Joy James

Musters Club West Bridgford

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Yes Charles did catering at Clarendon - when he occasionally turned up. Later he styled himself as a car dealer and he did do the odd good deal. But he got involved with a London crowd and was forever driving uninsured or with bald tyres. Mother became a nervous wreck with plod always ringing the doorbell.

On one of his many "reform attempts" the folks took him off to Palma where, by coincidence, most of the cast of Coronation Street were staying in the same hotel. He took up with Jennifer Moss who played Lucille Hewitt. She was 29 years old but played a character of about 15. Anyway when they were living together in Manchester they bought an old Rolls Royce with her money as one of his deals. After a row he drove off in it and she called the cops to say he had nicked it. So they pulled him and locked him up. Though she called back to say it was just a domestic altercation they would not drop it and charged him. So it finished up in Lincoln Crown Court with Dad funding a very expensive QC. Of course the case was thrown out but my abiding memory is the entire front page of the Daily Mirror taken up with a shot of the two of them leaving court, arm in arm. They didn't remain together long but Jennifer did a graveside eulogy at his funeral in true "actress mode".

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When we lived in Langar when first married, the telephone number assigned to us previously belonged to a defunct chicken processing company. Can't tell you how many folks rang us before Christmas to order their fowl.

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It was a nightmare at times when I had to allocate numbers to new customer orders for phones, when I worked for the PO (BT) in the 70s.

In those days of under-investment, some exchanges ran very low on new numbers so we were forced to recycle numbers. The rule was that there had to be at least an 18-month gap to allow the phone book to be updated after a line was ceased, but it didn't always work out. Which resulted in some poor soul getting calls for the people who previous had the number.

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

I know nothing!! It was a "Crossroads" reference - Stan Harvey character played by Edward Clayton/Terry Molloy 1970-1987

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Remember the club very well. One other act not mentioned (among many others) "The Harmonica Gang"

Appeared on the "talent show" myself once in a duo. Got a couple of appearances on a Sunday evening out of it.

Another very talented act I remember were called "Sparky & Me" Excellent, they would wipe the floor with some the current X factor dross.

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My favourite professional comedian who appeared regularly in the 70s was Ian "Sludge" Lees. A black-country lad with a mop of curly hair who dressed in a multi-coloured patchwork satin suit. And he's still going! Has a website now of course.

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Best topic on here for years, an old fellow I knew once told me when he was working on the demolition of the black boy hotel they sold the bar to the musters hotel?

Rex fact or fiction?

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Living in Rushcliffe in 1969/71 we often went to the Musters. I recall walking there from our flat on Wilford Lane, wearing my purple hot pants and over the knee platform boots. There was a male solo singer who was always on. His set began with.....'I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden'. We still sing that line whenever we remember the Musters. Whatever happened to him I wonder?

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I think it was in the 70s when my family had a thing for The Musters. We would come to Nottingham to visit and as usual My young Sisters would Babysit while we went out for the evening with my Parents and family. There was one particular Male Singer who used to wear a very Tight Shiny Cat Suit. He would get to a particular part of a song, and he would Shake all over. It was his party piece, It always fascinated me how he managed to shake the top of his body and the bottom half at the same time. The Aunties loved him. Me! Hardly Noticed Really

slywink

Can anyone remember him?

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Great reading this,lived on Gordon Rd used to go here between 65-70 well remember the compere /singer Frank style? used to go on Sun for the talent show in the afternoon and I think the winner got a spot at the night time show(is that correct?).

We had our going away night there (Australia)in April 1970 remember a glamorous lady who"s husband was a private investigator named Smith? arranged it for us as we knocked around with her son Mike she also sang a bit.

I myself took singing lessons in Australia later on and sang the lead in many amateur Musicals in the 70/80s "FUNNY WORLD"

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Hi all, JOY JAMES here, so glad to hear from you Rex. I loved and respected your family very much and have fond memories of you all. I loved your old granddad and when he went to live temporarily at the Musters, I spent several days talking to him or rather shouting to him for he was profoundly deaf. He was temperate, the one thing we had in common, neither of us drank alcohol. Those were some of the best days of my life and your dad DID clear the bar and sack the entire work force quite a few times and I am sure I am not the only one to recall that. Fridays were best. Your dad would bundle us all up in his roller and take us to the Pigalle club. Cliff Worrall was a superb singer as well as a good compere. He had a fall out with Norman, I don't know why and walked out mid show. Norman asked me to take over that night and I did but was worried as I had never had to speak to an audience before. But I did my best and he gave me that job that I held for the best part of 2 yrs. It was tremendous grounding for me and stood me in good stead when I left to work the cabaret circuit. 

I recall regulars Gael and Robin Pilkington who had a boat moored close to the Boat Club. They had some great parties there. One Musters client, a young lady who shall be nameless, had a cute party trick and as she drank more and more, her inhibitions went by the way and she regularly stripped off completely naked. John who held the licence stood to one side with a tablecloth ready to bundle her away. One night she was a guest at the Pilkington's boat party and off came the clothes again, this time someone picked her up and threw her in the Trent! I wonder why Norman never banned her???? He was a shrewd businessman and scooped the best musicians in the city and kept them for years. Drummer Sooty aka Elvis, Gordon, Austin, Bert Hartley, pianists to die for and Pat the head barmaid a stunning good looking woman who stood no nonsense. Remember the drag artiste Johnny Peach? I was to become eternally grateful to him.

He told me he envied me as I had everything he ever wanted and did nothing with it. I admit I had a corking figure but never thought I was particularly good looking and never wore make-up beyond a slick of lipstick. He thought differently and begged me to let him use make up on me for the first time. I was horrified as he had on false eyelashes 2 inch long! Eventually I compromised and let him do one side of my face. The result was astonishing and I could not wait to let him finish the job. I owe him any good looks I may subsequently have had.

Some of the artists who appeared at the Musters; running Bear (shoved knitting needles through his face), Jill Ball (unquestionably one of the best jazz singers ever); Tony Kent (Give me a subject and I will tell you a joke about it), Anita Harris (I have the longest hair in the business) IT WAS A WIG! David 'Caramia' Whitfield, Charlie Bartle, Sparti (a very clever artist who drew a sketch of an audience member as a baby and gradually and comically aged it to the present day.) Les Dennis. Bernard manning....oh I shall be here all day... Wonderful memories, thanks Rex.

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radfordred - you are dead right. My Dad went to all the contents auctions of the pubs and hotels that were about to go under the demolition swinging ball. The Black Boy Hotel was Fothergill's masterpiece but by 1969 with the arrival of the Albany Hotel et al it was simply losing money. He bought all sorts including bathroom suites. The bar in question was massive a carved oak piece in the Dutch style that they had commissioned in the 1930s. The auctioneer took Norman's winning bid of £40. But it was too big to get out of the building. So he left it there and later did a deal with the demolition contractor who took it out on his crane and stuck it on a low-loader. It was installed in the Variety Lounge extension in 1970 and was named the Dutch Bar. After that room was converted into hotel bedrooms in 1985 the backdrop of the bar was converted into a wall-length bookcase and installed in my house at the junction of Melton Road and Boundary Road. I believe it's still there.

So another related story. There was a closing down contents auction of a famous old hotel in Lincoln. (So famous I've forgotten its name). During the war the lads of the Dambusters Squadron would drink there and they would spill out of the bar into the lobby where there was a drop-end sofa. Reputedly Guy Gibson would sit on it with, at his feet, the black Labrador dog that was featured in the film. The dog's name was an unmentionable word today (ask Jeremy Clarkson). Anyway that sofa - The Guy Gibson Sofa - has been re-upholstered twice but I still have it! I've no room for it now, anybody interested?

Joy - many of your recollections are from the period before I was in charge. Hey - the Pilkintons. Eric, their father, was a "likeable rogue" who owned the land that eventually became the site of the Rivermead flats on Wilford Lane with a 100 metre river frontage. In the fifties Eric ran a virtual speakeasy called the Candy Ballroom (also known as the Plaisance Yacht Club) which was an old Victorian pavilion (originally built by Jesse Boot) that stood on the west side of no. 26 Wilford Lane (the white house with turrets that's still there.) Eric himself would front a band and perform in Edmundo Ross style shaking the castanettes. He would borrow money from anyone he could. He sent his head waiter round to Norman to borrow the candelabra and the My Fair Lady LP. Never saw them again. Gael ended up in the war in Rhodesia - I'm not sure if he wasn't killed.

Tony Kent, Johnny Peach and Jill Ball are the only acts from back then that I can remember well. Tony was clever and it was a mystery he never became a star. Johnny was the first drag queen I saw and it was quite adventurous back then. Jill Ball; I reckon I might have been mixing up with you in musical style terms.

Local man Charlie Bartle had been a fairly big music hall star back as far as the twenties. He had a little dog tucked under his arm as part of the act. Given the length of his career he must have got through a few pooches. Maybe there's a music hall blog that would have more about him.

The Sooty I was talking about was the guitarist in the band about 1976 - 79. He was a dodgy car dealer for a day job. Haven't heard from him in many years.

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I don't know about anyone else but I think this has been a great topic and I've really enjoyed all the comments from everyone. I've even got my old schoolmate, trevorthegasman, joining in. When he mentioned his singing lessons (#38) the first thing I thought of was 'i'm glad he's gone to Australia'..lol. Only kidding, Trevor. :biggrin:

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I'm pretty sure the pub in Lincs has featured on Nottstalgia. Didn't the lads who went to the airshows eat there?

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Oh yes, Rex you were not much more than a babe in arms when I worked there. I knew Charles pretty well too, he looked like a god with that mound of curly hair. Your dad was not a monster, he was a big huggable bear. I would have done anything for him and

your mum. There were a lot of complaints in the Post about the noise from the Musters at night and I wrote to their letters

column saying that music calms the savage breast or words to... and to stop moaning and come and join us. The moaning stopped, at least in the Post. Who would believe that one day I would have my own column in that newspaper.

Don't think Gael was killed, last I heard his son was in the army and was stationed in Germany, he came home on his motorbike to a family wedding and was in an accident and was killed. He wasn't much more than a teenager.

Charlie Bartle too was killed in a road accident. We in Equity had a tree planted in his name by the council at a cost of £2000 and within 3 yrs the council uprooted it!! I was furious and did my bad temper dance. I got them to put a brass plaque on the pavement outside the concert hall. Its still there.

Do you know, I don't have ONE photo from my Musters days. Do you have any I can use in my current book? I could photo copy,return and give you a credit in the book for their use. Joy

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Oh and does anyone recall drummer Nolly Buck? Mad as a march hare. He lived in a house boat on the bend of the river at

Hazleford Ferry and rigged up a pair of booming speakers on deck to a recording of the Queen Mary's fog warning sound. On an

autumn night when the mist swirled and covered the water surface, he would wait until he heard a little boat came chuffing up the river and just before it came round the bend, he would play that 'woooo...oooow'[ sound at full blast and frighten the shit

out of the pilot. Happy days....

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Welcome back Joy

Yes I knew Nolly

Search Nolly here to reveal quite a few posts.

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When you teach your kids to talk

you giggle at things they say,

But when you teach your kids to walk,

you weep as they walk away.....

Joy James

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Really enjoyed all this - as one person said earlier used to go to the Musters after the Boat club probably at the same time.But we had to stop going as they started to check ages..... Loved going to the Colwick Hall - I even remember the roadblocks - we used to cycle there and dismount as we go close to the road blocks....but we were well under age when we went there so stopped going as it got a bit heavier with the police. My friends brother was a biker and he introduced us to it - often used to go and hang out with the bikers who were always really nice to us. Memories memories. Great topic

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