Ruperts, Chelsea Cat, Rum Runner - a DJ's memories of playing all these South Shields nightspots

A DJ has shared his memories of playing the South Tyneside nightclub discos in decades gone by – and said: “I’ve had an exciting life.”

Martin ‘Marty’ Green, who had his own disco called The Fantasy Sound and later 5705, re-lived the days of Banwells, Chelsea Cat, Rum Runner and Ruperts.

Martin is a widely travelled man who has enjoyed times in Switzerland, Germany and Norway but South Tyneside holds a special place in his heart.

Martin Green who shared his memories of the South Tyneside nightclubs.

And what great memories he had to share. The South Shields-born 59-year-old who lived in Quarry Lane, now lives in Norway but still hosts a radio show on Koast Radio in Northumberland.

He told the Gazette: “South Shields was the ‘in place’ and it was a really good place to play.

“I was the DJ at all of the clubs in the 80s. I left Banwells and worked as an international DJ in Switzerland and Germany.”

Martin returned to Shields and worked on his mobile disco until a job beckoned in Norway where he has been ever since 1987.

Memories of the Marty G Roadshow.

He said: “It was a rather exciting life. I played a lot of wine bars and the atmosphere was fantastic. People were coming from all over.”

Martin had grown up listening to his father Roland’s music and ‘played the music other DJs didn’t play,” he said.

He had a record collection to be very proud of. It ran into thousands of records and Martin reflected: “I had so much old stuff with me. I used to spend my time in second hand shops and got a massive collection.”

Savills record shop was a favourite for Martin as well as Pete Edmonds. “When I first started at Chelsea Cat, he used to get a lot of US imports,” said Martin.

Marty and his 5705 disco.

He praised his dad for his support from the earliest days.

"He used to take me to King Street and buy me the top 5 singles.” The occasional LP would be a special buy as well, such as Abba’s Greatest Hits.

This was a dad who even built his son a record deck.

Our retro feature reminisced on venues such as The Tavern which included a picture of revellers on the dance floor in 1977.

A 2021 photo of Marty.

Martin, who started DJing at Horsley Hill Youth Club, described himself as a ‘learner’ at The Tavern, and also recalled Chelsea Cat, Rum Runner and Ruperts which had two DJS a night whereas Banwells only had one.

"We mainly had people coming from Newcastle and Sunderland to the clubs, especially on a Sunday night.”

He loved all types of music although Soul and Funk were favourites as well as the US charts.

He recalled how Banwells had the great idea of people having pie, peas and chips as their admission as a way of supporting charity. Take a look at 1986 photo of Banwells nightclub where 1,250 cans of food were used as the price of admission to a Boxing Day fancy dress event.

And he also remembered famous acts such as Brotherhood of Man and Tony Christie would be big attractions as well as the resident DJs.

Share your memories of South Tyneside nightclubs by emailing [email protected]

Ruperts disco which was one of many that Marty played.

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Marty on the decks.
Marty B with his disco.
Marty has memories of DJing in his early days at The Tavern.