Dawn Raiders - Disco Nights
When I first joined up with the “Preservation” the Senior Squad was made up of Percy’s Pimpernel Team and other Preservation stalwarts. Percy, through his angling coaching sessions was, however, developing a talented crop of young anglers. The first lot of youngsters would fish in the B or C Teams, however as we got older and in to our late teens we pressed our way into the Senior Squad and got the opportunity to fish the big one the “All England”. Our youthful enthusiasm made up for lack of expertise and so we would badger our elders to look at new initiatives to support our practicing on the venues, something the oldies did not do much. We secured individual sponsorships way before it became common place, we also raised funds through jumble sales and car boots. The Jumble Sale thing was a nice little earner except we had to put up with Percy’s antics. Can you imagine the scene? The village hall full of old clothes, books etc with people buying them up for 50 pence. Of course Percy played to the crowd and so we would often find him acting up with a pair of old knickers on his head or trying on one of those huge corsets that Grandmas wear. Most of us were 17 to 22 years old so we were quite impressionable and would copy Percy. “Light and bitter son” and so that’s what we drank, none of this lager stuff. We could not afford the huge Panama cigars Percy and George smoked so we made do with Tom Thumb cigars! The other major earner, and I have to say was a good team-bonding activity, was our hugely successful disco nights. These were held at the Manor School Youth Centre, we had food and an outside bar and a half decent DJ. We ran them over a four or five year period. They were posh do’s, all ticket and always sold out. I am not sure why we packed them in, but I can genuinely say they were brilliant affairs so we must have gone out on a high. Most of the people who attended were of the same age group but we did have a few of the oldies present and of course this included Percy. He and Pat his wife loved this as all his boys would be there and he would enjoy free drinks all night. Now this was at the time of the Saturday Night Fever film with its star John Travolta. The Bee Gees did the sound track and of course all the discos played the music. Some of us took the thing a bit more seriously than others, copying the hairstyles and wearing high-heeled shoes. One such lad was ‘Sluggy’ aka Dave Lindsay. Now Dave cut a dash. Quite tall and moodily handsome, Dave fancied himself as the man in the movies. Now he could not really dance, lets face it most of us blokes can’t but Dave did perfect “that dance”, you know the one with the hip swinging and pointing one arm up to the sky. This was Dave’s signature dance and on our Christmas Disco he did not let us down. At around 10 o’clock with the place heaving, condensation running down the walls, the smell of beer and smoke was quite intoxicating. Dave walked in and for a moment it all went quiet. Dave was wearing a full-length black leather coat which only stopped just above his ankles; a copy of the coat the hairy Bee Gee was wearing at the time. Dave had clearly spent a shed load on this coat and despite it steaming in the hall Dave was not going to take it off. The girls hovered round, “ooh Dave you look just like that bloke out of the Bee Gees”. If you have seen the Catherine Tate show then picture the girls just like her signature character then you will get an idea of our boys groupies. “Go on Sluggy do that dance”. “Sluggy, Sluggy, Sluggy”. The chant got louder and louder with people gathering round him chanting and clapping. The DJ thoroughly pissed off decided to change the record and put on “that song” and off Sluggy went with his perfect imitation of the dance. Everyone was chanting and clapping our boy. They loved it and of course Percy not to be outdone started to imitate Sluggy behind his back, fuelled with light and bitter Percy was no match but the whole scene was hilarious. Dave’s face was as red as a Lobster; he must have been so hot in that coat Percy on the other hand was down to his string vest and had kicked off his crocodile shoes. “Sluggy, Sluggy, Percy, Percy”. I bet Dave’s still got that coat; the Goths would pay a fortune for it. Of course being the poet I did not strut my stuff preferring to watch form the wings. I did not see Mr. Darler at the events, I think he must have been a little too young and was not allowed out after 9pm.