Off to La Strada or The Latino?

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In their heyday, South Shields nightclubs attracted hundreds of people through their doors – eager to dance to the sounds of the sixties or see the stars of prime-time TV performing on stage.

Sadly, those days have long since gone, and venues such as La Strada and Latino are just a distant memory.

Yet despite the passing of time, those memories are still cherished by a great many people, some of whom have, in recent years, been sharing their thoughts on Roger Smith’s wonderful nostalgia website, Ready, Steady Gone.

Back in 2013, Shani Lawn posted: “My dad Bob Stephenson (pianist) played at both La Dolce Vita and La Strada.”

A year later, David Madden wrote: “Me and my brother had some great nights in La Strada.

“It was quite difficult to get a membership in the early days.

“I remember seeing Sandford Goudie (the man who founded La Strada) and his glamorous wife (June, who used to look after the casinos) there regularly.

“We watched a young comedian called Jimmy Tarbuck performing, just before he came to fame at the London Palladium.”

Time Of Our Lives readers have since left messages on the Gazette’s website.

ototnalang commented: “That’s Bill Harcus who the bull on the wall is looking at.

“He ran the place for years.”

Geordiman added: “The La Strada was for older people as you can see from the photo. Mainly older men gambling.

“The Latino was the club that really brought the ‘swinging sixties’ to South Shields and where the younger people went.”

Did you used to go to the Latino or one of the other clubs in town? Have you lost touch with friends who you met there?

Tell us your memories?