Top ‘turns’ and the Dirty Stop Out’s Guide to Working Men’s Clubs

Author Neil Anderson (middle) with the Grumbleweeds

Author Neil Anderson (middle) with the Grumbleweeds
Author Neil Anderson (middle) with the Grumbleweeds

The glitziest night in clubland since the 1970s celebrated the launch of a brand new book telling the story of the boom years of the movement.

A packed house was treated to top ‘turns’ which included the Grumbleweeds, comedian Jimmy Carol, Stephanie King and the girls from Elysium and, in true clubland style, bingo.

The stars turned out in force to celebrate the launch of Neil Anderson’s new ‘Dirty Stop Out’s Guide to Working Men’s clubs’ book and pay tribute to Bobby Knutt – the South Yorkshire star that rose out of clubland and was set to perform at the event but he tragically died a few weeks ago.

Neil Anderson said: “Bobby Knutt was a true professional and he’d have wanted to ensure the event went ahead. The Grumbleweeds were a fitting headliner as they were the last act to tour with Bobby.

“He was a great supporter of the book project and it was fitting that the night was dedicated to his memory.”

With over four million members frequenting over four thousand clubs across the country, the Working Men’s Club movement permeated every sector of society in the 1970s and helped turned scores of entertainers into household names.

Comedian Jimmy Carol (left) at the launch party
Comedian Jimmy Carol (left) at the launch party

The Working Men’s Club movement was traditionally at its most popular around major concentrations of heavy industry – areas of coalmining, steel, car manufacturing etc provided audiences in their tens of thousands.

Sheffield and South Yorkshire was a true epi-centre.

Subsidised alcohol was consumed on an industrial scale by club audiences, strippers turned Sunday dinnertimes into a male-only world and even the biggest names in show business knew they were still playing second fiddle to the true star of the show – the bingo.

The launch event was held at The Walkley.

The ‘Dirty Stop Out’s Guide to Working Men’s Clubs’ is published by www.acmretro.com and is on sale from all good bookshops at £13.95.

Stephanie King (centre) and the girls from Elysium
Stephanie King (centre) and the girls from Elysium