Nearly five decades on and it’s hard to imagine Barnsley was once home to one of the glitziest nightspots in the country – one that attracted some of the biggest stars in the world, had its own casino and Silver Service restaurant.
The glamourous duo that helped turn the trail-blazing cabaret club into one of the most fashionable haunts in the UK were reunited for the first time in 45 years to help launch the new ‘Dirty Stop Out’s Guide to 1970s Barnsley’ that celebrates the success of the venue.
Maureen Lawford became the ‘face’ of the glitzy Club Ba-Ba as the venue’s resident dancer and strutted her stuff six-nights-a-week to the delight of audiences.
Her friend, Joyce Beevers, was responsible for attracting the capacity audiences as the venue’s PR girl.
They were joined by more than 150 Club Ba-Ba regulars that donned their finery as the clock was wound back to the 1970s in the concert room at New Lodge WMC .
The reunion night, which featured a live show, food and music, was organised by ACM Retro to celebrate the launch of their book written by Barnsley author Nik Farah.
The Grumbleweeds – who performed at the original Club Ba-Ba were the headline act, supported by showband Stephanie King’s Elysium, and local duo Chaos. The Northern Vintage Pantry were on hand to keep revellers happy, with traditional chicken-in-a-basket, and local photographer Stan Bulmer supplied an exhibition of previously unseen 70’s photographs from the town.
Nik Farah, aged 34, of Royston, said: “It was such a great night – we really did party like it was 1970!
“It’s been such a fantastic six months putting this book together, listening to people’s stories and memories, and seeing the fantastic photographs they had tucked away in their attics and photo albums. It’s been really exciting bringing them all together and creating this beautiful guide to an amazing time in the town’s history.
“The Grumbleweeds were fantastic on the night, and everyone – myself included – was up on their feet dancing to the wonderful music of the other acts. We also got a rendition of These Boots Are Made For Walking from Maureen Lawford, who was Club Ba-Ba’s resident dancer over 45 years ago – and she was amazing!
“It was lovely to have everyone under one roof to celebrate and remember. We had people who hadn’t seen each other in 45 years hugging like the old friends they were, former loves, ex-colleagues – the whole spectrum!”
And Barnsley isn’t done getting the Dirty Stop Outs treatment just yet.
“There are already plans in place for an 80s book, and I’ve had tons of people getting in touch to offer photos and stories, which is wonderful,” said Nik.
It is on sale from the Barnsley Chronicle, Barnsley Market, Amazon, www.acmretro.com.
Visit www.dsobarnsley.co.uk to find out more.