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- Pete Waterman Coventry

Coventry Central Library set to play host to city’s Dirty Stop Outs of the 1970s

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Fans of some of Coventry’s most iconic venues of the 1970s get a chance to re-live the heady days of the Locarno Ballroom, the Walsgrave and others later this month.

Ruth Cherrington, author of the sell-out ‘Dirty Stop Out’s Guide to 1970s Coventry’ which came out just a few weeks ago, will be doing a free talk at the Central Library on Friday, January 26th from 2-4pm.

The popularity of her book caught the publishers by surprise with it selling out in the likes of Waterstones and HMV within days of release and hundreds more being rushed to the city to keep up with demand.

The ‘Dirty Stop Out’s Guide to 1970s Covenry’ celebrates the city’s vibrant, varied and full-on nightlife of the era and immediately received high praise from local music journalist and Coventry Music Museum curator Pete Chambers who described it as “a charming and unique A4-sized book, guaranteed to get the nostalgia juices going”.

In fact the revered historian went further still and said: “The biggest compliment I can pay this book is this is exactly how I would want my own book to look like.”

Ruth Cherrington’s ‘Dirty Stop Out’s Guide to 1970s Coventry’ traces the development of the area’s music and nightlife from the early days of the legendary Locarno Ballroom where rookie DJ and future music mogul Pete Waterman spun the discs at the matinee disco.

Coventry-born Ruth Cherrington said: “It was a fantastic era to grow up in. The sheer volume and variety of venues totally dwarves the number of today – everything from thriving Working Men’s Clubs to legendary record shops like Jill Hanson’s.”

Ruth Cherrington – who wrote the acclaimed ‘Not Just Beer and Bingo! A Social History of Working Men’s Clubs’ – admits researching the book was a labour of love.

“It was fantastic to revisit the era. Venue’s like Mr. George’s, The Bear Inn and The Walsgrave are brought vividly back to life. The decade wasn’t kind to Coventry – the collapse of the car industry dealt a crippling body blow to the city.But the 2 Tone explosion provided a welcome distraction with The Specials and the Selecter providing the soundtrack to a generation.”

Places can be booked at the talk by calling 768 32314 or email: central.library@coventry.gov.uk