15 facts about La Strada - the South Shields nightclub venue with a certain sophisticated style

Who remembers La Strada and the stars who played there?

Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 12:58 pm

The popular nightclub was a ‘first’ in many ways and a hit in just as many.

Shields Gazette reporters have regularly looked at its history in detail over the years and come up with loads of top facts about the venue.

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Reflections on a nightclub which was much-loved.

How many of these do you remember?

:: In 1965, there was a three shilling cover charge for members and guests got in for five shillings, as long as you went along on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

:: If it was a Friday or Saturday night, you paid 5 shilling to get in if you were a member or 7 and 6 if you were a non-member.

:: The Grumbleweeds were among the famous faces to appear there.

Relaxing with a beer in the German bar, is Mr Barney McKie, manager of La Strada in 1967.

:: Another was the singer Joe Brown who was on the bill in 1965, of course accompanied by The Bruvvers. Did you go to see them?

:: Later that same year, you could watch Pearl Carr and Teddy Johnson performing live at the venue. Their appearance at the venue came just 6 years after they finished second in the Eurovision Song Contest with Sing, Little Birdie.

:: Who remembers Ronnie Carroll? He was another Eurovision star to appear at the venue and he had a three-night star cabaret slot in 1963.

:: And when the club hosted sports awards, the guests read like a who’s who of North East stars. Names such as Len Shackleton, Frank Clark, Ian McFaul and Jimmy Montgomery would attend.

A gala evening in La Strada club in 1985 showing people funds for St Clare's Hospice. Does this bring back memories?

:: La Strada boasted a cocktail bar but who remembers wiling away the hours there?

:: Regulars at the club would have often danced the night away to The Crusaders who were the resident band at one time.

:: The objects of the club included a chance to dance, talk, enjoy games – and to ‘afford its members all the other facilities, privileges and advantages of a Club.”

:: Blackjack and roulette were two of the games you could play at La Strada.

An advert for La Strada.

:: The building used to be an upholstery works of Smith’s furnishers before it became a nightclub.

:: La Strada has been hailed as the first nightclub in South Shields.

:: It also had an ‘age 21 and over’ entry rule which meant strict guidelines on admission.

:: There was a dress code as well. Maurice’s Coats, in Smithy Street, South Shields, was often the place you would head to for a suit or dress before a trip to La Strada.

South Tyneside has boasted many great clubs and nightclubs over the years and we would love you to share your memories of them. Which was your favourite?

Which had the best music in the past and which was best for live entertainment?

Do you have photos of the times you have spent in South Tyneside clubs, pubs and nightclubs over the years. We would love you to share them with us.

To share your memories and your photos, get in touch by emailing [email protected]

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