THE WIGAN EMP' GIRLS
Christmas Eve 1963.
Janet Atherton (Gray): Carole Atherton (Ratcliffe): Ann Winnard (Dickinson):
Kathleen Powell (Millett):
All aged fifteen at the time we used to go Wigan Emp' on Saturday nights and Mondays if we were lucky enough to get a free ticket. We were all in 5th form at Upholland Grammar School. The pic was taken with a small monkey who was the photographer's prop! I think it was actually taken in the 'Palais'.
I can't really remember names of groups who played, but do remember The Seachers playing there before they were famous and we all thought they were rubbish and used to move into the Palais whenever they came on. The Beat Boys, obviously, I remember them! Faron's Flamingos too, oh and Bill Blackledge and his band! The most memorable night I can remember was when The Rolling Stones played there.
New Years Eve was always a good night we all thought! All the kissing at midnight! We would hang about near any lads we fancied in the hope of getting a New Year kiss!
We started going there when we were probably only fourteen. We thought we were really grown up when we moved to The Emp' after going to Court School of Dancing!
What about the beehive hairstyles? We used to wash our hair days before, so, come Saturday, it wouldn't be too soft and we could backcomb it to get it as high as possible. I can remember - heaven forbid!! - going shopping in Wigan every Saturday afternoon, wearing rollers and a head scarf!
I think we all probably met our first boyfriends at The Emp' too. We were all from the Orrell-Kitt Green area and if we had no-one to walk us to bus stop for last bus home at the end of the night, it was the end of the world for us girls - we were all doomed to be old maids! lol.
In those days we always met the lads inside, they would go to `The Commercial' pub first. Omg! all under age drinkers!!! Us girls used to meet in `New Way Cafe' next door to Emp'.
Kathleen Millett: April 2011