SHOW NOTES: I don’t know how you organize yourself, but for years I have relied making lists. Right now I am walking around with a pocket full of paper, mostly illegible chicken scratch. I started using my iPhone to keep track of my thoughts and the combined list of my electronic and paper resources has grown so much I thought I had better bring some of them to you before I get lost in all my ramblings.
My first note is almost three months old. It is a follow-up to an email from a listener in England who asked about the Wigan Casino in the midlands. Looking at the club’s history is like jumping into a time-warp. The Wigan was the place to go for a dance club in the 70s. The doors first opened at 2am on September 23, 1973. While we in the U.S. were wasting time on disco, the DJs at the Wigan pulled vinyl soul from the 50 and 60s, without being particularly about where it came from as long as they had the â€˜Wigan soundâ€™. It had to fill the huge 1940s ballroom which could hold over 1200 smart dressed members. An ante room known as Mr. Mâ€™s was another dance area that brought the total capacity of the venue to well over 2,000.
People came from all over England and at the height of its popularity in 1975 the Wigan had over 100,000 members. The final night came in late 1981, after many of the best-known DJs had jumped ship and the manger Mike Walker committed suicide. The club lives on in the minds of people who were there and many who were not, kept alive through a strong northern soul music movement in England. Numerous fan groups flourish on the internet, especially in MySpace and Facebook. If you want to know more about the Wigan look for a copy of For Dancers Only: the Story of the Wigan Casino by Chris Hunt or check the following websites for more on the club and the music.
- Wigan Casino Video
- Souled Out – Movie about the Wigan
- Northern Soul Online
- East Van Soul Club
- Seaside Soul Club
Other Links of Interest to Scooterists
- Blue Smoke Studio, is scooter blog, a mash-up of humor, art and scooter musings by Kevin Montanaro. He is in Vermont, originally from New York and has some gorgeous pen and ink drawings of classic scooters.
- Sweet Honey, Bitter Lemons; travels through Sicily is a book about Matthew Fortâ€™s odyssey and his passion for the food, scenery, and Sicilians. It was a nice follow-up to our trip to Sicily.
- Last week was the Indian Summer Rally here in Richmond and my P200 sidecar rig drew some serious scooter envy. There were meet-ups, rides in the rain, a gymkhana, duck-pin bowling and a bunch of door prizes mostly donated by Scoot Richmond, Check out the pictures in the gallery section of the website or at the 7hills scooter club site.