SCORES of Northern Soul fans got their kicks out on the floor when a club played host to a night of much-loved mainstream 60s and 70s black American music.
Around 120 Northern Soul devotees packed Hartlepool United Supporters Club in Duke Street, Hartlepool, to pay homage and wear out a little shoe leather.
Sets from DJs including Hartlepool’s Paul Henry, who built his record list around Northern Soul anthems from Blackpool Mecca and Wigan Casino, saw the dance floor packed to the edges and made the event a hit.
The success delighted organiser David Halcrow, a newcomer to the Northern Soul scene, who had hoped to make it a regular event but was reserving his decision until after Friday’s launch.
But now the 56-year-old cabbie from Owton Manor says the Hartlepool Northern Soul Night is here to stay.
David told the Mail: “This has put Hartlepool back on the map of the Northern Soul scene and convinced me to make it a regular monthly event.
“It was great to see so many people and I was overwhelmed by people saying what a great night it was.”
Many who packed the floor were veterans of the heyday of the Northern Soul scene and were regulars at clubs like the Gemini, the Windsor and the Engineers Club, where ‘Northern’ found its Hartlepool home.
Among them were brother and sister Marty Waite and Denise Maloney, whose late brother Ian is largely credited with bringing Northern Soul to Hartlepool from his travels around the scene’s most influential clubs in the Midlands and North West.
Marty, 62, and 56-year-old Denise shared Ian’s love of Northern Soul and are themselves veterans of all-night clubs like the Mecca in Blackpool and Wigan Casino.
Denise told the Mail: “Northern Soul has been a lifelong thing for me and I’ve never stopped going to Northern Soul nights. But for years now I’ve had to travel so it’s fantastic to have a venue on the doorstep and it’s been a brilliant night.”
Marty, too, was delighted at the prospect of regular Northern Soul in Hartlepool.
He said: “The scene has a big following in the town. There are enough Northern Soul fans to sustain a regular night, and there are young people coming on to the scene who will help to keep it alive.”
Although it was a local night for most, ex-pat Poolies Lorraine Crawford and Denise Love travelled from London and Macclesfield respectively to be there.
Lorraine said: “We both went not knowing whether it would be worth the trip but we can both genuinely say we had a brilliant night. The music and atmosphere were brilliant and it was great seeing old friends from the past.”
The Hartlepool Northern Soul Night raised £130 for Hartlepool & District Hospice through sales of raffle tickets and a football card on the night.
The next Hartlepool Northern Soul Night is at Hartlepool United Supporters Club on November 16, admission £2 on the door.