Sunday, 17 April 2016

JUMP: Ilkley reminiscences

As a kid in the 70s and 80s we lived in a big house which my parents filled with teenage foster kids and young adult lodgers.

I can't find a picture with Jermaine in it
but these were some of the people who
lived in our house. It was a great way to
grow up imho.
One of the lodgers was Jermaine. She was into keeping fit, and she set up an aerobics class in town - Jermaine's Universal Movement Programme.

My Mum and I went along to support her. I wore a long sleeved wraparound leotard, which I would have worn always if I thought I could get away with it.

The class was in a nightclub called Madames. Named after Madame Avis who would later be known as the stingy landlady of the Crescent. The one who charged high prices for glasses of Tesco Value Lemonade which the Scottish barman would display as he poured so you knew you were being ripped off. After that she went on to run The Box Tree. 

Madames was underneath The Listers Arms where I would play in the beer garden on Saturdats while my parents chatted with their friends. The Listers Arms as was is now a retirement home and most of the gardens have gone. The Wetherspoons across the road has now taken the name.

Madames was lined with mirrors. That seemed fairly standard for clubs back then. Le Phono in Leeds, which became my club, also had mirrors where glammies used to do their makeup, although my abiding memory from Le Phono was the sticky-shiny black lines you'd get on your clothes from sitting in the beer and fags on the floor. Le Phono still exists, gently mouldering away under the Merrion Centre.

Madames clsed before I could ever go there as a nightclub, but I had a boyfriend whom Madame Avis would upbraid for breaking her mirrors every time she saw him. Reminding him he'd been thrown out and barred, although that was Madames and this was the Crescent. He'd laugh and apologise with a twinkle of mischief in his eye, and she would suck her teeth and turn away before she smiled.

I don't remember much about Jermaine's Universal Movement Programme except that the first song was always Van Halen.