard, but to the Royal Children next door. The drinking started, the conversation and merriment continued, memories were stirred. Murph, the DJ, was set up to play more of the soul music, so the dancing just carried on.

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Media Coverage

The event was covered by the Nottingham Post as follows.

Mods install blue plaque ‘in protest’ outside legendary Dungeon Club

The club played host to huge names in years gone by

A group of mods have placed their own blue plaque on the site of the former Dungeon Club, after an attempt to get official recognition failed.

The famous club, which was on Stanford Street, was only open for four years, but saw huge names pass through its doors.

The likes of The Who, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Stevie Wonder and Van Morrison all played at the small, unlicensed venue between 1964 and 1968.

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The Blue Plaque created by Mick Hatcher

So earlier this year, Ann Barry tried have a blue plaque placed on the outside of what is now a solicitors’ office, where the club used to be.

The group applied for a blue plaque as part of National Music Day run by the BBC, which teamed up with the British Plaque Trust to unveil 40 historic blue plaques celebrating iconic musicians and venues earlier this year.

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Dungeon Club members gather outside their former nightclub

Ann said: “We think it deserves recognition.”

But after their bid was unsuccessful, they came up with a “tongue in cheek” protest which saw Ann orchestrate their own blue plaque ceremony.

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The excited audience

They invited down Mick Parker, who used to own the club, plus an artist – one of the members of the group – who created the plaque.

They unveiled it on Sunday (September 11), stuck temporarily to the wall with sticky material, and in Ann’s own words, “had a bit of a dance and played some music to celebrate.”

There are still monthly reunions of the group, which usually meet at the Royal Children Pub. The club itself did not have an alcohol licence, so if people wanted a drink they had to go to the nearby pub.

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Sue & Paul Young

Ann said: “The Who actually came in here once. They were playing a gig that night and they just said where can we get a drink around here, so someone took them here.

“Bands like that, they weren’t big names then like they are now. I actually saw the Who about three years ago in Sheffield, and Pete Townshend said that he remembered Nottingham being a mod stronghold back in the 60s and he asked if any of us were in that night and of course we were.”

The club went on to be many other venues before it became offices, including Eight Till Late, Whispers and Venus.

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Unveiling the plaque is former Dungeon owner Mick Parker, Alan Askey – founder of the Dungeon Club Society and Ann Barry – founder of the Facebook group.

 

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Here is a link to the Nottingham Post article:

http://www.nottinghampost.com/news/local-news/mods-install-blue-plaque-in-454243

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Alan strips off for action? Is Paul in trouble?

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A further article was published in the Nottingham Post on Wednesday September 13th 2017:

 

Dungeon Club plaque was one-day hit

A group of Mods who put up a temporary plaque outside the old Dungeon Club has said they would love to get something more permanent up in the future.

The group put up the temporary plaque on Sunday recognising the venue, but took it with them at the end of the day.

Ann Barry, who organises the reunion Facebook group said: “It was just something fun for us to do and get together. It was nice to have a photo outside the venue with the plaque. It would be nice to have an official one there.”

The Dungeon Club was open from 1964-68 and big stars played there, including the Who, Elton John and Van Morrison.

It was said to be the home of the Mods in Nottingham.

Ann now organises monthly reunion at the Royal Children Pub of those who attended the club in the 60s. She added: “It is a listed building, but if there was an opportunity to get a plaque, then we would. I am very busy, but one of our members might take it as a project and get one officially, which would be great.”

 

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Here is the link:

http://www.nottinghampost.com/news/history/mod-group-would-love-see-464022

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With thanks to:

  • Ann Barry and Alan Askey for all the organisation
  • Mick Parker for opening the Club and being present to unveil the plaque
  • Mick Hatcher for artwork (the Plaque)
  • Maurice Moore for photographs
  • Peter Wilson and Murph for providing the music
  • BBC for detail and quotes relating to the British Plaque Trust
  • Nottingham Post for the published articles
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Musicians – T-Bone Walker

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‘Sermon Sound’ of T-Bone

Aaron Thibeaux “T-Bone” Walker, an innovator of electric blues, was born on May 28th, 1910 and died on March 16th, 1975. He played at the Dungeon Club twice, on March 28th, 1965 and October 17th, 1965 and each time had played at the Twisted Wheel in Manchester on the previous night. On the first occasion, he was backed by John Mayall’s Blues Breakers.

Here is a preview, published on Friday March 26th, 1965 in the Jazz Column of the Nottingham Evening Post And News prior to the first performance.

Jazz Column by Frank Jones

Nottingham says hail and farewell this weekend to a pioneer of the electric guitar, and one of America’s best known rhythm and blues singers – Aaron T-Bone Walker.

The gritty-voiced Texan winds up his three-week British tour at the Dungeon Club on Sunday, backed by John Mayall’s Blues Breakers.

For a man who helped to popularise the amplified guitar in its infancy, Walker has plenty in common with Britain’s guitar-mad youngsters. He also has a lot to teach them.

It was as a teenage guitarist that Walker first hit the road, accompanying legendary artists like Ida Cox, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Ma Rainey.

Electronics

He soaked up much of their feeling and style, and eventually succeeded in his own right as a singer with Les Hite’s band in the thirties. Lionel Hampton was a colleague in the group around that time.

When electronics were developed T-Bone was among the first to realise the musical potential of the electric guitar.

He employed it creatively to back his dynamic vocals and by 1943 he was one of the biggest-selling black artists making records.

At one time he had three R and B discs in the ‘Billboard’ magazine’s top ten, enjoying his biggest success with ‘Stormy Monday’.

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Solo Performer

In the forties and fifties T-Bone led his own band – often as many as nine pieces – but the strain of one-night stands told on his health. He broke up the group in 1955 and since then he has worked as a solo performer.

In Marshall Stearns’ ‘The Story of Jazz’ Walker links the blues harmonies with those of religious songs, which employed the same chords.

“Of course, the blues comes a lot from the church,” he says. “The first time I ever heard a boogie woogie piano was the first time I went to church.

Like sermon

“Lots of people think I’m going to be a preacher when I quit this business, because of the way I sing the blues,” he adds. “They say it sounds like a sermon.”

Brethren, stand by!

 

Evening Post And News, Friday March 26th 1965

 

T-Bone Walker on video:

 

 

About the Acts

Tell us about some of the acts you saw at the Dungeon – the first, the best, memorable moments.

Maurice Moore – “I personally don’t have one best memory but several. My ‘best’ will include the Small Faces, the Who, Steampacket, Little Stevie Wonder and Inez & Charlie Foxx.”

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Mick Hatcher – “The Small Faces, we stood at the back and could only see the top of their heads and ends of their guitars as they weren’t very tall, brilliant night, proper mods.”

Lyn Frost – “Defo Small Faces, my all-time fave band, managed to get near front, amazing.”

Mick Hatcher – “Alright Lyn don’t rub it in.”

Lyn Frost – “Sorry, but I was only small, and we managed to squeeze our way.”

Kath Shaw – “Yes, Small Faces were memorable, we stood at the front, I liked Steve Marriott, my friend preferred Plonk Lane, so we had a really brill view of them.”

Phil Long – “I knew Ronnie later when I was working for Island Records, took him out on a promotional tour, lovely bloke!”

Barry Cooper “Small Faces….btw did Dave Dee, Dozy,Beaky, Mick and Titch appear at any time?”

Maurice Moore “Yes Barry – Dave Dee etc did appear, I was there. Twice in ’66.”

Paul Thorpe – “I said no earlier…..then deleted, didn’t read the list properly. I last saw Beaky playing at a beach party in a bar in Estepona 15 years ago.”

Josephine Pate – “Me too. They autographed a photo for us. I gave mine away sometime back then.”

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Sheila Skinner – “Little Stevie Wonder. Seemed sort of awesome as he was led on stage.”

Dave Callard – “I was there that night Sheila, and that part of being led on stage stays with me too … how weird.”

Veda Bromwich – “Little Stevie Wonder being lead down the stairs to the stage always sticks in my mind.”

Ann Carlton – “Me too, he was with his Mum.”

Gary Maxton – “There was definitely a large stuffed fish in a case on the stage wall, I remember that because Little Stevie Wonder banged his head on it when he threw it back whilst singing.”

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Craig Strong – “Lee Dorsey for me, although probably as he shook my hand and asked me “How are you man!” Me, a man … I was 14!”

Kath Shaw – “Yes, I remember Lee Dorsey, he came a bit later, maybe ’67.”

David Picker – “My first was Lee Dorsey. So many good ones. Enjoyed Jimmy Cliff.”

Tim Northern – “Haha I also remember Edwin Starr he signed my card and I lost it.”

Tim Northern – “Working in a coal mine!”

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Josephine Pate – “Drifters.”

Steve Banting – “I could have put my house on that one Jo.”

Paul Thorpe – “Which set of Drifters? Both groups were from Nottingham, according to earlier posts on here Josephine …”

Josephine Pate – “Ayup Paul me and my mate Sue saw the Drifters for the first time Wedneday Jan 19th, 1966 and it cost us five bob to get in. We were a bit bummed out cause it cost that much on a week night. Not many in the club that night and we stood in front of the stage and were blown away by them. In my mind I’m still standing there absolutely in awe anytime I hear them. So the Original Drifters were at the raid and at the time, having waited all night to see them, we were a bit taken aback cause it was a different group. They were good but not the right bunch!!”

Siddo Mel Senior – “Was it the Drifters when everyone was ar**d out into the street? But one of my favourites was Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers.”

Barry Cooper – “We thought they were the Drifters, but in fact they were the Invitations.”

Craig Strong – “Didn’t get to see them … so The Invitations as ‘Skiing in the Snow’ Invitations?”

John Murphy – “… and ‘Watch Out Little Girl’. One of the best being played today!”

Barry Cooper – “So I believe Craig, but those days it could have been anyone, Mick Payne knows more on this.”

Craig Strong – “True. Remember ‘The Fabulous Temptations’?”

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Mick Hatcher – “Remember seeing Charlie & Inez Foxx. Tightrope was one of my favourites.”

Paul Thorpe – “Me too Mick, they were great, posted about the signed photo I got from them some time ago, sadly lost!! Inez was one of the most beautiful & glamorous women this 15 year old had ever seen, and as you know Mick, I’d seen a lot by then, as I lived in Aspleh …”

Mick Hatcher – “No Paul we had the best in Broxtah.”

Linda Thompson – “I agree with Mick us Broxtah gals were lovelah. Should think so with all the Max Factor I used to slap on me face!!”

Paul Thorpe – “Them girls & boys from the estates wuz the best ‘Acne hiders’ in Nottingham …”

Pete Wardle – “You lot kill me. Love this old dry humour which I think was born on those estates out of a sense of belonging to an elite group known as Mods but basically being raised with very little to brag about only the fact that everyone was in the same boat and just got on with it. Would not have changed that upbringing for diamonds.”

Sam Moore – “My most memorable act was Inez and Charlie Fox seeing Charlie doing his dance to the Tightrope right across the stage. Can see him now.”

Michael Belshaw – “I remember that. His hair was immaculate when they came out and within 30 seconds of starting it was all over the place.”

Sam Moore – “Another that sticks in mind was The Toys. If I am correct they wore turquoise dresses – absolutely stunning.”

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Sandra Buckland – “Great memories of seeing Wilson Pickett at the Dungeon – vividly remember his leather waistcoat!!”

Chris Fensom – “I was leaning on the back wall facing the stage. Fantastic, he’s got to go down as one of the best acts at the Dungeon.”

Suzanne Tindle – “Wilson Picket, Charlie and Inez Foxx and Steampacket were my favourites. I remember that my then boyfriend Graeme (possibly in very sharp dark green suit) went up on stage with Charlie and Inez.”

Chris Fensom – “Small Faces, Steampacket, Wilson Picket but has to be the Temptations.”

Barry Cooper – “Can’t believe I missed the Temptations.”

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Tim Northern – “One Sunday afternoon I remember a massive limmo outside and a massive black woman with her minders emerging – Big Maybelle.”

Linda Thompson – “Drifters, Lee Dorsey, Jimmy Cliff, The Steampacket – there were so many. Enjoyed seeing Amen Corner. But I do remember seeing a lady called Big Maybelle who got stuck on the stairs leading to the stage. To my shame, I did find it really funny. The poor lady was mortified and it took ages to get her unstuck.”

Pete Wardle – “Remember her Linda Thompson.”

Murray Frew – “I was there, it was horrendous. They had to jemmy her down the back stage stairs, and all that ankle fat flowing over her fancy high heels. But boy could she belt it out. Sunday marathon I think.”

Linda Thompson – “Yes it was, Murray.”

Pete Wardle – “Remember seeing an act called The Madd Lads or something like that … ?”

Craig Strong – “They were on Stax.”

Craig Strong – “I remember trying to get past these blokes coming up the stairs … it was The Action! I liked The Action.”

Murray Frew – “Edgar Broughton on a Sunday afternoon, no not really but it certainly broadened my horizons. 12 months later I was a massive Groundhogs fan.”

Mickey Finn & John 'Fluff' Cooke of the Blue Men
Mickey Finn & John ‘Fluff’ Cooke of the Blue Men

Jenny Slack – “Mickey Finn and the Blue Men. Very early Dungeon.”

Kath Allen – “Too many to mention.”

Michael Johnson – “I missed the really greats at the Dungeon, but I was there for the Amen Corner (Gin House). Drank coke with them upstairs and chatted. Also, remember a guy called Philip Goodhand Tait (Stormsville Shakers), thought they were really good.”

Deanna Fahy – “My first time down the Dungeon is when a date took me there to see the Pretty Things 1964/5-ish. Didn’t like them, not my sort of thing hence no more dates.”

Maurice Moore – “But you liked the place? No bad memories?”

Deanna Fahy – “Yes definitely, a much better experience second time I went with more like minded people. Can’t remember who was on though.”

Linda Thompson – “The first singer I saw was Roy C who sang Shot Gun Wedding. He only knew that and about 2 other songs!!”

Mick Hatcher – “I was there that night Linda.”

Tim Northern – “Did he have the sound effects?!”

Craig Strong – “I recall The Spellbinders only doing a few songs ….”

Murray Frew – “When I first went down I was too young to go at night so only went to Sunday marathon. Saw Jimmy Cliff at least twice, and Big Maybelle, but what must have been the weirdest booking for the Dungeon, the Edgar Broughton Band, really heavy prog rock, folks just went upstairs as you couldn’t dance to it.”

Penny Lambert – “Jimmy Cliff, remember he was very thin, he grabbed me for a bit of a dance.”

Siddo Mel Senior – “Geno Washington & the Ram Jam Band with a few others close behind … Steampacket, Spencer Davis and Cliff Bennett & the Rebel Rousers.”

Robb Storme & the Whispers
Robb Storme & the Whispers

John Murphy – “Spencer Davis Group, much underrated Rob Storm and the Whispers. Believe it or not Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers were brilliant.”

Kate Holmes – “Robb Storme and the Whispers were a London group and played regularly at the Dungeon and other clubs in our area. They were a favourite of Mick Parker and in a recent interview on Radio Nottingham Mick requested one of their records to be played … ‘Here Today’ which was a cover of a Beach Boys track. They became The Robb Storme Group and then The Orange Bicycle. For a time they were the backing group for Paul and Barry Ryan and toured with The Small Faces and Roy Orbison. I went to two or three of the tour dates and on one occasion I stood in the wings with Garry Hooper aka Peterson the bass player and watched Roy perform and then I met him. I don’t think I realised what an icon I was meeting at the time!”

Long John Baldry

Long John Baldry

Christine Tarr – “Steampacket.”

Gillian Williams – “The Steam Packet (Rod Stewart, Long John Baldry, Julie Driscoll and Brian Auger and the Trinity), Spencer Davis, just forget what great acts we saw there.”

Sandra Green – “Great times at The Dungeon! Saw Lulu there, Long John Baldry and others my memory has forgotten! I remember the black walls were pouring with sweat and damp. I remember an Irish lad, Seamus, who had a stutter but he was a fantastic dancer; his girlfriend was called Beverley. Also a bloke nicknamed “Jaffa” because his surname was Lemmon!”

Phil Long – “The Soul Agents played at The Dungeon on Sunday 23 August 1964 and then with Rod Stewart on Friday 8 January 1965. Now I have this memory that when the band were due to play with Rod either they were delayed by bad weather or else didn’t turn up at all, in which case Rod played a solo acoustic set, I’m not sure, does anyone else remember? Rod had already played The Dungeon previously as a member of Long John Baldry and the Hoochie Coochie Men and would go on to play three more times with The Steampacket.”

Ann Carlton – “He used to play at the Dancing Slipper. Jenny Slack and her sister and I always laugh. Oh no not Rod the Mod again! He played there a lot on a Friday night.”

Sheila Skinner – “I remember a humdinger of a night at the Beachcomber: The Steampacket and Julie Driscoll. I can still see it all now.”

Veda Bromwich – “I don’t remember that story Phil Long but away back in my memory I can remember you on stage singing with Rod Stewart somewhere. Is my memory right?”

Ann Carlton – “I remember something like that!”

John Boland – “I remember having a singalong with Rod at a Shotgun Express gig at the De Montfort Hall, Leicester with the lead singer of the Gass backstage singing ‘People Get Ready. Awesome, beat that, lol!”

Barry Cooper – “I remember Long John Baldry telling a group of us off at one of his gigs at the Union, saying we were acting like a bunch of Woolies kids … little did he know.”

Siddo Mel Senior – “Don’t forget … ‘Them’ – ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’.”

Dave Berry & the Cruisers
Dave Berry & the Cruisers

Sandra Ward – “I remember seeing Dave Berry. He kept disappearing behind a post whilst singing and one of his roadies came over to see if we’d go to a party after the club closed, but we declined.”

Kathleen Notley – “Yes we did Sandra Ward.”

Stephen Jeffery – “Saw the Mojos (Lewis Collins became a member of Stu James and The Mojos together with Aynsley Dunbar).”

John Murphy – “Aynsley was a truly great drummer. I talked him out of a pair of drumsticks which my mum lost when moving house. Cheers ma!”

Stephen Jeffery – “I have to say the best drummers I saw were Moon the Loon and Ginger Baker and Ringo Starr.”

John Murphy – “Stephen Jeffery, knew you were in for a belting night when Ginger started to nail both bass drums to the stage. Standing 5 feet away from that every time they were on at the Beach. No wonder I can’t hear anything!”

Stephen Jeffery – “Saw him with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers along with the late Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton. Climbed on stage and spoke to Eric he was very approachable. No stadium rock then!! How times have changed. It was at the Boat Club.”

Mary Butler‎ – “I used to go to the Dungeon club in 1964 and 1965. The first band I saw there was the Fortunes, and I remember standing very close to Rod Stewart in the coffee bar and not knowing who he was at the time.”

“One rock star tried to sell me some, ‘black bombers’, which I hasten to add I didn’t purchase!”

“Two stars stopped in their car and asked us if we had any pills and cos we said no they drove off disgusted. “Call yourself mods” one said.”

Compiled by Maurice Moore

Here is some music from some of the bands who played at the Club.

That’s Entertainment

Were they really the Good Old Days? Back in the Sixties, we were told “You’ve never had it so good” and people look back on those times with fondness.

One old mod said “It certainly was (a great scene). I can remember being in the Square on my scooter, and really there was no need for clubbing, the activity there alone was buzzing, I couldn’t wait till Friday nights to start the weekend. Great people, good friends made, you can think back and smile.”

Today these views are questioned. Entertainment and leisure is in your face and has never been so mainstream. We have hundreds of channels on television, access to almost anything on the internet and if we want to go out to see and hear live music, there is plenty about – the big bands in the arenas and large venues along with up to thousands of other people, sometimes seeing your idols on a stage in the far distance; plus generally cover bands or open mic’s in most pubs.

Many of those bands who played in the 60s are still around or have reformed, touring the country with maybe one original member.

Back in those past days, there were only three television channels, no internet, in fact no personal computers or mobile phones. Many did not even have phones in their homes – they had to go to a phone box or just arrange to meet amongst the crowds outside Lyons or by the left lion. People went out for their entertainment to the local pub or one of the many clubs around, some only a little larger than the pubs.

Here is a typical sample of what entertainment was available during one weekend, taken from the ‘Dancing’ column of the Nottingham Evening Post of Thursday February 3rd, 1966.

The Dungeon

  • Thursday – The Small Faces
  • Saturday – The Pedlars
  • Sunday noon – The Two Till Five Show
  • Sunday night – Little Stevie Wonder
  • Wednesday – The Alan Bown Set
  • Sunday – The Action

Beachcomber

  • Friday – Dave Anthony’s Moods
  • Saturday – The Rising Sons
  • Sunday – Herbie Goins & the Night-Timers

Britannia Rowing Club (the ‘Brit’)

  • Friday – The Cardinals
  • Saturday – Sons Of Fred
  • Sunday – The Herd

The Boat Club

  • Friday – Blues ‘N’ Roots
  • Sunday – Chris Farlowe & The Thunderbirds

The Union Club

  • Saturday – The Persuasions
  • Sunday – Davy Sands & The Essex

The Dancing Slipper

  • Friday – The Dickens Set, also Changing Times
  • Monday – The Mansfields

The Rainbow Rooms

  • Saturday – Big Beat Ball with The Mansfields and The Children

The Gallery

  • Thursday – The Riverside Organisation
  • Friday – The Mick Carter Trio
  • Saturday – Stan Robinson Quartet
  • Sunday lunchtime – Jam session
  • Sunday night – Richard Hallam Quartet

Peacock Inn, Redmile

  • Friday – Tony Kent
  • Saturday – New Olympia Band

Cocked Hat, Aspley

  • Thursday – Incrowd

Carousel Club

  • The ‘Playgirl’

Maurice Moore
Newspaper cuttings provided by Eddy Barry.

First Visit

When was your first visit to the Dungeon and what was the first tune you can remember being played or had the biggest impact on you.

Barry Cooper – “If memory serves me right my first visit was in April 1966 and the tune I remember being played was ‘Going To A Go-Go’ by The Miracles … that visit changed my whole life regarding music.

Sharon Wilson – “Loved walking down the stairs hearing this song and straight away wanting to get on the dance floor!”

Barry Cooper – “Another record which brings back a memory on a certain Sunday afternoon all dayer (thanks to Stu Morris for helping me out) is Sam & Dave’s ‘Soothe Me’.”

Craig Strong – “I went Easter Monday 1966 – Must have been a ‘dayer’ and the one I remember was Isleys’ ‘This Old Heart of Mine’.”

Sue Hey – “Four Tops ‘Reach Out I’ll Be There’”

Chris Lawson – “1964.  Whatever the music was, it was great. 1966 for our Newark mods it was Newquay.”

Pete Wardle – “A Sunday ‘66 think it was Sam and Dave?”

Jeanette Hutchinson – “Me and Sam 1966. The one that sticks out in Sam’s mind was Ebony Keys’ ‘Sitting in a Ring’. I remember ‘Everythings Gonna be Alright’ by Willie Mitchell.”

Michael Johnson – “Four Seasons, ‘Lets Hang On’ about late 1965, but Sam & Dave’s ‘You Don’t Know like I Know’ always reminds of the Dungeon.”

Jenny Slack – “’You Don’t Know Like I Know’ and ‘Soothe Me’ by Sam and Dave remind me of the Dungeon like yesterday.”

Tim Northern – “Hold on I’m Coming!!!”

Craig Strong – “Who remembers ‘It’s A Wonder’ by them?”

Murray Frew – “About every sixth song used to be a Sam & Dave including ‘You Got Me Humming’, and they played to death Joe Tex ‘Show Me’, which was funny cause it was too fast for most of the dancers, and James & Bobby Purify ‘Shake A Tail Feather’.”

Jacqueline Stapleton – “Definitely ‘Shake a Tail Feather’. Loved dancing to it – so fast.”

Sheila Skinner – “Late ‘64. ‘Its not Unusual’ Tom Jones!! Its all a blur. My favourite memory is ‘Little’ Stevie Wonder being led on the stage.”

Linda Thompson – “I think mine was late ’65. It wasn’t a particular song for me but I stood at the top of Stanford Street and you could feel the atmosphere. Amazing !!”

Trev Poole – “Joe Tex ‘Show Me’ 1966 first sound I heard down the Dungeon.”

Maurice Moore – “I know I first went to the Dungeon in 1965 and I’ve put many of the tracks I remember hearing on my podcast ‘Dungeon Days’. However it is difficult to say what was the first track I heard. Certainly some of the vivid memories come from 1966 (‘Open the Door to Your Heart’ by Darrell Banks and ‘Tell It Like It Is’ by Aaron Neville). But I do remember ‘Night Train’ by James Brown, ‘The Entertainer’ by Tony Clarke and several by Willie Mitchell.”

Alan Jukes – “Late 65 ‘Something About You’ FourTops.”

Kate Cogle – “My first visit was a Sunday afternoon late 1965. ‘Rescue Me’ Fontella Bass … think I have the year right!!”

John Blanche – “First visit October ’65, first record I recall was ‘Walking the Dog’ by Rufus Thomas. The one that had the biggest impact on me a few months later was ‘Going to a G-Go by the Miracles …… not sure when I stopped going early 67?”

Mick Hatcher – “A Sunday in ’65. Willie Mitchell, ‘That Driving Beat’. ’65-‘68 and you didn’t need to go inside to hear the music. I remember the night the Four Tops’ ‘Reach Out I’ll Be There’ came out, it was played continually all night.”

Paul Thorpe – “Sunday afternoons – We’d get off the bus at the top of St James Street (Maid Marian Way), cut through to Hounds Gate & down the alleyway to Castle Gate opposite the top of Stanford Street … once we got to the alleyway we could hear the Bung music echoing off the walls, can still hear it now, up steps in through the front door, down those stone steps to the basement, blinking all the way to get your eyes focused to the dark, wonder we didn’t fall down those steps sometimes wet from condensation … what memories!!”

Paul Terry Watson – “You paint the picture well, Paul, the walls were damp too.”

Barry Cooper – “So relate to this Paul, walking through that alleyway …”

Paul Thorpe – “My years were late ‘65 to early ‘68 … without doubt, the most formative years of my life, musically & growingupally …

“Here’s some of my memories, added to most of the above;

  • ‘Night Train’ – James Brown,
  • ‘Just a Little Misunderstanding’ – The Contours,
  • ‘First I Look at the Purse’ – The Contours,
  • ‘Let the Good Times Roll’ – Bunny Sigler,
  • ‘Boogaloo Party’ – The Flamingoes,
  • ‘Two Can Have a Party’ – Tammi Terrell

………. the list goes on.”

Kath Shaw – “Late ‘64-‘67 for me. ‘Going to a Go-Go’, smashing the walls of the Dungeon, brill.”

Sam Moore – “Here are some of the ones I remember amongst the more popular ones … from late 1965 till it changed names then only went a few times …

  • ‘Mellow Moonlight’ Roy Docker
  • ‘Sitting in a Ring’ Ebony Keys
  • ‘Do the Teasey’ Joyce Bond
  • ‘Keep off no Trespassing’ Marvelettes
  • ‘Mohair Sam’ Charlie Rich
  • ‘Love is after me’ Charlie Rich”

Jeanette Hutchinson – “My memory of what sticks in my mind …

  • ‘The Philly Freeze’ Alvin Cash
  • ‘Willy Nilly’ Rufus Thomas.
  • ‘Sad Song’ Otis Redding.”

Roger Lowe – “The first track I heard at the bung was Shirley Ellis The Clapping Song.”

Linda Thompson – “Every one of my friends loved that record but I hated it. Really found it irritating.”

Stuart Morris – “Interesting one this. First time I went it was on a Tuesday night in late ’65 with a classmate from school. It was all a blur to be honest. The next time, couple of months later, I took notice. Barry was DJ-ing and I most remember, ‘You’re Not an Ordinary Girl’ by the Temptations, B side of ‘Beauty is Only Skin Deep’.”

Barry Cooper – “Great B side Stu, this still gets played..”

Murray Frew – “I bet not many can remember the first record they heard on their first visit? I was going down all those concrete stairs with the music getting louder and louder, then at the bottom the record changed, and there was this huge bass noise blasting out – ‘It’s All Right’ by JJ Jackson.”

Tim Northern – “’Reflections’ the Supremes.”

Barry Cooper – “’Shake Me Wake Me’ – Four Tops.”