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24 September 2014

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Heart & Soul Of Northern Soul

Have Your Say

What's your favourite memory of Wigan Casino?

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Russ Winstanley
So sorry Harry.Please send my condolences to his Family I remember him well and he was a lovely guy.Will play a tune for him soon.Thank you for letting us all know.


Lindsey Chapman
Wigan Casino was my life. Does anyone know the whereabouts of Angie and Pete Rear. The music was superb and the dancing was the best. Now 50 and still trying to spin! Still feel sick in the stomach when I hear the music, the best years of my life and the best friends I have ever had.

Dave Willo from Derby
First time for me was in 1974 - I was totally in awe of the whole place, the people,the dancers, the music, the heat. Returned numerous times but now regret not going more regularly. Still feel priveleged to be able to say I was there. If you told people who weren't into the scene you spent all night at a club with no alcohol and girls and boys didn't dance together they thought you were mad! Saw Junior Walker and Martha Reeves - both were brilliant. Seem to remember Martha doing 'one way out' with no musical backing. Can anyone tell me what dates these concerts were? Fantastic memories, I'll never forget my nights at Wigan - you sort of felt you really were one of a very special group of people....

I was 16 when i used to go to Wigan Casino all them years ago some of the best times of my life ..wot i can rember anyway. many times having to hitich it up there from North Wales. get caught hitiching on motorway , telling my mum i was going to stay in a friends house.

duncan from horwich
i remember rushing home from a late 11.30 pm finish as a chef at the withins restraunt in bolton quick shower, then dads taxi down to wigan. 3 before 8 comes then dads taxi back to work ears still buzzing and trying to get a few minutes sleep on the way , start work sat morning at 9.00am to 2.00pm , then usually fall asleep on bus back to horwich, and its not the first time i went past my stop, get a few hours sleep before back at work at 6.00pm till 11pm saturday night ,then back down to wigan for the oldies night. i am knackered now typing it how i ever managed it i honestly dont know, but i know it would not have been possible without my dads help, thanks once again dad.

kev looker
got to be the last all nighter where the 3 after eight was played to a standing ovation of clapping just amazing scenes but what a heartache to think it was all over,got a picture outside straight afterwards that my mate took its amazing picture nd ive now got it on facebook !

Dave Morley
Hi Russ great show as always , listened to on both sides of the Atlantic ( Argentina ) !! What date is the Wigan Re-Union in 2009 ??? KTF Dave

mick of ince
just tops

David Cooke Blackpool
I always said that if i ever won the lottery i would rebuild Wigan Casino i went there from 75 to when it closed. Best night for me was when the Exciters appeared live

peter mc namara
i was 18 at the time and went to the casino every saturday night not thee all nighter but it was still magic happy days

Say Russ, It's been a long long time but in pic 6, isnt that Ian (Frank) Dewhirst? (Twink) was another DJ called Ian Bottomly.

johny mac
only managed to make 8th anaversery nite but what a nite it was other all niters where good but i think youll agree there was only one wigan casino ..

1975 it was a way of life, we lived it, we danced it, we did it, 49 yrs old and still spinnin i remember you all as if it was yesterday

karen from aberdeen
Best days of my life still dance the night away at aberdeens Norther soul club,chris king playing at the end of the at 50 i will still be stomping the night away. I'ts in your soul x

mags, Scotland
Lived, breathed n danced northern soul. 49 now and still go to do's. young ones still ask me to show them how to do the dance

tilly gearing
everything about the casino i loved the music the atmosphere meeting people from all over the country and most of all i love is the fantastic memories it has left me with i will never ever forget them they will stay with me forever

Chloe Neal Norway
Surely the best years were when you personally attended.Ours were from 76 to 1980.Congratulations on the Number One Listenership figures.Couldn't live without Listen Again.KTF.

Chris Cooper (Notts)
Without doubt the best years were the first three, to which I travelled fron Notts to most of them.

councils,eh, if it was a bingo hall it would still be standin

Brilliant to hear from you Gethro.An old friend of mine (and yours) John Harper told me that Kim had died - very sadYou were both awesoome dancersSo glad you are in touch again loads of people have been enquiring about you on various you tube videosRemember the Blackwood crowd?Stgeve Williams and Co?Check out you tube for The Springers Nothings to good for my baby - you are on it at the begining and the end - its old footsie footageStay in touch!

michelle smith
the great atmosphere the music the people being there u can never put in to words how it felt to me it was a dream, it is now a distant memory but its as vivid in my mind as the day i first went to the 3rd anniversary all nighter,

Terry Connor Blackburn
Dear Mike, can't understand that you believe what you've read in the highly innacurate Top 500 Book written by the only DJ to be sacked by Russ from the Casino,Kev Roberts.In fact,I was at Russ'Record Shop when he received Do I Love You from the States with the invoice and around 40 other Discs.Already aware of it's incredible rarity,Russ transferred it to an Acetete(copy)and changed Frank Wilson's name to another of his discoveries,Eddie Foster.Late 1978 he accepted £1000 worth of records in exchange for it and Simon Soussan asked him to send it directly to UK Dealer,Les McCutcheon who traded under the name Colin Bee.Jealous and unhappy at losing his job at the Casino,these false accusations first appeared a few years ago in his book.Thousands of us know the truth.

Russ Winstanley Wigan
Don't hide away your photos of the 60s,70s or 80s.Have them on display here for everyone to enjoy.Just let me know Who,When and Where for a new set of your photographs soon.Send them in J Peg format to to hear from you Bob,about time I visited you all again.Thanks for the wonderful reception.Bernard Heap you are right.Dave Godin first coined the phrase,Northern Soul at the Unbeatable Twisted Wheel.I was lucky enough to continue promoting our Superb Scene to four million Soulies over 9 years at the Casino.Initially my favourite venue was Blackpool Mecca but surely each brilliant Club added a new dimension and created a new audience eager to enjoy our unique,exciting and friendly black music dance scene.As you know,luckily our fore runner,The Wheel is still packing them in courtesy of Pete Roberts and John Green.Although some venues were bigger or had more publicity than others,the most important is the First One that got you into our incredible music and the appetite to want more.

were does it say in the top 500 northern soul book that you ever owned frank wilson russ according to the book it was only loaned to you????

bob armstrong
thats me in the middle with the badge on my shirt,stomping away & in front of me is trevor davidson, looks like he has a bald head & has a vest on...had russ on at my soul do in easington,county durham a few years ago & used this photo as a flyer

Bernard Heap.....Manchester
"Twenty five years later, the Casino is seen as the root of Northern Soul."Sorry but the Twisted Wheel,Manchester,is the root of Northern Soul.This was where the term Northern Soul was first applied and it was closed down nearly 3 years before the Casino opened.

Julie Allen...Australia
This is for Jethro in Chicago...a long way from Wolvo. Was blown away to hear Russ mention you and Kim on the show this week...whenever I remember the scene you and Kim dancing always comes to were brilliant..yeh I was there chanting at the contests for you guys..remember it so well! Remember you from the Cats, I used to catch the coach from Brum sometimes to the niters at Wigan,st ives etc...I think the drivers name was Len? A coolold guy who put up with our antics (I'm sure he knew what we were up to as we just seemed to chat more and louder as we neared the niter!.Hee hee) Anyway Jethro...yeh those soulful feelings that we get when we hear our music is just the best feeling great is it that we were one big family...and now we're spread out all over the world but can still come together on Russ's show! Really glad to hear that you're well but so saddened at the passing away of of the best dancers/spinners know it bought goosebumps and sent a shiver through me when I heard that on the show...and even though you probably don't remember me...just wanna tell you...yes you were and still are LEGENDS of the scene.! Chicago...a pretty soulful place to end up for a really soulful guy. Right on. Jules x

Judy Young
That's me! The girl on the far right of the picture. Wow, not seen this before. We travelled up at least once a month for years from Winchester, Newbury and Southampton.

gethro and kim
the final of the dancing competition kim beat me and the crowd chanting our names wigan was our life we lived every moment as if it were our last and danced from our hearts ;the guy who looked like arthur ash was paul derby he is on the front of your flyer the girle who danced brilliantly kim the guy in the green hooped top was me gethro and we did feel like we owened the place as it was our home nice to see you are doing ok russ say hello to all who loved us times will pass you by but memories never fade ;o by the way the guy spinning in the utube clip is bookie from wigan one of the dancers we would always pay each other respect at some time in the night shawn from bolton another brilliant spinner we were all from wolverhampton the cats then wigan i remember you well from 73 till 81 kim passed away when she was 23 but left her mark on the northern seen keep the faith their and here GETHRO USA CHICAGO

Jon (Worcester)
Having to fight your way in through the Doors , then your hair standing up on the back of your neck as the Sounds & smell hit you!!..Started going in 73...the Memories will live with me forever !!

Martyn Smith (Bedford)
Walking through the doors at the top of the stairs after paying to get in & being hit by the wall of heat,seeing your reflection in the mirror wrapped around the post as you walked past toward the dance floor,getting showered by nicotine stained drops of condensation,feeling the hair on the back of your neck stand up,buzzing,dancing like there was no tomorrow ,spending hours trying to find an elussive tune in the record bar,the skull/phantom janitor who collected the empty coke bottles,trying to avoid the need to use those rancid bogs.But best of all friends made & the musicKTF

kath horrocks southport
the three before 8 ...tired ...sad the night was at the end and i would have to wait another week until i could dance used to go so fast..the memories will always live on in my memory the music, the friendliness of the peeps and the stinking toilets with the sinks overflowing...dripping sweat on the walls and most of all the music that still lives on .

graham weaver
was that pic took at the sec anniversary when tommy hunt was on

i liked the music and the dancing

mike (Blackpool)
nothing comes close to the Casino for atmosphere....thankyou to all involved in making it happen..KTF

Steve R from Leyland
Magic sat/nights at the casino, they were after thurs/nights at Preston or bolton scamps, Friday/5 bared gate, sat @ cas..Sun @ Casanellis..Wrigtington or W/casino and couldnot wait for the following week. Thanks to all the similar thinking people not to mention the girls, more so Kay Brookfield from Newton le Willows...

james wilson (feet) hamilton
in ref to jeanettes posting still go to allnighters down south wi big paul stevens even though i now live in ayr i still keep in touch the scene is very healthy at the moment but sadly the bones and joints are not,great memories of of wigan seems like yesterday,ive just recently made contact wi des and talk regularly on the phone sadened to hear about barney and more recently gary miller,, ktf,

Jon Pinner Rawtenstall (Jonty)
Got into Northern Soul in the period when the Torch had just closed but Wigan hadnt started.Did the Highland room in Blackpool for about a year and then BINGO the Casino allnighters started.In the early days it opened at 2.00am and there was no Mr Ms.Just everybody packed into one room for a frantic six hours.Best memories:The anticipation before you got there,getting my picture on the front of the Tommy Hunt LP at the 2nd anniversary,getting in with a yellow piece of paper after I lost my membership card and of course THAT music.Worst memory:seeing the daylight come through the skylight over the dance floor.You knew then that it was nearly over for another week.

I was too young and born way too far south to experience the hey days but got into the scene just in time and moved up north just in time to visit the casino ebfore it's demise in 1981.... so I can at least say i was there and the memories along with the music still live with me. Every time I listen to Northern Soul, look at pics and archive footage I see and hear more of what we have lost.... oh well....

Gary Coulson - LEYLAND
Going to the Casino with real mates, Duncan Bamber and Chris Shoesmith true friends that like the music have stood the test of time. We where always amased by the latent heat, energy and lifeforce the Casino gave off, we where all transformed by just being there and years later we still ,dust down the trousers, put the needle in the groove and pretend we are 15 again? Memories sheer unadulterated joy.

sheila Campbell
i used to travel from Lancaster to the Casino every Saturday and the Oldies Night on the first Friday of the month for 3years and never missed a night! it was the most amazing venue and i met a lot of fantastic friends from all over the country. I am on the 5th Anniversary booklet dancing on stage next to MAJOR LANCE what an amazing night that was!!! WIGAN CASINO will ALWAYS be in my HEART.

Colin Hattersley
Wigan Casino was my life in my early years. The sounds, smell and atmosphere made it unique. It will never be repeated. 'Keep the faith'.

christine gearing
the music atmosphere meeting people from all over the country i loved the casino so much i loved dancing every wednesday friday and the allnighters on a saturday night i finished work+couldnt wait to get there it was my life i loved every minute of it never ever wanted it to end id get home have my tea+toast play 3 before 8 then close my eyes and say another great night it was always a great night no matter what night you went on its a great big thank you to you Russ that made great memories for thousands of people and the memories will stay with me forever i still dance+go to different venues to me northern soul will never die when i dance and hear the music it brings back lots of very good memories K.T.F

Tony G ( Wiganer ) Now Aus
If time would stand still on any given day I would choose Saturdays, around midnight and Wigan Casino, life as most northern soul lovers would agree is just not the same, the music, the place, the atmosphere, how good it was to be 16 going on 17 back then. Still I have the music to remind me, hope you do to.

Jeanette ( Hamilton Scotland )
In picture 1 the guy standing next to Pat Brady was Ian Martin of Fauldhouse Scotland a dj who did the Scottish Northern Circuit

Jeanette ( Hamilton Scotland )
Whoohoooo!! Come and get those memories.Now 50yrs old and still dancing in the living room. it was great to see the pix, I'm next to Ian Martin in them and my wee sister Sally was up on the stage picking out the raffle tickets.Happiest years of my young life. great music, pals and hey...We made History, but we knew that it would never die.

andy (Honk) Orrell WIGAN
there cant be a favourite, i started at the beach comber and graduated to the casino and Mr M, i am 54 yr old now and living in Dubai,the good lord blessed me when he chose the particular era of the wigan casino for me and my sister (Dink) orrell now deceased, happiest days of my life

john hillman(jaga)
when you opened the doors to go in the main room you could feel all the energy of the place memories i will never forget

Sandra Latham
My favourite memory was when R Dean Taylor (There's a Ghost in My House' appeared one Saturday night at the Wigan Casino, we expected this young american guy to appear but he was a small plumb balding man who looked about 100 to us, he played two strums of his guitar and then through it over his shoulder, we didn't recognise any other of his songs it was really disappointing as we had been really excited for weeks and weeks and it was a total sell out.

william bell (blackburn)
Just listened to the show on listen again how good was that cut my teeth at the wheel in Brazennose street in 64 before moving to Whitworth street didn't miss an allnighter till I joined the army in 67 I've started going back and still get the buzz walking through the doors and hearing the old familiar sounds Jr walker,darrel banks,contours,fasinations, ect,thanks to Pete Roberts and John Green for keeping the wheel turning. Thanks, Will.

Julie Allen...ex stourport,now Australia
Bunny (Rob) Hope you're listening to Russ's've created alot of us. I've sent Russ my email leave it with you hey!! Yeh, we had fun huh, still got my Wigan tapes and Hanley alldayer with jj Barnes live and Catacombs tapes...such great memories. Keep on keepin" on OKEH....JULES

Those were great times - the buzz started on the train and didn't end until I was all danced out.

ian,blackburn,ex horwich
nice to here from stew and neil regular 73-78 ktf

Richard Karl Zocek
The first time I went through the doors onto the balcony and witnessed amazing music and dancing below I became a member and had some awesome times that was back in 1977.

Bunny Smugley
This one's for Julie from Stourport. Hi Linda, yeah I was there (with you a lot of the time) and the grand 'break-in' was definitely a night to remember, along with other variously insane and more than mildly mental occasions. Like getting done by the wilf for being 'pedestrians on a motorway', making Wolvo to Manchester in half an hour after hitching a lift with two crazies driving at 135mph in a Jag (but hey, we got there early), the furry gloves and feet, the stick-on ears, carrying shed-loads of batteries to make sure the cassette player and Discatron kept going,and trying to avoid Booper's sweat on the dance floor. And of course, there was always the music and competing to discover 'sounds'(and you had the best collection of any girl I ever knew, but then mine always was better, apart from the one extra Linda Jones LP you had).And hey Much, I've still got the 'Mr Emotions' Sigler single - still blows me away.Stay cool babe, love you still. Bunny.

bill sealey
I rember with fondness the many friends from all over the country, who i often think they are middle aged and married with thier own children who are into what ever music, but northern soul still lives on keep the faith billy from skem

Steve Trindall (Cleethorpes) Now Perth Australia
There from the first to the last. Will never forget the atmosphere the people and of course the music. Talc Brut Sweat and the INTRO's keeping me keeping on. Can't say what has'nt been said but one more time would be the best.KTF to all

tonyisle of man
goosebumps reading about peoples memories i was to young to go but love everything about the scene

Dave, Grantham
Regular in the early days of the Casino from 2nd nighter till circa late '75. Life long memories of looking over the balcony with jaw-dropping awe at a packed floor when sounds like Rhino, Tomangoes and Vel-vets were playing. Shame cam-corders weren't about then as a good video from the balcony whilst imagining the volume, the heat, the smell and the atmosphere would have said more than a whole book.

Ian, Grantham (79-81)
what can i say that hasnt already been said? 17 yrs old, train journey that took hours, change at Crewe, onto wigan..... walk up station road and BANG!! i walked into that dance hall with a grin that probably lit the place up, i stood in the archway in the 'record bar' and gazed aimlessly. 2 of my friends who shared those early days are no longer with us but my good friend from then and now will be travelling up the M6 next weekend to re-live some fabulous memories. I will never forget looking over the balcony at a sea of bodies dancing in unison to 'anything i can do' by Will Collins and thinking, "this will stay with me forever" it certainly has. see you there

rick reynolds
walking home back to leyland

lee derby soul club founder dj
fantastic casino pics what a find there should be a civic award for wot russ has done for the town of wigan and the music we love northern soul ktp

John Smith
The night we went to see Betty Wright. Me and my best mate Steve Pool missed the last train from Preston and decided to hitch hike. thinking someone would stop and give us a lift. No such luck we walked all the way. Only to be told the place was packed and we couldn't get in. Like so many other on the night we spent in the Beachcomber dancing to some great sounds. So many memories and great sounds during the mid to late 70's. The Casino is gone but the memory is still alive. I can smell the place even now. The revival is great, we are regulars at the Grasshoppers, and thought your spot at the Greenlands was the best I've heard for ages. KTF John

mel (lancs)
I have many fond memories of the Casino, but one of the funniest was being stopped by a policeman after an oldies night, I came out eyes squinting with a bag FULL of sweaty t shirts (not all mine)and the officer wanted to inspect my bag? anyway I said ok and he pulled out t shirt after t shirt, at the end (much to the amusement of my mates) he exclamed "in all the years of doing this beat I've never found anyone who wore or carried 17 t shirts in one bag!" and with that he said ok get yourself home.

Garry William Keen (Sam)
going back to the early days of the all-nighter's, it was the community of the casino. Expectations every week it was fresh. This all seemed gone after all the media coverage. The best time's where around the 2nd anniversary, Tommy Hunt was 1 of the best nights ever in the casino. Nowhere as even come close to that casino feeling did'nt ever matter if it was your first all-nighter or your 100th that casino magic made it all so special.

Dave Lomo (Hull)
Wigan Casino just the best ever.Like your 1st trip to disney florida.proud to have been lucky to experience it.will be there @35th in fact still intouch with M.Ashcroft of marsh green area great friend from 76>08

Frank Kirkham
The night when Richard realised he hadn't got a copy of Dean Parish at 8am and said "Sorry for the first time we won't be able to play the three before eight". I'd bought a UK label demo that night and I rushed to the stage chucked it up to Richard who put it on the decks and the tradition carried on unbroken.

Doug Gannon
Hitched to Wigan ,it was a long way to go,we used to go most Saturdays in the early years.The anticipation was what kept us standing on the roadside in Cambridge at 2 or 3 o'clock in the afternoon,waiting for a lift, it usually took three or four lifts to do the journey and sometimes it took 10 hours to get to the Casino but we still done it week after week.When we got there it was the sheer atmosphere and the sound of new records ,whatever they were ,we danced all night enjoying every last minute of it.All too soon morning came ,pints of milk from passing milk floats and the long hitch back to Cambridge, it sometimes took in excess of 12hours to get back ,but we still done it again.I still sit here listening to the music from then, along with all the other dance soul genres.

Stef Malajny
Back in 73 it seems I had the best car, a trusty Hillman Super Minx and my good buddy Jonah suggested a trip from Peterborough to Wigan casino, he knew I liked Comercial Motown and stuff like Jerry Williams and promised me we would here all that and more, his description of the beachcomber was like the diner in Happy days, it all sounded great.Yes the car made it and we went in the beachcomber, at that point I think Jonah may have fibbed a bit for his lift, my next experiance was getting lashed at by the bouncer for pushing in the queue , I think this was random etiqutte all through the Casinos history, when I finally got in there was this wall of heat that hit me wow, looking round I thought bit of a dump but eagerly waited for the Motown stuff, you guessed it, not to many by the Supremes and if there had been I reckon wouldnt have known them, sat on the balcony and was entranced by the dancers at the front, the best dancers were respected and given extra room, remember the guy in green and white hooped shirt, the black guy that looked like Arthur Ash and a brilliant girl dancer, they seemed to own the place.There were many good dancers there but it was those Dynamic guys that I wanted to dance like.Not too sure if I ever got that good but remember a year or two later Brian Rae was doing a blinding spot in Mr Ms and I was going hell for leather, the guy in the green and white shirt, think he was from Wolverhampton came up to have a mini dance comp.with me. it really made me feel so proud that he thought I was good enough to be considered to be put in my place.Met my wife on coach trip to the 5th Anniversary and then drifted away from scene for a few years.On my 50th Birthday decided to celebrate by booking Russ Winstanly and Dean Parrish for an event in my home town of Pterborough, a kinda Wigan revisited night, over 500 turned up and were blown away by Dean Parrish then Russ came on and pumped it up even further, finishing with the big 3, getting me grief with the caretakers but what the heck, there were people with tears in there eyes as they remembered. Russ and Dean also turned out to be two great guys and I wish Russ all the best with the 35th Anniversary and thank him for the most wonderful memoriesStef

stuart brackenridge/neil brackenridge
Hi russ we dont think we are built to play the part of bouncers in the new film about the casino but we could play old age pensioners trying to get into an allnighter wot do you think???

Paul Christopher James Fielding( Mallorca)
Some excellent memories from where many friendships were formed, a great big thank you to you and everyone involved for that. and to be lucky enough to be on stage when myself Sandy Holt and another person , Danced off the in the dance comp!( even though the best dancer in the world Andy Simpson ) was stood watching, What a feeling! looking out into the crowd, So many faces you couldnt see, The atmosphere, The heat, The smell, I stood there and I thought, thank you god I love you ! it was truely a stunningly wonderful moment in our young and developing lives, Thank you PCJF

julie allen ex stourport, b'ham now australia
hangin on stage with martin ellis and dave evison and taping all the sounds on my dodgy cassette recorder and even interviewing the exciters on it! Dancin, talkin, buyin and selling sounds. dancin and talkin , smiling alot. clappimg in unison and clapping in appreciation after a favourite sound had been played. Genuine souls all around. Being happy. most radical memory was on a really busy nite..breaking through from the beachcomber with about 20 others climbing through narrow passageways and holes to end up coming out in the casino by removing a panel underneath the stage bringing us out right onto the dance floor, putting our bags down and dancing as if nothing had happened...amazing how we made it in the dark...we just followed the pulsating beat!!!!!!!!! Never even thought about wigan ever ending, only had good thoughts. so sad when it did...a beautiful dream ended. So blessed to have been right in the heart of it all from the nite it opened.It was my life, I even worked in the music industry with r searling at RCA. made me cry reading all the comments on this site... Keep the faith forever.RIGHT ON..have a dance or 50 for me on the anniversary...

bernie kent ,liverpool
finding a copy of dennis dell ,better use your head on cbs demo. takin it to the casino and havin everyone in the cafe ,next door offering allkinds for it. think we sold it for £ kieth minsell me thinks? but wot a memory .the casino will live on 4ever in my heart.thanks for so many memories .

paula knowles. haslingden
only made it to wigan a few times just before it closed but the thrill of being part of it rushes back every time you listen to the music. cant wait for king georges on 27 sept,allways a great night but this one should be special.

Chrissie J
Some of the best nights of my young life. if memory serves Russ, you used to do a spot at the Rugby Club as well. Recently married and we had a soul night for our evening reception. Went to the Octogon 2 days before we married and saw you in the bar playing some of the oldies. We're both middle age but feel that northern soul is part of both of us, and we vist the Monaco soul nights whenever we can. Looking forward to the 20th. Listen to your show every Saturday. Thanks Russ.You've brought the young magic back to us old newly-weds.

Shaun Smith
Greatest night ever seeing the immaculate Jackie Wilson live on stage. The Casino that night was awesome and an unforgetable experience.

Geoff (USA)
Hay Eric, I woke up having a dream like that the other day. Maybe it was a nightmare, not really sure. It still feels like it was only a couple of weeks ago since I was last there.

Jimmy.N ( blackburn)
would give anything to go back just one night

Eric Lawton - 76-81
The tickle in the stomach as I got up on Saturday. Trying to get a few hours kip at teatime. Going buying Dextrosol Glucose tablets and cans of coke to smuggle in. Sticking to the carpet round Mr M's balcony where drinks had been spilled. All the lads stunk of Brut and the girls of Tabu perfume. Having a pie to eat one night in there, and 20 minutes later, bringing the damn thing back up again, with gastric acid coming out of my ears ! Passing a can ok coke round, sharing it with about 15 people. Waking up, 27 years later, and dreaming that Im back in there, on the dancefloor. And realising that the Council could have let us keep that wonderful club open for at least another 20 years. Ive never, ever missed anything, or anybody as much as Wigan. If I won the lottery, Id get hold of the original plans, buy a large patch of land in Wigan, and re-build it, just the way it was......Yes, even with toilets with no locks on the doors that wouldnt flush.

ice man loud claps waiting for the train from crewe to new street in sun glasses the morning after,oldies room .mozz,pilneck ,richard and jane.sam and bossley. were are they now......

just a mention to andy felts of bedford yeh i rememberthe beachcomber warm up what an atmosphere the weird paintings on the black walls and every one anticapating the come up god andy take me back to those crazy hazymind blowing nights...

Graham Boardman (Budgie)Bolton
Started at the casino in 1973 14 years of age the best days of my life the music,people,experince still lives on in my memory as it was only last week when Russ played the last 3 before 8 over and over we didnt want it to end but!hope you are all well who remember me see you at the 35th best regardsBudgie bolton

Diane Aspinall, Bolton
Working on a sat on Bolton market, just to make some money for the casino, it was one night i would never miss. What an experience, one that i will never forget. Northern soul is still a big part of my life, just as it was in 77

Shirley Bradshaw Preston
Boyfriend wouldn't let me go VaVa's but I managed to catch bus, train or cadge a lift to Wigan!...yeah, finished with him hahahaLoved the whole experience, queing, getting squashed! Dancing, smelly overcrowded loos, Mr M's, being chasd by drug squad...Beachcomber, baths...if I had to say fave bit, then it has to be the music..and still is..monthly or fortnightly get to northern nights, clean and sober tho! Hi to Stu buthcter (Ulverston) Remember Penny Farthing in Barrow! Brill memories..Keep The Faith

My fav memory isn't a one off kind of thing it,s really a memory of the every week event that was Wigan Casino.I guess you could call it a memory of a feeling-a feeling that began on a Friday afternoon after finishing work and that reached a crescendo half way down the hill from Wigan Wallgate on Saturday night.What a buzz.I wouldn't settle down to normal life until Tuesday of the following week then come Friday-off again.I don't suppose it was any different for anyone who went to the Casino at that time.Never mind The Beatles or "The Space Race" the Wigan Casino period was a time in a life not to be missed.I'm glad I was there.finally on a sad note,"Dance Brittania" showed a full screen close up of a young Tony Cox from Rufford/Ormskirk bustling his way into the Casino with his bag in hand.I believe Tony has passed on now but for me that,s a one off memory as we were good mates for many years until we lost touch.

theresa nolan,north wales
went every wkend from anglesey,with Gary and anne davies.on the train,meet people on the way up, in Bangor, Llandidno,c-bay,prestatyn,best time of my life.met some of them again in soul wkend 27th june,it was gr8.hope 2 get tickets 4 reunion and meet up with others from all over the country,use 2 sit at the bottom of the dj's.loved mr m,s 2.use 2 hate it when morning came,back 2 reality,just lived 4 next wkend.sweet memories.

Graham Walker
The exclusive feel of the music, never any trouble - ever !!! Nothing like it before or since.

Terry Connor Blackburn
Just Loving You,I Want To Go Back There Again,No One There,Do I Love You....Indeed I Do KTF XXX

Alan Bratt, Perth, Western Australia
The first time I went to The Casino (to an Oldies allnighter in 1975)the heat, the smell of Brut & talc, and the instant atmosphere, and then the last "PROPER" allnighter in Sept.1981 (The 3 before 8), and not being able to get off the dance floor...and so many more fantastic memories - thanks Russ.

Karen (Wigan)
No-one can replace the Casino but Its about time Wigan authorities listened to the people of Wigan and surrounding areas and build a dancehall for all dancers and styles. make Wigan the best place to be AGAIN

diane leigh

simon leigh

Root, you are self deluded or have no sense of history one word might work to dispell this rose tinted memoires TWISTED WHEEL sorry thats two.

Carole Barnsby

Dancemaster/Daz from Manchester
CASINO CLUB i will never ever forget you!! sleep tight

I'm a teenager, but my mum went to Wigan Casino, she tells me all about it, I wish I could have been there. I love Northern Soul and Motown and this photos are fantastic. You don't get clubs like Wigan Casino these days.

Geoff (Houston Texas)
Picture 6 is the sadest thing I've ever seen. How about posting some new ones from the fire Russ, I'd like that. Wigan Casino haunts my thought constantly, guess it allways will. I remember the first time. Driving to Wigan not having a clue where in Wigan the Casino was located. Something must have been guiding me because we went round a roundabout, turned up a dark deserted road and was confronted by hundreds of people blocking off the street. Scared the hell out of me. Does anyone know why the place and the music was and still is so powerful in shaping peoples lives?

Nancy Dixon
I can't even begin to explain why some 30 years later I still get excited thinking about Wigan, no matter how hard I tried to keep my hair dry, within seconds of hitting the dance floor it was wet through. I used to hate it when going up the stairs about 5.00 it was getting light because I never wanted the night to end. The feeling of getting in was brilliant especially after you had been pushed up against the doors and your feet didn't even touch the ground. The ladies loos were the worst in the world though, tiny and stinky and sweaty! I want to go back there again..........


wow l dont remember the casino`s main dance hall looking this grand, lovely picture too many great memories to actually pin down 1 specific memory, the atmosphere, music played mostly on a chronic sound system, chewing gum on the floor, condensation/nicotine marks on your clothes next mornig, the crowd and the friends l made are all part of happy memories for me. If l have to pick 1 memory that still gets me tittering is the time Poma had his hair dyed this post box red crazy colour(non permenent),and came dressed in red shoes and yellow trousers, he looked like a swan vesta, anyone who knew Poma will know how he used to sweat, so next mornig after the night before, he emerges into the daylight looking a rite ode sight,his hair dye had run all down his neck and face and his T-shirt had a bright red collar , funny that was. think after that he stuck to nateral.

The first time I danced there, I was absolutely petrified...seeing some of the fantastic dancers !!!!

tim williams
never went was a punk in deeside clwyd, got in to scooters, now 45 and love the scene,live in chester, keep the faith,turning my heartbeat up

Annette Liley
I remember queing at the front of the casino remembering my false birthday, dancing tony burns, and the two girls who always danced on stage with him, cant remember their names,good times, came across this accidentally now living in Australia.

Liz and Hugh Curtis (Switzerland)
The 'Heart of Soul'can never be emulated.Luckily we were in the right place at the right time.A totally atmospheric and magical venue.A massive thanks to Russ,Mike Walker,Gerry Marshall and the enthusiastic Soul Jocks who made it happen.See you at the Casino's 35th Anniversary in Wigan.

when are tickets on sale for next casino cafe night?

cleaning that floor with best dancer at wigan vernon enjoyed doing that after we finished cleaning. before anyone came in had dance floor to ourselves then everyone started to come through in to main hall. one of the weirdest things was walking through to do the cleaning was seeing the rockers below us they would have their thing before the soulies for the night. still going venues every week still get that buzz the music is a drug in its self thats all i need to keep on keeping on KTF

Terry Hall [Blackpool]
Waiting in the queue, that long journey home, swapping stories,seeing which records had been purchased,swapped etc.

Ronny Wynne-Jones
I am on sat on the stage in picture four !!! What brilliant memories of those times.I DJ on a saturday night in my local ( The Parade ) In Llandudno playing soul and motown!!anyone remember me ?

Phil Dingley Halesowen 52
I used to travel from the Midlands to the Casino, great nights, great music, I still go to local Northern nights at Juncion 11 soul club in the Midlands but it will never be as god as the Casino, keep up the good work Russ,KTF Phil dingley

Chloe Neal from Norway
So many friends,wonderful memories and the finest Northern Soul ever.Thanks, Russ for introducing me to a superb Scene that's still a major part of my life.

Eric Owen Southport
I was in heaven.Amazing having the Casino and Mecca so close to home.Wonderful nights and friends.The enthusiasm and music will never die.Keep the Faith!

Roger Allen
Kepp the faith used to travel in 1976 from Thame Oxfordshire to wigan on regular times wow what a era now 48 sill the best venue in my life

Warwick ex-Casio-er
Junior Walker: best live act; absolutely brilliant. Best JW track: "Walk in the Night". Great show on Mar-1 again Russ.

Iwas taken to wigan as a young lad by my brother and got hooked for life, since then i have gained friends far and near and hold treasured memories,and still go to venues around the uk,THANKS to you all and now my children and grandchildren will "fly our flag" and keep it alive,and also make true friends wthin the northern soul (family)keep on keeping on.ITS NOW TIME TO PUT ON MY BOWLING SHIRT DANCE SHOES AND GET TO THE VENUE!!!

Claire and Ian Gill Standish Wigan
Sometimes sit in the new Casino Cafe and daydream while looking at the display of Casino Memorabilia.Wigan Revisited was an inspired idea Russ.Great to hear you're holding the 35th Anniversary at the Casino Cafe,Grand Arcade again.We'll be there on September 20th.When will the tickets be on sale?Love your show.

David Owen
My favourite memory was at Christmas 79-80 I think and,I`m Just A Love Machine - By The Miracles,and there were Three Lines of Four Stompers dancing to this..this was my favourite thought I remember about Wigan Casino !

i moved to wigan a few years ago and was working in a pub were i met harry green,only wish i could have chated longer with him he was a renound guy around yhe wigan area and always had a story to tell god bless him rip harry.

Cockney johnny.
I moved from Surrey in 1971 up to Mansfield in Nottingham where Northern Soul is a religion and is still belting away as strong as ever. The Casino was paradise for those who wanted to bop and slip discs during dodgy back drops all night and when we came out it was a fresh bowling shirt and off to Blackpool Mecca all dayer.I got to the Torch, Cleethorpes pier,Nottingham Palais all dayer, Samanthas in Sheffield and countless one nighters. I was so fit i could do the London Marathon easy in those great days .Mansfield stillhosts weekly Northern gigs and i hope it goes on for years to come .p.s.I still have my bag that i used for Wigan etc. still covered in the old badges. Take care all.

Louise Jackson Newcastle
If only we could return for one more unbeatable Nighter.It was all about the people,the music and the dancing.Wigan Revisited last August captured much of the atmosphere.Please put on another one Russ.

i now live in Bulgaria but my heart is still with northern its the love of my life it brings me alive even now all these years later xxx

alan entwistle
the very best times of my life keep the faith

Sam Hall (Portsmouth)
You are so right Mark!The worst thing you could do on a stuffy summer night was go outside for a breather.When you walked back in it was like an oven......but a very friendly oven!

Waliking up the stairs after seeing Ma`s happy face on the till and harry the doorman and hearing the music muffled then as you open the doors and the atmosphere hit youlike a smack in the face the music the heat the buzz. DO YOU REMEMBER THAT? I WILL ALWAYS until i hang up my dance shoes. Mark B

Julian Rourke (Nee Haydock)
Hi Russ. Living in Chorley it was a 20-minute bus ride to the Casino. Best memories are Martha Reeves' reaction to getting slow-clapped in '79, surveying the scene from the Main Room balcony at the 6th Anniversary, while Better Use Your Head made my hair stand on end, buying my first pair of Spencers (which I still own - just wish they fitted me!), and a wednesday night midweek session in 1980 when Hi-Tension were on stage. You played the Police - 'Can't stand Losing You' and I had the floor to myself. Also the final Nighter when we all staged a protest sit-in at eight-fifteen, then left at eight-thirty with tears streaming down our faces. Happy times!

Neil Watson Blackpool
Good Dancing Music from DJ's who knew what to play to keep the floor going.

alan martindale chorley
unique...even (I think it was)the Tempations were amazed by it all, as their massive suited frames slinked along the balcony at the allnighter. Me, Ped and Ste L were in dreamland. Thanks!

Russ Winstanley Wigan
Hi Andy,we initially opened the Beachcomber when we only started at around 2am to get the crowds off Station Road.DJs were Alan Cain and Bri Rigby who moved to Mr Ms with the late Kenny Spencer.Lynne and Chris also served breakfasts til the Baths were discovered nearby!It stopped when we opened at 12.Lofty, the signing in book disappeared after a few months when the Police insisted everyone had to fill in an official application form and generally be a member 48 hrs prior to visiting.Steve,used to love working at Barrow's Penny Farthing club

kim in lytham
enjoyed saturdays travelling from burnley looking at the pictures brings back the good memories at the casino

Andy Felts; Bedford
I agree with Steve from barrow, trouble is nothing was ever as good again we were all spoilt!! Does any one remember the beachcomber where we all gathered before getting in, that was stopped for some reason. Great music, great people and no agro thats what pulled us all some 200 miles north almost every weekend. Thanks to the North.

steve bennett .barrow
all i want 2 say best years of my life

Hi do you know who has the signing in book from the first night?Would love to find out my nr.Peter

Susan Wait
I Did not go to Wigan Casino but i love the music love the show Russ from Susan from XFM from Ashton-u-Lyne Happy New Year XXXXX

rob v
spent many great nights at wigan gone but never forgotten

Debbie Fowler Accrington
The photos reminded me of all the wonderful people I met and great music I danced to in the mid seventies.The memories will stay with me for ever.The Casino started my love of Soul music.Incredible.

Chris Walford in Glasgow
After some difficult trips by car to Wigan,we regularly organised coaches from Scotland on a monthly basis.Set off Saturday tea-time and got back Sunday lunch absolutely shattered!Loved it when Russ appeared in Edinburgh,Aberdeen and Dundee.He always packed the place.Going to the Casino was the best 6 years of my life and I'm still on the Scene.Brilliant music and friends.Superb Show.

Jim Davies from Croston
Tried most of the famous venues in the North including the Highland Room,Morecambe Pier and Carlton and Stoke's Torch but none of them was a patch on the Casino. More discoveries and much busier than anywhere else and also ran 4 nights a week.Unbeatable and Russ kept it true to the proper Northern Soul Sound.

Tom and Judith in South Africa
Really wish we had a time machine and could re-visit the wonderful Casino.The dancing,atmosphere,smell and heat.So many life-long friendships made and still kept.Thanks for starting it all Russ.So many people owe you so much for eight soulful years.Have a great Christmas and New Year.

Yvonne in Clitheroe
Used to tell my Mum I was staying at a mates house so that I could stay out all night!Brilliant music,memories and friends.Still go to a lot of the local soul nights but the Casino really was the BEST !Cried at the last night and never thought I'd get over it.Love the show.

peter from southport
I had to lie to Mrs Woods on the main desk about my age when applying for my first memmbership in 1976,it was just before my 14th birthday to see Gloria Jones.only missed 2or3 niters after that.Casino all night Saturday...The Ritz all day Sunday...phew..the balcony in Mr M's was the top dormitory.Remember that you girls from Bangor ?

Tony and Pam Salford
Used to travel on the train from Manchester and get off at Ince because they wouldn't check if you had a ticket!Spent a wonderful youth at the Heart of Soul where we first met.Still have most of our record collection and the same wonderful friends.Love the programme.Much better than any of the other stations.

ian ,blackbur
i n picture five sat on stage,great days,from wheel,torch,wigan and today,ktf

brian from oldham
oldham cats whiskers till 12then onto wigan casino the weekends were to short what a night neverforget

Alan at Ormskirk
Luckily didn't have too far to travel with my mates yo the Mecca and Casino.Your photographs brought all those great days back.Brilliant to have had the best ever Northern Soul venues on our doorstep.Still love the music and visit the local nights.Now a major part of my life.

Dawn from Darwen
First went to an Alldayer in Darwen then Burnley Cat's Whiskers where my favourite DJs were Russ and Ginger.Finally made it to the Casino and,wow,it was in a league of it's own.All the DJs played to the Dancers who had a big input into the success of a New Spin.Great dance floor,DJs and music.Always be the No.1 Please play The Poppies from 1974.Thanks Dawn and Martin.

Alex and Mick in Australia
Just re-living lots of brilliant nights at the Casino.Been to clubs everywhere since but none have ever had such an unbeatable atmosphere and top music.Also loved the oldies room Mr.Ms.Got a great Northern Scene now in Australia.You should come and visit Russ.Thanks for playing our request.

Sharron from Lytham
many nights spent dancing on the "practice floor" upstairs on M's balcony and like everyone else the baths in the morning.Still going out with most of the people I knew back then and still enjoying the best music in the world

Terry Ashton from Dublin
Remember seeing Tommy Hunt,Edwin,Jnr.Walker,Betty Wright and Elgins live at the Heart of Soul.Wonderful days but luckily we've got the memories,love of the music,soul nights to go to and all the friends we made and still have.P.S.Love the show

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