Baginton Oak - 13 December 1974
Last night should have been a happy occasion for the Silk Disco, a mobile discotheque that tours the Coventry area, because they were celebrating their 5th birthday.
A very special party for all their fans had been laid on at the Baginton Oak Hotel but the happiness soon turned sour when it was found that half of the disco's singles collection – valued at more than £1000 – had been stolen.
Today the two young men who run the disco, Mr Jim Twynham and Mr Graham Wood, are desperately trying to trace their stolen records and planning a new programme for a disco date tonight.
Both men decided to give a fifth birthday party for their fans some time ago and in order to make certain that everything would go off smoothly they left their equipment, including two large suitcases full of singles records at the Baginton Oak on Thursday night.
When they went back to the hotel last night to begin the party they discovered that one of the suitcases with records catalogued from H to Z had been stolen.
The pair are offering a £50 reward for information leading to the recovery of their records
The records were never recovered but they were actually stolen from the Baginton Oak when we were daft enough to leave them there overnight, having set up there the night before our 5th birthday party!
Chesford 1812/stables November 1976 to November 1982
Having worked for the new owner of the Chesford Grange previously (via the Hylands Hotel) we were asked to re-open the nightclub when it became known as the 1812.
Chesford Grange situated between Kenilworth and Leamington Spa had long enjoyed its reputation for its hotel facilities that included a massive ballroom (Once host to the Kinetic Circus which once was a venue for many well known bands) and its own nightclub. By the mid 70s it was not trading and put up for sale.
Without any redecorating, or cleaning the 1812 reopened in November 1976 and Silk provided DJ services and equipment several nights a week as well as providing disco's in other parts of the hotel.
The nightclub was then refurbished, twice, and a resident band, sound system and professional lighting installed. The club name then became known as Stables. At this point we sold our Transit Van and some of our lighting equipment.
Life at the Chesford was never dull and a book could be written covering all the 'stuff' that took place!. Great memories and happy times but when the owner did not want to give us a pay rise we said goodbye!.
3 Tuns Bull Yard, Coventry, Sunday's, Wednesday's and Saturday Lunchtimes June 1980 to October 1984
Through Jim's friendship with landlord Martin, Silk were invited to present a disco a the 3 tuns (No dancing and no lights). This took place on Sunday and Wednesday evenings plus Saturday lunchtimes.
Always a good crowd who were probably on a pub and club crawl through the city centre. We could keep the sound centre there and it was never a late night.
Ryton Sports Connexion 80s – Friday's April 1988 to August 1991
Around the early 80s we were asked to play for many private parties at the Sky Blue Connexion and became their 'go to' disco if one was requested.
In 1988 we started a weekly Friday evening residency which became a late night disco for the older age group who wanted a late night drink and dance.
Whilst the residency 'lost its appeal' in 1991 we continued to play for private parties until October 2003, our penultimate gig.
Not forgetting – short residencies and dates
Apollo Disco, Railway Hotel 1970 – Played 2 gigs here during January 1970 and had to purchase a couple of reggae greatest hits in order to satisfy the requirements of the organiser. It was not really our thing.
Walsgrave Pub 1970 – Friars promotions decided to put on progressive nights and we played there on a few occasions. However the in house DJ gear was awful and the management poor. We had a growing reputation to consider.
Dive 1971 – The underground Dive Bar started to promote rock disco nights and Silk played there during November/December 1971 on Saturday nights. Unfortunately we were very busy elsewhere and not prepared to work for the very modest fee on offer.
Circles, Builders club (sacked for a mess) moved to West End WMC (Thursday's) 71/72
Locarno 1973 – Hawkwind supported by Barnabas. Also featured Stacia who performed her dance routine for only the second time. As a result of this a certain Coventry apprentice found himself mentioned in the Sunday People.
London - Silk never did a 'gig' in London but during the early 1970’s Jim and Graham were invited down by Colin Huntley, who was Hackensack’s manager at the time. He took the pair to Island records and a gig at the Cooks Ferry Inn.
Posh Annie's above Colin Campbell October 1981/March 1982 – Previously home to the Village Heavy Rock Club in 1970/71. Posh Annie's was in the upstairs room and we had a short Friday night residency playing rock and progressive music on an in house DJ set up.
Chuffers – The Engine Inn, Hampton in Arden June to September 1983 – Ex 3tuns landlord took over the pub and wanted a Thursday evening disco. So we helped launch the venue but were too busy elsewhere so gave the gig to another disco.
Memory Lane (Park Lane) 84/85
Eastern Green Village Hall – Silk's last gig
Silk's mobile disco's continued through till 2003. Their last gig was Saturday 29 November 2003 at the Eastern Green Village Hall for the 21st Coventry Scout Group. It wasn't there first time at this venue. It had always been a great crowd, always up for some fun and, as it was the last gig, we did several encores.
Fun Quiz's June 1991 Dec 2017
Concurrently, and for around quarter of a century, Graham Wood and Jim Twynham moved into the world of organising pub quiz nights. These were held, in no particular order, at the following venues: The Maudsley, The Old Clarence, The Haven, The Chestnut Tree, The Bell Inn, The Phoenix and the Fletch.
Today, Graham looks back on his part in local entertainment history with a certain pride. And rightly so. He also mentioned that, occasionally, he still misses it. Such was the impact on his life I guess.