JOHNNYS nightclub will have a special place in the memories for thousands of Huddersfield people. And those memories have been recalled by Johnny and Joe Marsden, who have set up a website featuring hundreds of photographs.
They ran the club for 34 years from 1969 to 2003.
In that time nightclubs came and went, but Johnnys always remained constant and seemed to thrive. It was part of the fabric of the town.
And it’s where I got my first and last job in bar work.
The job was as a glass collector – and I spotted it advertised in the Examiner as an 18-year-old about to finish his A-levels at Huddersfield New College in the summer of 1981. Odd thing was, I’d never been in a nightclub before and didn’t have the right clobber.
More amazingly, I got the job. I didn’t even have any black shoes so did the first night in motorcycle boots with my trousers rolled over them.
I turned up. It was a hot summer and it was hot in Johnnys on that Thursday night – the night beloved by hen parties complete with kiss me quick hats and L-plates in unusual places.
I got some shoes the next day.
Johnny and Joe were good bosses – all the staff were taken home in the back of a van and there was a great team spirit about the place.
Johnny was fair, but firm. If someone wasn’t coming in, no way would they get past Slim: a man-mountain in a trademark ill-fitting purple suit and wonky bow tie, who literally plugged the door.
For me it was a baptism of fire in the world of work. I started at 10pm at the Boy and Barrel pub at the top of the brothers’ expanding empire and was collecting glasses when Johnny arrived with a guest.