As a young jack ashore,the Grafton was on our hunting ground,we never went there on a weekend,the Grafton was for Wednesdays and Fridays ,it was the Locarno on a Saturday. Those grab a granny nights were a bit of a misnomer,Wednesdays would see housewives from out of town, who were usually with friends and were up for shopping and dancing;Fridays it was full of hen parties and a young man could'nt go wrong on either night .I never once saw trouble at the Grafton and it was the exception to the rule at the Locarno too. I remember going to the Locarno with a shipmate in early '61. It was advertised to go on past midnight,this was on a Thursday and by 10.0clock most people had gone home. We had clicked with a couple of good jivers and Terry said that we should stop to the bitter end. As the minutes crept past ten,some members of the band put their overcoats on,this was in the days of the big bands. slowly some of them slipped away and the bar staff put the towels on(it was not half past ten yet) Soon there were just the four of us ,and a piano player,drummer and a guitarist. The bouncers came and stood around our table asking us if we had'nt got homes to go to. Terry said this gig was supposed to go on to the early hours;I kept my mouth shut,they were big men those bouncers.
One of them said to his mate"These guys must love hospital food " And all the while I was motioning to Terry to get the hell out of there. With the bouncers almost shoving us out of there, we slowly made our way to the exit,with Terry all the while complaining that he wanted his money back.
There were other places to go on the rand, Reeces,the Peepermint Lounge
and a place just by the Bluecoat School, I think it was over Bon Marche.
If I did'nt go out at least four times a week my mother would think I was sickening for something,they were great days,going home each morning from a different direction,