The WIGAN CASINO was a nightclub in
England . Operating
between 1973 and 1981, it became known as a primary venue for
northern soul music. It carried forward the legacy created by clubs
such as the
Twisted Wheel in
Manchester , the Chateau Impney
Droitwich ), the Catacombs (
Wolverhampton ) and the Golden Torch
Stoke-on-Trent ). It remains one of the most famous clubs
in Northern England.
This England, a TV documentary about the
Wigan Casino, was filmed in
Russ Winstanley and Dave Nowell wrote a history of the club,
Soul Survivors, The
Wigan Casino Story, which was published in 1996. A
stage play by Mick Martin about the
Wigan Casino years, Once upon a
time in Wigan, debuted in February 2003 at the
Contact Theatre in
Manchester, and has since toured nationally.
* 1 History
* 2 See also
* 3 References
* 4 Further reading
* 5 External links
Wigan Casino was the name of the last incarnation of a
called the Empress. Local DJ
Russ Winstanley and
Wigan Casino manager
Mike Walker approached lease owner Gerry Marshall to run all-nighters.
Walker brought Winstanley, who had a DJ set at the local rugby club,
to the Casino Club. At 2am on Sunday, 23 September 1973,
stared for its first ever
Northern Soul all-nighter, with Winstanley
as the DJ. After Winstanley and his helper Ian Fishwick, Kev Roberts
was the third DJ at Casino all-nighters, who was quickly joined by
Richard Searling Soul performers that performed there include Jackie
Edwin Starr and
Junior Walker .
Young people from all over the UK regularly attended
Wigan Casino to
hear the latest northern soul artists and to dance. There were long
queues to get in. The second dance floor, Mr M's, stayed open until
06:00 and played oldies songs from a variety of DJs including Dave
Evison and Steve Whittle. All-nighters genenerally ended with three
songs that became known as the 3 before 8: "Time Will Pass You By" by
Tobi Legend , "Long After Tonight Is All Over" by
Jimmy Radcliffe ,
and "I\'m on My Way " by
Dean Parrish . Parrish is still active on the
northern soul circuit.
Wigan Casino's 500th Allnighter was held on Saturday 16 May 1981 -
12:00 to 08:00.
Wigan Council owned the building and wanted to extend the nearby
Civic Centre, but short of funding, it never went ahead. The club was
closed on 6 December 1981; that final night of
Wigan Casino in its
northern soul state was DJ'd by Winstanley, and the 3 before 8 were
played three times consecutively at the end of the night. The crowd
refused to leave, so according to Winstanley, to "break this spell of
hysteria" he picked a 7" at random from his box and played that. This
Wigan Casino song became one of the most famous northern soul
songs of all time, Frank Wilson 's "
Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) ".
Annual reunions are held in
Wigan hosted by the original DJs.
The site is now occupied by the Grand Arcade shopping centre, which
pays homage to the club with its Casino Café.
* Casino Classics: Chapter One
* ^ "BBC
Manchester - Clubbing -
Wigan Casino". Bbc.co.uk.
* ^ "
Wigan Casino". Chrishunt.biz. 1973-09-23.
* ^ "I\'m On My Way". Grand-arcade.co.uk. 2014-06-20. Retrieved
* Shaw, Dave. Casino. Bee Cool Publishing, ISBN 0-9536626-2-4