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Moving to Thorpe Street


The Nightingale committee looked at Birmingham Anglers Club which was on the market for £60,000 freehold. The club had £50,000 in the bank and approached their bank, Lloyds at Five Ways, for the rest. They said ‘No’ point blank.

Graham Beardshaw, the then chairman, introduced them to the Bank of Scotland which had risk capital available. The Bank helped them out and the club changed their brewery to Scottish and Newcastle. “With £50,000 of our money, £60,000 loan from the Bank, a £30,000 give away loan from Scottish and Newcastle and a £30,000 overdraft we bought the club and fitted it out with not a penny to spare.”

“We opened in Thorp Street in 1981 with £140,000 debts - we were broke.”

Inside the club they had an internal double door that had a pane of glass in the middle. This was wired safety glass that measured four inches by six inches. This allowed them to see into the vestibule so they could vet whoever was coming into the club. After someone punched the glass through, they put a wrought iron guard over the glass. Inside the club, there was a little box to the left for the cloakroom and pay, the manager’s office was behind that. There was also a cashier and a telephone box for taxis.

The style of the club was a ‘mock village’. The ‘Pemberton Arms’ was on the left as you walked into main room, named after Derek Pemberton. Then there was the “Arthur Tuckery”, named after Arthur Tuck the former chairman. You then went up four steps to another bar on your left which was by a sunken dance floor. There was an empty area to the right and another door that led to the second former warehouse area.”

Contributed by: John Jeffries aka jinks, 60

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