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An illuminating insight into South Shields’ Latino nightclub

The Latino Club was the centre of South Shields' nightlife. Pic:  Sandford Goudie.
The Latino Club was the centre of South Shields' nightlife. Pic: Sandford Goudie.

When it comes to shining a light on the stories featured in the page, who better than to provide illuminating insight than an electrician?

So my thanks go to just such a skilled tradesman, Norman McGlasham, who saw Dorothy Ramser’s recent article about the Bailey entertainment organisation, and in particular the mention made of the Latino nightclub, in South Shields.

For Mr McGlasham and a fellow electrician helped light up the club, and pave the way for a galaxy of stars to perform inside the building during its heyday.

This is Mr McGlasham’s letter.

“Regarding your article on the Latino nightclub, I and a fellow electrician, a Mr James Thompson, were the chaps who installed those big 3ft diameter flower lights, adorning the outdoor cladding of the Latino.

“These lights were of various colours and, on choosing various fittings which we installed and lit up, the owner and director of the electrical company, George Daniels and Stan Henry, drove up to Cleadon Hills to observe and choose which fittings were to be used.

“After fitting and wiring up a light fitting we would have to go to a phone box to receive the call to establish whether to instal that fitting.

“They were quite a heavy thing to handle and fit, but when they were all in and lighting, they were certainly the talk of South Shields, and certainly a great sight, even from up there on Cleadon Hills.

“The year was 1966, I was 26 years old at that time, I am now 77.

“The old Latino remains one of my contracting electrician days, fond and memorable times.”

As has been mentioned in the past, South Shields used to boast a busy social scene; attracting some of the best-known entertainers of the day.

Stars who appeared on the telly one night, could be seen on stage at one of the many clubs in town or just up the road in Sunderland or Newcastle.

Who was the most memorable act you paid to see in years gone by?

Please drop me a line at peter.french@jpress.co.uk.