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Birmingham Nightclubs of the Past - Memories

ray c

proper brummie kid
Clubs I remember in the 60s, Monday nights, the West End, Tuesday, was the Locarno upstairs, help, what was the club called, you had to be over 18 with an id card to get in!! Wednesday was The Moat House, we were really grown up when we went there, Friday was the Locarno, upstairs or the big dance hall, then onto the best club in town, The Rum Runner, it had just opened in the mid 60s. Saturday was a mix of where we fancied, then a curry at the Bombay restaurant Bristol St. its still there now, or the Kohinoor almost next door. Plus there was a mix of The Opposite Lock, The Cedar, Elbow Room. Went to The Plaza, kings Heath? the one at Rookery? Handsworth, saw a lot of Liverpool bands there, The Brum Cavern Club was really popular that was before it was the Gary Owen? Small Heath. If we heard about a new club opening up we gave it ago. Did we ever have a night in? very occasionally!!!Do I think we had the best times then? yes I really do, everything was there for the first time, the music, the clubs, freedom, Curry houses!!! as people say Queen Victoria, finally died in the 1960s.
 

Richarddye

master brummie
Clubs I remember in the 60s, Monday nights, the West End, Tuesday, was the Locarno upstairs, help, what was the club called, you had to be over 18 with an id card to get in!! Wednesday was The Moat House, we were really grown up when we went there, Friday was the Locarno, upstairs or the big dance hall, then onto the best club in town, The Rum Runner, it had just opened in the mid 60s. Saturday was a mix of where we fancied, then a curry at the Bombay restaurant Bristol St. its still there now, or the Kohinoor almost next door. Plus there was a mix of The Opposite Lock, The Cedar, Elbow Room. Went to The Plaza, kings Heath? the one at Rookery? Handsworth, saw a lot of Liverpool bands there, The Brum Cavern Club was really popular that was before it was the Gary Owen? Small Heath. If we heard about a new club opening up we gave it ago. Did we ever have a night in? very occasionally!!!Do I think we had the best times then? yes I really do, everything was there for the first time, the music, the clubs, freedom, Curry houses!!! as people say Queen Victoria, finally died in the 1960s.
Wow Ray a wonderful list of memories!
Loved the Bombay, Plaza,Locarno etc.,
Yes they were great days lots of fun and not too much trouble ( most of the time).
 

ray c

proper brummie kid
Absolutely correct A Sparks!
Thanks for the reminder guys, glad you knew where i went. Always kept me bus fare (night service) in one pocket of me coat, and in the top pocket was a ten bob note, at the end of the night, most nights anyway, i walked to The Rum Runner and had a bet on the roulette wheel. (Well 10 Bob was a lot of money to an apprentice) win or lose home i went, some times i had my night paid for, others well. Richard, the first time i went to the Bombay i was about 16/17, a bombay curry and chicken leg? and rice was 10 bob, off the bone was 10/6 pence! it went everywhere, shirt cuffs were covered in curry. Happy days.
 
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ray c

proper brummie kid
Thanks for the reminder guys, glad you knew where i went. Always kept me bus fare (night service) in one pocket of me coat, and in the top pocket was a ten bob note, at the end of the night, most nights anyway, i walked to The Rum Runner and had a bet on the roulette wheel. (Well 10 Bob was a lot of money to an apprentice) win or lose home i went, some times i had my night paid for, others well. Richard, the first time i went to the Bombay i was about 16/17, a bombay curry and chicken leg? and rice was 10 bob, off the bone was 10/6 pence! it went everywhere, shirt cuffs were covered in curry. Happy days.
 

Peter1

master brummie
i went to the Ritz kings heath and locarno and enjoyed the night life then pity the younger kids dont have the friends we had and the fun that will never be repeated as those times are sadly past
My sister, Caroline used to go to the Ritz in Kings Heath. Think I was taken with her once, younger brother not really wanted hanging around, lol. Seem to remember a big stairs with some machine at bottom of it? Anyway I was exploring the machine and got an electric shock from a cable going into machine - should have stayed with sister..
 

sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
Oh, and on YouTube there is a video of a South African electrician showing how you could run a three phase electric motor from a domestic single phase supply. Three problems - it doesn't have the same power or torque, you need a capacitor to determine in which direction the motor will rotate, and the motor does tend to get a little hot when running.

In the comments below, someone had said:- Don't try this a home, try it in somebody else's home. I thought that was rather funny too. :)

Maurice :cool:
 

Lesley Kennedy

New Member
Hi Stitcher - I have just looked up an old diary of mine dated 1964. Seems like I got my dates wrong, it was 1964 not 1963 that I stayed in the hotel. It was called Portland House Hotel at that date. I think it might have become the Rainbow House Hotel and then the Rainbow Casino. I stand to be corrected if I am wrong, after all it was some years ago :rolleyes: Judy
Hi I looked after Harry before he died
 

Peter1

master brummie
I seem to recall The Tin Can. Think it was at the bottom of Bradford St. Rock music. Great draw was out of date 'can' of beer which was sold cheaply!! Tasted ok, until next day. Must have been well out of date, lol.
 

bullring boy

master brummie
I think "The Opposite Lock" was a play on words. It was partly a reference to motor racing, the owner's obsession -and very trendy at the time (was there a Birmingham Grand Prix, partly along Smallbrook Ringway at about that time?) and partly as a reference to its situation, on Canal Street Basin- opposite a lock! I was too young to go there but my elder sister and her boyfriend did and it was the cool place to be. I did go to the Locarno in Hurst St as a boy (again because my elder sister and her boyfriend went dancing there.) it was all a bit too grown up for me, but for anyone still researching that period of the early sixties and what the Locarno was like, there is a scene at the end of the film version of "Billy Liar" with Tom Courtney and Julie Christie, which takes place in a Locarno ballroom. That captures the atmosphere perfectly.
 

bullring boy

master brummie
I don't know whether you'd call "Mothers" in Erdington High Street a nightclub. I used to go there in the 1960s. John Peel would DJ and introduce groups like Canned Heat, the original Fleetwood Mac and Tyranasaurus Rex.

The club was above some shops and would get so packed the condensation poured down the matt black walls.

I can also remember my Mom telling me off for going to a Blues club above the pub at the corner of Station Street and Hill Street. I never thought to ask her how she knew it was frequented by "Ladies of the Night" (I think the term my mother actually used was "Old Tails").
I think the blues club you're referring to is "Henry's." Black Sabbath played there to a record audience- not exactly blues, but a Birmingham legend nonetheless!
 

wally

proper brummie kid
My memory (which is now becoming hazy in my dotage) is that the Opposite Lock Club was opposite the locks of Gas Street Basin. The owner also had a car steering wheel hanging on the wall at the back of the bar.

For such a small cosy club we used to get some well known entertainment personalities come and perform. The owner must have had connections! There was no Smallbrook Ringway when I used to go in the fifties.

There was also lunchtime dancing at the Locano.

There was also the Sombrero Coffee Bar opposite the Hippodrome, which had a private illegal gambling club upstairs, where members had their own key to get in - so I am told!

Living was good then, no thugs about at night and girls were safe to walk, on their own, through the city centre. Buses stopped running at midnight.
 
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