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Mad Mondays at Witton Lane


After a while at Witton Lane the club began to lose business; they needed to find a way to stay open but cut down on staffing costs. The licence stated that they had to provide entertainment and dancing.  So they rented a jukebox and commissioned a carpenter to make a fold away dance floor.  So, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and sometimes Thursdays they would put out the dance floor and turn on the jukebox downstairs. This meant that they didn’t have to open upstairs nor have staff upstairs.

“They tried various ideas to get business in. One such idea was ‘Mad Mondays in May’ - this was after decimalisation and the club decided that they would charge in pounds, shillings and pence for admission and then the drinks would be charged for in that way too.

Another idea they had was cinema night, they had a 14ft cinema screen built by John Profit.  The first film they showed was Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and half way through this they announced an intermission where they dressed up Paul Smith as an usherette and sold ice cream from an ice cream tray. “It was fun…it was different.”

Witton Lane Cabarets were not regular; they would have then at Xmas or on Bank Holidays.  Either the staff would do acts or they would hire entertainment.  The acts could be drag, magicians or hypnotists.  The upstairs would seat 50 and on a busy night you could get another 70 crammed in standing.

The club continued to lose business to another club, ‘The Venus’ which was “phenomenally decadent”, and for this reason the club moved to the city centre.

Contributed by: John Jeffries aka jinks, 60

Click here to read the full interview with this contributor