Fans of iconic Sunderland club organise reunion

Mecca Centre, Newcastle Road,  March 1979, formerly known as The Locarno
Mecca Centre, Newcastle Road, March 1979, formerly known as The Locarno
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FANS of a former Sunderland club that played host to rock royalty have organised a reunion.

Bulldozers tore down the Excel bowling alley and Palace nightclub to make way for a Tesco supermarket development in April.

The Locarno ballroom, also known as the Mecca, was a buzzing club in the 1960s and 70s, playing host to some of the world’s biggest bands.

Now nostalgic clubbers have got back in touch through Facebook and decided to organise a get together, aided by legendary music promoter Geoff Docherty, who booked many of the top acts to play at the Mecca.

Rockers the Tony Liddle Band and DJs including husband-and-wife duo Jon and Karen Banwell and Chas McIver will keep crowds entertained and there’s a chance to win a ride home in style in a stretch limo, rare music posters.

Money raised from the event will go towards Sunderland City of Adelaide Recovery Fund.

Geoff said: “We chose this charity as it could be a catalyst to getting the Sunderland seafront rejuvenated.

“I would like to see that horrible sewer pipe lowered and the reopening of the fairground so that visitors will want to come again. Sunderland could become more vibrant.”

Geoff added that the reunions could become regular fundraising events.

The reunion will take place on Friday, October 19, at the Quayside Exchange in Sunderland’s East End.

Anyone who remembers partying at the Mecca or the Bay Hotel, Geoff’s early venture on Roker seafront, is invited.

Tickets, priced £2, are on sale at Hot Rats in Mary Street, Sunderland.

Twitter: @janethejourno