Was The Latino the centre of Swinging ‘60s Shields?

HIGH STEPPING ... dancers Les Bailey Girls atop the Latino nightclub in the 1960s.
HIGH STEPPING ... dancers Les Bailey Girls atop the Latino nightclub in the 1960s.

ISN’T it strange how people’s perception of things can differ?

This goes back to the subject of La Strada nightclub in Shields.

It was Bailey’s Club, The Latino ... that really brought the Swinging 60s to Shields.


By the way, Sandford Goudie’s talk on the club at next week’s Wednesday Heritage Club is now sold out, but more of that in a minute.

It was mentioned that it was La Strada that brought the Swinging 60s to the town, featuring as it did some of the top entertainment names of the day on its stage.

However, an online reader, Geordiman, reckons differently.

He says: “It’s my opinion that it was Bailey’s Club, The Latino, later renamed The Tavern, that was the nightclub that really brought the Swinging 60s to Shields.

“It featured many of the top 10 chart groups and artists of that era.

“The club also had a very good gaming area, which was well used.

“We rarely ever went to the La Strada, as we regarded it as a club for older ‘married’ people!”

Oooh, you’ve thrown down the gauntlet there, Mr G!

All I can say is that I went to all three – La Strada, Latino and The Tavern – and I only remember that the former did have a slightly ‘older’ atmosphere.

If The Tavern was ‘pop,’ La Strada had a more mature groove (or was it just that as the clubs aged, so did I?).

I wonder what other clubbers of that era think?

In the meantime, be taken back by this lively picture of ‘Les Bailey Girls’ on the roof of The Latino in 1967.

To go back to Sandford Goudie’s talk at the library, yes, there are no more tickets left, and in fact there is a waiting list for any that become available.

Anyone disappointed can leave their details, however, and you will be contacted if there is a ‘re-run.’

Also, I mentioned that the Wednesday Heritage Club recently chalked up its 10th anniversary and said that, since its inception, some 1,200 people had enjoyed talks by more than 150 speakers.

Well there was an errant nought. The figure should have been 12,000 and, indeed, I’ve since learned that it has been more than 13,000 folk all told.

That’s a lot of satisfied WHC customers!