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Laurie Willams and the JUG


The first place that let women in right away was the Jug, because that was basically a women’s club to start with, it was one of Laurie Williams’. He was also connected with the Nightingale and the Grosvenor, in fact most of the clubs.

“He (Laurie Williams) was a great friend of the women and felt dreadful that when he was on the Nightingale’s committee, he couldn’t give women membership. He wanted to, apart from anything, they were good customers and used to swill pints like nobody’s business”. When he opened the Jug in Albert Street, the first one, he allowed women membership straight away so women had the monopoly there for a time: “We were all a friend of Laurie’s”. Then he moved The Jug to under the viaduct in Livery Street and he was still very pro-women: “He was a good lad he was” (he died several years ago). “He lived in Kings Heath with his long term relationship for years and years, had a different wig for every day of the week, what a character. He wasn’t terribly tall, always dressed in black, and always dripping with jewels and wore dangly earrings, and always wore a wig, more often black, but the occasional blond one, and everybody was ‘bab’. But he was a very astute business man, a friend of prostitutes, friend of everybody. He was so friendly that everybody took him for every penny he’d got, then he’d make it again and somebody else would take him. Everybody knew Laurie.”

Contributed by: Pam Hudson, 63

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