Started by: John Peters (497) 

Can anyone explain the Casino (Empress Ballroom) demise and ultimate demolition ?
Was there protests or objections ?

Started: 9th Mar 2020 at 08:21

Posted by: bentlegs (4545)

It burned down, shme used to love going to the Emp.

Replied: 9th Mar 2020 at 15:27

Posted by: John Peters (497) 

Thanks bentlegs
I first went to the Emp in 1963. I remember Hermans Hermits appearing there just after their first number one with I'm Into Something Good !
Always a regular. More so when it be came Casino Club.
Such happy days !

Replied: 10th Mar 2020 at 08:33

Posted by: whups (4697) 

it was supposed that it was going to be a car park .

Replied: 10th Mar 2020 at 12:31

Posted by: bambam (2104)

I used to love going jokers cafe at casino, I don't suppose many people will remember that cafe.

Replied: 10th Mar 2020 at 14:12

Posted by: TerryW (4445)

I do, loved their chips and gravy it was a licensed restaurant at one time.

Replied: 10th Mar 2020 at 14:45

Posted by: jarvo (29676) 

Much preferred Colin Cooke's 'cool' meals in the Market.

Replied: 18th Mar 2020 at 13:39

Posted by: Tommy Two Stroke (5090)

Wigan Council and the police did not like the Casino, apparently there was a lot of drug taking going on there, which led to some bad assault's on people, so the council did not make it easy for the owners of the Casino, they didn't like Blooto's either, so the owner of Bluto:s closed it, and instead opened Mr Smith's in Warrington

Replied: 25th Mar 2020 at 13:12

Posted by: TerryW (4445)

The first three to four years were great then it went down hill until it closed.

Replied: 28th Mar 2020 at 13:27

Posted by: tonker (21748) 

"Nothing lasts forever,
of that I'm sure"!

Said Bryan.

Replied: 28th Mar 2020 at 13:40

Posted by: TerryW (4445)

Very true, Roxy Tonker.

Replied: 28th Mar 2020 at 20:02

Posted by: billyshym (744) 

Wigan Emp/Casino was closed down because it was falling down. Chronic lack of maintenance and neglect by the owners Holcrofts Brewery et al saw it off after a 'mysterious' fire. The Dance floor was particularly unsafe. All the bands were told not to play Bits & Pieces (1964) by the Dave Clark 5 which involved collective stamping of the floor with your feet in certain parts of the song. Gerry Marshall the manager ordered Bill Blackledge, dance band leader cum reluctant stage manager, to impose a strict ban. Of course he would! The sprung dance floor and it's supports had been gradually rotting away for years. Current Health & Safety Laws didn't exist back then in the mid sixties and profit was king so they turned a blind eye.

Replied: 15th Apr 2020 at 18:21
Last edited by billyshym: 15th Apr 2020 at 18:35:16

Posted by: John Peters (497) 

Thanks for that billyshym
When are you next at Poolstock Cricketers ?

Replied: 26th Apr 2020 at 11:18

Posted by: chatty (7658) 

The first three to four years were great then it went down hill until it closed.

So after 1920 it went down hill?

Replied: 27th Apr 2020 at 10:31

Posted by: bentlegs (4545)

1958 to 1962 were the best times at the Emp myself & 3 mates went to the Friday Works dances + Sat & Monday, Great place to pick a date up.

Replied: 27th Apr 2020 at 13:57

Posted by: priscus (8272)

In relation to the drug taking, one of the Northern Soul videos on YouTube has the narrator describe how they always stopped off to burgle a pharmacy en-route to the Casino.

Replied: 30th Apr 2020 at 19:49

Posted by: TerryW (4445)

I have no doubt that happened, Priscus. But there was plenty to to be obtained within for little money no matter what Mr Winstanley claims, the man was full of himself. I remember Hooker saying it took Winstanley a year to pay him £1000 he owed for the security at one of his events.

Replied: 1st May 2020 at 15:10


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