After a weekend when the bike hasn’t been out of the garage and we haven’t been near the railway, it’s time to pick up the third element of that strap line above and to tell you a little about the importance of music in our lives. For us, it’s a lot more than the “food of love“, it also provides us with part of the income that goes to support the bikes and trains. However, I have never been talented enough to be a performer, so many years ago I had to settle for putting together the fruits of other peoples’ talents into some kind of sequence and using my own limited skills to link it all together to entertain people.
That must be most long-winded description of being a DJ that you’ll find anywhere, but it’s pretty accurate.
My DJ career started when I was still in school when I did my first gig at a sixth form party in the school Hall at the old Long Eaton Grammar School. I wasn’t allowed to actually put the records onto the (single) turntable, but was entrusted with a microphone and stood in front of the curtains to introduce each song while the school band was getting ready to play.
From this auspicious start, I graduated to providing free entertainment alongside my friend and work colleague, Terry Francis. we both worked at the Marconi company in Chelmsford, Essex and our DJ experience was built up at the Christian Coffee Club in Rochford. This was really a church-based youth club that tolerated us for a few months. When I returned to the Midlands, I managed to save up enough cash to buy my own first set of equipment. I wish I had photos of that set-up, bought from RSC in Derby. Amazingly I still have the 100 Watt mono amplifier from that period.
I then built up a huge amount of experience, and an enormous following of disco-goers at Long Eaton Sea Scout HQ, where I was resident DJ almost every Saturday night for quite a number of years. There must be very many couples in the town who met at the Sea Scout discos and whose children may well now be members of the cubs, scouts or guides in the same building. [Long Eaton Sea Scouts appear to have no website, so I can’t provide a link.]
Along the way, I had always had an interest in radio and have had quite a lot of experience “on the air”. That’s another tale for another post.
As well as these residencies, I have always enjoyed taking the gear out to parties, weddings and other events and have probably played at all the venues in Long Eaton as well as very many in the surrounding areas.
After a year or so working in a record shop, I went to Nottingham University at the end of the 1970s where I did a lot of radio and live DJing.
When I moved into Nottingham several years ago, I decided to stop this nonsense and become a mature adult. I either sold or gave away my equipment, but couldn’t quite bring myself to get rid of my record collection (thank goodness). So when we decided to go back on the road, we had to re-equip with more modern gear and thousands of CDs! These days we still do the occasional purely mobile booking, but have taken on a residency at Lakeside. At some point, I must put up a post with some pictures of this remarkable building.
It’s amazing that more than 40 years on from that school disco, I am still able to feel the buzz that I have always had when I press the start button on a music track and see a crowd of people having a great time on the dance floor.