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Barn Club

 
 
 

Location:

Eastern Green, Penzance

 
     
 

Thank you to Neville Brown for the history of the Barn Club.

The Barn Club was originally created by its former owner Ronnie Jelbert back in the swinging 60's. Previously a couple of farm barns in a field, the barns were cleaned out a few bales of straw, a bar in the corner, a local band & a few records and the Barn dance hall was open for business. The first band to perform at the club would be the Buccaneers, and the Layabouts would soon become something of a house band.

With a few improvements over the years a bar called the Wagonwheel was added and the Stargazer Bar followed this with a late license till 1am. This was created to provide a source of entertainment for the camp & caravan site that surrounded the Barn.

In 1973 the lease was put up for sale and a company called Goodhews of London purchased the lease for 25 years with an option to renew it for a further 25years. Goodhews, whose name came from the managing director and father to the later to become famous Duncan Goodhew and his 3 brothers John, Rupert and Neville.

This was a successful business that owned Pubs Restaurants and Hotels all over the country. In the early 70's two former employees from Rank (Athol Souter and Ray Bain) took an idea that they had about using records only in a dance hall instead of live bands, an idea that was rejected by Rank. Goodhews offered to give it a try at their bar, The Castle at Richmond.

The work to convert the bar into a Discotheque began with the sound and lighting provided by Dennis Kuschell, the building work by Alf Gibbons and the designer was a young designer Mick Gibson. The club Cheeky Petes opened and this was the start of many clubs to follow all over London. It was so successful that the company started looking for further sites all over the country and the Barn was one of those which had all the attributes that were required by the company.

Following the New Years Eve party of 1973-74 work commenced at the Barn the same team responsible for Cheeky Pete's arrived on site and the transformation of a dance hall to the first purpose built discotheque in Cornwall commenced.

Keith Hardy a former Disc Jockey promoted within the company was appointed to audition DJs and prepare for the opening. Positions for staff and DJ’s were sought after by many as the news of this new concept swept across the area.

At the auditions I (Neville) together with many other DJs were rejected by Keith Hardy who chose my friends Duncan Warren plus Doug Murphy and Gary Cains who had been DJs at the Barn prior to the closure.

On April 24th 1974 the Barn opened it’s doors and the people of Penzance were given a London style nightclub whose décor sound & lighting was ahead of the other clubs and dance halls in the county. It was so advanced that it attracted customers from North Cornwall and even Plymouth who came regularly each weekend to stay on the campsite and party in The Barn’s unique atmosphere.

Keith Hardy returned to London to prepare for other new clubs who were preparing to open and Tim O’Connel (Toc) was appointed as the first manager with a former head barman at the original Barn dance hall Roger Atkins as his assistant.

The Barn whose reputation for giving first-class entertainment became very popular and queues the length of the car park were regular every weekend. The Barn was open 7 nights and the Stargazer was open 7 nights and 7 days with live entertainment, with a backdrop of stars.

Roger Brokenshire and Mike Bray at the Stargazer Club, Summer 1971

It wasn’t long before The Barn played a major roll in the community, not knowing then that it was to continue playing this role 35 years later and I expect many more years to come.

I started my career with the Barn later in that year as a relief DJ and progressed to manager 10 years later. The Barn has filled my life with many great memories.

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Brian Robinson of visiting band The Sound of Time remembers the Barn Club;

The infamous Barn Club caravan was thoughtfully provided for the visiting bands and a permanent colony of 'crabs'. Shiver.

Terry Fround used to play Cornwall regulary with his band Stonewall Jackson, and he remembers the caravan;

At the Barn club Penzance the agent used to hold back part of the fee until they examined the famous overnight caravan and if there was any damage we had to pay, mind you the accommodation was pretty awful!!!!

Thanks to Terry Sherring

Sweet Life, live on stage at The Barn Club, 1969

 

The Barn Club in 2010

Barn Club gigs

Here are a list of gigs that took place at the Barn Club. Over time more will be added. These are all taken from advetisements placed in the local press, so there is a likelyhood that some didn't take place, or bands were changed. If you have any to add please get in touch.

1965

 
 

08 January 1965

Friday

Toledos

 

Every Friday Night throughout 1965

22 January 1965

Friday

Toledos

 

 

15 February 1965

Monday

Del Sparton and His Dominators

 

 

06 March 1965

Saturday

Del Sparton's Dominators

 

 

07 March 1965

Sunday

Johnny 'Shake' Cordell and the Variations

 

 

17 March 1965

Wednesday

Lynn Salmon with The Desperados

 

Winners of Record Mirrors Beat Contest

10 April 1965

Saturday

Johnny 'Shake' Cordell and the Variations

 

 

11 April 1965

Sunday

Mysteries

 

 

17 April 1965

Saturday

Misfits

 

 

18 April 1965

Sunday

Debutantes

 

All Girl Group

19 April 1965

Monday

Little Meme and the Harlems

 

 

30 July 1965

Friday

Spectres

 

bristols top beat group

31 July 1965

Saturday

Concords

 

 

01 August 1965

Sunday

Torinoes

 

 

04 August 1965

Wednesday

Buccaneers

 

 

06 August 1965

Friday

Road Runners (Bristol)

 

 

07 August 1965

Saturday

Rick and the Hayseeds

 

 

08 August 1965

Sunday

Swinging Blue Jeans

Surfers

 

11 August 1965

Wednesday

Buccaneers

 

 

13 August 1965

Friday

Emeralds

 

 

14 August 1965

Saturday

The Others

 

first time here

14 August 1965

Saturday

Smokey Joes

 

 

15 August 1965

Sunday

Spartens (Exeter)

 

 

18 August 1965

Wednesday

Buccaneers

 

 

20 August 1965

Friday

Mark Fayne and the Fontaynes

 

 

21 August 1965

Saturday

Big Four Beat Combo

 

 

22 August 1965

Sunday

Vincents

 

 

25 August 1965

Wednesday

Buccaneers

 

 

27 August 1965

Friday

Kodiaks

 

first time here

28 August 1965

Saturday

Jaguars

 

 

29 August 1965

Sunday

Monty Sunshine and His Jazz Band

Buccanears

 

30 August 1965

Monday

Nashville Teens

 

 

30 August 1965

Monday

Nashville Teens

Toledos

 

01 September 1965

Wednesday

Buccaneers

 

 

03 September 1965

Friday

Spartans (Exeter)

 

 

04 September 1965

Saturday

Mike Raynor and The Condors

 

 

05 September 1965

Sunday

Mike Raynor and The Condors

 

 

08 September 1965

Wednesday

Buccaneers

 

 

10 September 1965

Friday

Layabouts

 

 

11 September 1965

Saturday

Jaguars

 

 

12 September 1965

Sunday

Country Gentlemen

 

 

15 September 1965

Wednesday

Buccaneers

 

 

17 September 1965

Friday

Guild

 

 

18 September 1965

Saturday

Chevrons

 

 

19 September 1965

Sunday

Hi-Jackers (Exeter)

 

 

24 September 1965

Friday

The Howlin' Wolves

 

 

26 September 1965

Sunday

Soul-Tones

 

 

27 September 1965

Monday

Off Record

 

 

30 September 1965

Thursday

Toledos

 

 

01 October 1965

Friday

Intruders

 

 

02 October 1965

Saturday

Society

 

 

03 October 1965

Sunday

Soundsmen (Weymouth)

 

 

04 October 1965

Monday

Off Record

 

 

06 October 1965

Wednesday

Buccaneers

 

 

08 October 1965

Friday

Celtic Jazzmen

 

 

09 October 1965

Saturday

Telstars (Torquay)

 

 

10 October 1965

Sunday

Jaguars

 

 

15 October 1965

Friday

Celtic Jazzmen

 

 

16 October 1965

Saturday

Chevrons (North Devon)

 

 

17 October 1965

Sunday

Buccaneers

 

 

22 October 1965

Friday

Celtic Jazzmen

 

 

23 October 1965

Saturday

Soul Society

 

 

24 October 1965

Sunday

Prophets (Barnstable)

 

 

29 October 1965

Friday

Toledos

 

 

30 October 1965

Saturday

Chevrons

 

 

31 October 1965

Sunday

Betterdays (Plymouth)

 

 

05 November 1965

Friday

Celtic Jazzmen

 

 

06 November 1965

Saturday

Hunters (Torquay)

 

 

07 November 1965

Sunday

Jaguars

 

 

12 November 1965

Friday

Celtic Jazzmen

 

 

13 November 1965

Saturday

Brystalls

 

 

14 November 1965

Sunday

Emeralds

 

 

15 November 1965

Monday

Emeralds

Bucanners, Les Bowden, Tel Mann, John The Fish

 

19 November 1965

Friday

Celtic Jazzmen

 

 

20 November 1965

Saturday

Provokers (Plymouth)

 

 

21 November 1965

Sunday

Jackie Smith and The Voids

 

 

26 November 1965

Friday

Celtic Jazzmen

 

 

27 November 1965

Saturday

Alley cats

 

 

28 November 1965

Sunday

Alley cats

 

 

01 December 1965

Wednesday

Dance to local groups every Wednesday

 

"at your request, starting 1st December"

10 December 1965

Friday

Pathfinders

Buccaneers

"Tramps Dance - Prize for best tramp. Parking for prams"

11 December 1965

Saturday

Vibros

 

 

11 December 1965

Saturday

Dynamos

 

 

12 December 1965

Sunday

Dynamos

Vibros

 

17 December 1965

Friday

Celtic Jazzmen

 

 

18 December 1965

Saturday

Kodiaks (Exeter)

 

 

19 December 1965

Sunday

Jackie Smith and The Voids

 

 

24 December 1965

Friday

Spartons (Exeter)

Carols by the Brass Five

 

25 December 1965

Saturday

Concords (Kent)

Carols by the Brass Five

 

27 December 1965

Monday

Concords (Kent)

Tel Mann (Folk Singing)

 

31 December 1965

Friday

Peter and The Wolves

 

 

01 January 1966

Saturday

Soul Society

 

 

02 January 1966

Sunday

Jaguars

 

 

 

 
     
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