I worked at The Inn Place and Uncle Toms Cabin in both Little Hulton and Darwen nr Blackburn again sometimes doing two shows a night. On one occasion in Darwen I appeared alongside Kenny Everet in one of his crazy shows, on a night no one present could ever forget!
Eventually I met up with my old pal from the group years Brian Tomlinson (Chosen Few-Phoenix City Smash Band) and together we bought the Inn Place from Tommy Brown, along with the Big Apple Disco in Farnworth and Bumpers in Salford. At the same time I still continued to do late spots for other clubs like VaVa’s in Bolton Town Centre.
I also ran a record shop and market stalls alongside Kevin Lane. As the coffee club era drew to a close we sold the clubs, after which Brian moved to North Wales with his parents. I also sold the record shop, to concentrate on my other activities.
In 1974 an offer by Paul Ingham at Sounds Entertainments, saw me involved in providing entertainment/door staff and operational expertise, to a number of Bass Charrington pubs across the northwest. We went on to provide this service in many pubs and a nightclub in Coventry. Notably the most popular disco venture was the Highwayman pub in Warrington, whilst the most popular pub for cabaret was the Horseshoe in Little Hulton.
The Phoenix pub on Oxford Rd in Manchester was close to the student population, and for their lunchtime entertainment we put on a disco with some rather racy go-go girls. Needless to say it was standing room only most sessions. The contract came to an end in 1979 with a change in entertainment policy by a new management team at Bass, although I personally was asked to stay on with my work. At the time I refused on principal which in hindsight was probably the wrong move, as shortly afterwards I decided to leave Sounds behind and seek pastures new.
For a couple of years I was in demand sorting out failing privately owned pubs and clubs, but put this period down as my “dark age”. The owners came to expect miracles from me where they had failed miserably.
I was on a hiding to nothing really, and although I saved a pub/disco in Stockport from folding I consider this time in my professional life less than fulfilling.
From ’82 onwards my mind was made up to start takings things a little easier, so I bought some equipment and joined the Unit One Disco agency in Salford. Until 1987 when I was forced by ill health to retire from the business, I once again enjoyed success as one of the most in demand dj’s on the books. I cornered the market in golf club/sports club/cabaret club bookings and was in constant demand for private functions.
I have occasionally since retiring, done some charity work for local junior football clubs, organising and presenting their presentation nights, but generally now have more time to reminisce and appreciate on what was the magic of the sixties.
Ken and Keith Fairhurst (Chosen Few) catch up October 2010
Hi just read your blog a few things missed out, and a few things added, must get my memory checked out, well not to dwell on the past.
I have often wondered what became of my old band mates, John, Bill, Nigel, Ray, and of course yourself, it would be nice if we could meet up sometime.
Miss the old days and wow looking at some of the photos were we ever that young?
I have not played in any bands since the sixties , however I discovered Kareoke some years ago and must say I enjoy singing. I've even recorded a cd with 4 good oldies on it (Sweet Caroline / Meet me on the corner / Daydream believer /Always on my mind (willy nelson version ).
I also have some pictures you may be interesed in seeing again maybe I will put them on this site , thats all for now.