Lytham St. Anne’s News is truly grateful to Paul Zubine for sharing this wonderful story featuring one of Blackpool’s most renowned venues – Brian London’s 007.
‘The 007 in Blackpool began life as an upmarket nightclub. Its proprietor, heavy weight boxer Brian London, was a draw in himself, but with his sporting buddies frequenting the venue it did no harm to the reputation of the club.
From its genesis in the early 1970s, it attracted locals and visitors alike who were more than happy to done suits and frocks befitting of the themed décor and style. On the ground floor, comfortable booths surrounded a dance floor set out to resemble the ring of the boxing arena with ropes as partitions. Portraits of the boxing world’s elite festooned the walls.
Here was more genteel, the music more for couples to sashay around the floor, downstairs was darker, louder, more frenetic side of the nightclub scene of the early 70s with foot-tapping chart choons from Glam Rock to Soul, where the more danceable side of the 60s also prevailed.
However, by the mid/late 70s, and the continuing UK economic downturn the numbers began to drop as money became tighter and the party atmosphere receded, not only for the club but the town as a whole. 1976 saw numbers that broke recent records as the heatwave brought visitors to the beach in droves, 1977 (Jubilee Year) marked the beginning of a recession for the town that it is still recovering from in many ways.
Brian London’s original 007 club, was in Water Street (now part of Hounds Hill). It was the first really upmarket club in Blackpool, downstairs was the Gold Room, which would be called the VIP area these days, it was frequented by a lot of the Blackpool and visiting footballers. I remember meeting Alan Ball and George Best there. Upstairs was a food bit, with a small dance floor and also the main disco bit, complete with dancers in cages.
As for The 007, it was a venue in need of a beating heart… God created Punk.
As the coiffured ladies and suits grew fewer in the queue for the 007 on Topping Street, the leather -jacketed Mohawks and Doc donned skins increased. This new clientele commandeered the basement dance-floor while, in some cases, their parents (generation) continued to enjoy the upstairs.
This was, in essence, the birth of what was to become the ‘Legendary’ 007 club in Blackpool that would endure for almost half a decade before its premature demise
Until it’s closure (following a fire) in the early 80s it became the spiritual home of Blackpool’s Punks, New Romantics, Ska Boys (and Girls), New Wave, and Electronic music heads of, what would later be termed The Alternative Scene. An eclectic mix of members dancing to an equally eclectic soundtrack ranging from; the aforementioned Punk & New Wave, to New Romanticism & Electronic/Synth Pop, via Ska & Reggae (old and new), taking in Bowie & Roxy, through to Northern Soul & earlier sounds, plus the more varied and interesting aspects of the charts of the day.
There were a few that attempted to imitate, but none that had the right chemistry to succeed.’
Paul’s account first featured in Memories Of Our Club Days – a wonderful Facebook forum administered by Helen Day (brilliant lead vocalist of the band Helen Day and the Wild Affair)