Joy James

Musters Club West Bridgford

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Joy James    10

Can anyone recall the Musters Club in West Bridgford? It was THE in place from the mid 60's up to the mid 70's. The guy that owned it was Norman Harvey and he used to get so drunk he would order everyone out as early as 10 ' clock. He was a monster but folk kept coming back to see if he could get worse and he did!

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Beefsteak    258

I walked in (Up the stairs next to the stage.) to their 'Sunday club' To hear "Pattie Boulay" singing, as I turned to look she was bent over the edge of the stage warbling in my ear 'ole.

Very nice!!

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mick2me    2,950

I wonder if the W.B. Harvey's Bar was named after him?

(HB later moved to the Racecourse at Colwick)

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Joy James    10

Yes! Harveys bar was at the stadium and was run by his eldest son. He had a younger son Charles who sadly died very young of a drugs overdose.

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denshaw    1,186

The Musters was a nice place years ago, i remember the talent shows on Sunday lunch and the resident singer Peter Lee.

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stiggymills    0

Yes I remember working a s DJ there, Rex Harvey started it as a small club in what was the upstairs restaurant.

It must have been early 80's. It was the first place to get a 12 o'clock licence. Very busy, noise caused residents to complain and it moved to the dog track, again very busy. Great memories.

Regards Stuart Mills

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siddha    511

Yes! Harveys bar was at the stadium and was run by his eldest son. He had a younger son Charles who sadly died very young of a drugs overdose.

Just come across this site. I remember Charles very well he attended Clarendon College in about 1965-66 they were interesting times and Charles enjoyed all that could be interesting.

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poohbear    1,274

Charles Harvey rings a bell...tall lad curly hair.Pretty sure he used to go in the L shaped room coffee bar.I heard in later years that he had died young.

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Cliff Ton    5,492

Never went to the Musters, but I heard but how the club nights became very successful. Eventually they became too successful for their own good, and the local residents complained about the noise, traffic, inconvenience etc and as a result the hotel lost its licence to hold such events. And since that was were its money came from, once there were no more club nights, the hotel was not profitable.

In its later years it became something like a Social Security hostel, which may have come as a shock to the residents who thought they'd got rid of a problem when the club nights closed down.

The site is now a massive warden-aided complex for old people....who are probably a lot quieter than the previous inhabitants.

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banjo48    888

Charlie Harvey used to hang at the boat club a fair bit, don't like to speak ill of the dead, but he was a real nutter ! spoilt to death, his dad bought him a new Reliant 3 wheeler when he was sixteen and he gave me and my mate a lift in it, he was showing off and under the influence of something, going so fast he went straight over a traffic island and nearly killed us all !

The Reliant almost exploded as it hit a road sign.

He was a real hell raiser and into all and every thing, shame he died so young but non of us were particularly surprised when he did.

Think his parents were separated and his dad tried to give him everything he asked for. We used to go to the Musters after the boat some nights.

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mick2me    2,950

Around 1970 the DJ at 'The Boat club' was a black guy who played quite a bit of Rock & Roll.

One track I particularly remember...

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rexyrex    16

Joy James started this thread and yes, I remember you. I am Rex Harvey and I am fascinated that you remember my Dad as a monster! A lot of the drunkenness was faked to keep the folks amused but I reckon your recollection of him closing early is mistaken - he was far too interested in the turnover to do that.

Anyway a lot of the recollections are correct. It was the Musters Hotel and the site was sold (together with the adjacent West Bridgford High School) to Rushcliffe Borough Council in 1996. They sold it on the same day to the De Montfort Housing Association who built 88 warden-aided retirement flats.

It was not a club but a pub with a big room - originally built as a function room in 1966 - which was granted a "full on" licence (a rare thing in those days when the 3 main local breweries - now all gone - operated a cartel). Norman's baby-grand piano was installed and a bit of an amplifier and soon Cliff Worrall became the compere/vocalist with various semi-volunteer artists. That's where Joy came in. She sang in the American jazz/blues idiom and was the most accomplished of the early acts. Pretty soon Norman started to hire paid acts as top-of-the-bill, mostly comedians, but initially only Monday to Thursday when they were cheap. It became the Variety Lounge and was open 7 nights a week and Sunday lunchtime. He dubbed it "The Free House with the Free Show". The room more than doubled in size in 1970. It soon became packed out and the show evolved and became increasingly professional. The vintage era was 1971 when the compere/comedian was Roger L. Idiot. He was from Spondon and I once asked him if he regretted choosing that stage name, he replied "It's kep me from workin' at Celanese these years".

Most people I meet who can recall going there remember the Sunday lunchtime talent competition which ran for years. It was actually a bit of an irrelevance to us in business terms but it attracted a younger crowd.

From about 1972 there was a small admission charge and it continued like that till 1981, most of that time it closed at 10:30 - the midnight licence came in about 1979. I ran it then as Norman lived in Spain. Charles was my older brother and yes he was into anything. The Reliant was a 3-wheeler van just like Trotter's Trading but in red. I inherited it. He was 23 when he died of sleeping pills but heroine was the root cause.

So for 14 years in total the Variety Lounge continued alongside the 100 bedroom budget hotel. It was open every night (except Christmas Day) and some big name acts appeared too on a one-night special basis, but not the Stones. Lenny Henry, Freddie & the Dreamers, The Bachelors, Gerry & the Pacemakers and, best of all Bernard Manning; not PC today but the man was a genius. It couldn't happen today but the backing musicians were paid professionals all hired by us. Austin Payne, Bert Hartley, Gordon Verne & Bob Taggart as lead, Sooty, Robbie et al. Comperes Peter Lea, Jackie Brown, Chris Peters. And many years resident singer Roro Terry, a Rumanian lady that reminded you of Sophia Loren. Belting out MacArthur Park was something else.

In the end the cabaret became uneconomic and the room was converted into Harvey's Bar, a sort of hi tech disco/fun pub with a difference, which opened in July 1982. That's where the forum contributor Stuart Mills came in - and he was a major part of the success. Hi Stuart. The queue to get in was legendary and mostly engineered by me! Yes it was too successful and the cars and people wandering off happily at midnight did not blend in very well in the neighbourhood. So it was shut by court order after exactly one year. The number of employees of the business was cut instantly from 80 to 12 but we survived. The economic downturn meant there wasn't much accommodation business for the hotel from out-of-town contractors etc. so the only market was Housing Benefit claimants. Before long the number of bedrooms had doubled and it was the largest hotel (in terms of the number of rooms) in the whole East Midlands.

So the only way that Rushcliffe could get rid of us was to buy us out. Not by Compulsory Purchase - they didn't have the power for that - but by simple £££s.

Harvey's Bar was recreated in the large room in the Greyhound Stadium building at Colwick (no housing nearby). It ran from 1984 till 1987 and got packed, particularly on Sunday nights. The final straw of that was when the constabulary set up road blocks on each of the 3 routes away from it and breathalysed everyone.

Oh happy days.

And how could I forget to mention the local hero acts - Jimmy Crawford, Dave Betton and Carlo Santana

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Cliff Ton    5,492

Well done, rexyrex

I've don't think I've ever seen one post answer so many questions and solve so many mysteries in one go !

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The Pianoman    982

This brings back a memory of the past. I should start by pointing out that my Father was Rex Harvey but NOT Rex Harvey of the Musters Hotel. My father set up in the motor trade with his own business and at the time we didn't have telephone. We had a telephone installed and BT (or whatever it was then) gave us the number 68591, Langley Mill exchange. After the phone was installed we were perpetually getting phone calls asking for the Musters Hotel. There were also other phone calls asking more specifically for Rex Harvey at the Musters Hotel. My mother was starting to have kittens wanting to know what me dad had been doing at The Musters Hotel as he had no reason whatsoever to be there. After a while I had the bright idea to look in the phone book (this is all long before the internet or computers existed) and find out what the phone number at the Musters Hotel was, and lo, and behold, not only was the Landlords name Rex Harvey the same as me dads but the phone number was also the same 68591 but of course with a Nottingham dialing code. There was some relief and also considerable amusement when we found out what was going on. Is this what's called a coincidence - or two?

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siddha    511

Well done Rexyrex you have laid a few ghosts to rest.

I remember Charles, your brother from when he attended Clarendon College in the mid 60s he was on the Catering Course and a popular guy.

I also knew him around town and people need to forget the Reliant and remember Charles for the nice chap he was.

I previously ran into Christine one of your cousins, now living in Leicestershire, this reminded me of the Musters School.

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The Pianoman    982

It gets worse. My father Rex Harvey NOT of the Musters Hotel also had a brother named Charles although he was know by his second name Stan.

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siddha    511

Yeah!!! Well Stan Harvey that's a whole other story............................

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rexyrex    16

I am sure your recollection is good except that the phone number was Nottingham 813130. I just tried it - it has not been re-issued!

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