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50 Years On The Soul Stays Strong

When: 21 September - 21 October, Thursday - Saturday, 10-4pm

Venue: Grand Arcade shopping centre


In the 1970's and 80's Northern Soul was the soundtrack for a generation of young people. The working-class nature of the scene informed its aesthetic, giving freedom of expression through music and dancing to the disciples of Northern Soul, away from the grind of the 9-to-5.

50 years on from the opening of this iconic club, the exhibition explores the impact Wigan Casino had on those who knew it and the continued legacy on a new generation of young people. Featuring work by acclaimed artists Dean Chalkley and William Titley, alongside newly commissioned work by students from Wigan & Leigh College, the exhibition brings together different perspectives unified by a love of music. Dean's project is supported by Open Eye Gallery as part of Open Eye Hub in Wigan.

For information: Dean Chalkley and William Titley

Last Night at The Casino - The photographs of Francesco Mellina

When: 21 September - 21 October

Venue: Standishgate (outdoor exhibition)


Ten o'clock, Saturday night, 19 September 1981. Almost eight years after Wigan Casino first opened its doors, Francesco Mellina rolled up outside the club in a battered old Simca. He had been commissioned to take a couple of photographs for an article that Paul Du Noyer was writing for the NME on the Casino Club's last all-nighter. Northern Soul enthusiasts from all over the country were already there when Francesco arrived, and even more young soul fans were alighting from a mass of coaches lined up in the car part behind the club. All this added to an atmosphere that was to build to an emotional crescendo by eight o'clock the next morning.

Francesco knew when he had taken his feature photograph that night, but such was the atmosphere he stayed much, much longer than planned. Compelled to stay until dawn, he photographed anything that caught his eye; the fashions, the dancing, the building itself. But it was the people in the club that most interested him, as this collection of photographs bears witness. It's always the people who give a music venue its reason to be there and bring a place to life. The people that were there that night took away memories of a truly working-class dance culture.

A selection of photographs showing aspects of this legendary night will form the basis of an outdoor exhibition, paying homage to the people, to the club, to the scene. A book of the same title available is also available to see online at Redbook website.

Make Some Noise: From Stage Door to Dance Floor

When: Until January 2024, Tues-Fri 10-4pm, Saturday 10-2pm

Venue: Museum of Wigan Life


Celebrating Wigan Borough's unique history of music and entertainment.

From Cinemas and Local Legends to Brass Bands, Jazz and Northern Soul this dynamic exhibition brings to life the incredible range of musical genres our towns have embraced and called their own. Expect to see and hear the very best with original objects and music from Wigan Casino, George Formby, The Verve, Buzzcocks and much more. This engaging, interactive, family-friendly exhibition has something for everyone and your musical memories will come flooding back!