being nostalgic about the future

I love the web, and all the things it lets me do.

Take the Ricky-Tick Club in Windsor. Ever since I moved to Windsor in 1988, I’ve been hearing about the place. It started off as an R&B/folk club in a small upstairs room at the Star and Garter Inn, shown below, which appears to have been near where the Goswell House alleyway is today.


Then it moved to the Thames Hotel, down by the river, where the Old Trout used to be, and is now Browns. You can see the original hotel here, and below that a poster of the kind of people who used to play there weekly!




And finally, the club “settled” at the riverside mansion at Clewer Mead. I believe it was demolished to make way for what is now the new leisure pool.

Here’s a smattering of the posters you can find on the web to do with the Ricky-Tick in Windsor (while there were other Ricky-Ticks started in Reading, Guildford, Croydon and Hounslow, by the same team, it was the Windsor one that took pride of place). For the sake of historical relevance, I’ve included one poster that wasn’t for the club but for the music festival, held at Windsor Racecourse. It helps you understand what the times were about.

The list of people who played Windsor in the early-to-mid 1960s reads like a Who’s Who of the kind of music I listen to:

Jimi Hendrix. Stevie Wonder. The Rolling Stones. Eric Clapton. Cream. Bert Jansch. John Renbourn. Pentangle. Syd Barrett. Pink Floyd. Led Zeppelin. Peter Green. Fleetwood Mac. The Animals. The Yardbirds. The Moody Blues. Alexis Korner. John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. The Graham Bond Organisation. Donovan. Ten Years After. Long John Baldry. Elton John. Not to mention people like BB King, Bill Haley and the Comets, John Lee Hooker, Howling Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins.

What appears to have made the Ricky-Tick Windsor special is that it was a showcase for fresh talent; many of the people and acts named debuted there, in terms of their first real public performance.

And now?


Well that can be fixed, can’t it?

For many years, I have planned to build a school in Windsor when I retire. A school that others can copy for free. I will still do that for sure. That day is coming closer.

Now I know there is something else to be done after that. A good concert venue, where budding talent of the future can show us what they’ve got.

Talent is timeless, as is music.

As the web teaches us about the past, it can help us with renaissance. Where renaissance is called for.

Music’s a good place to start.

Incidentally, with respect to the Ricky-Tick. If you have any memories or memorabilia about the place then please comment and share. There’d been some rumours of a book coming out, by one of the original founders, John Mansfield, but I’ve not heard of it happening.

7 thoughts on “being nostalgic about the future”

  1. Hi JP great ideas as expected! Are you thinking digital schools/concert venues or bricks and mortar. I imagine some integration of Google Hangout with YouTube should enable it to work on-line?

  2. The Windmill in Brixton has gained quite a reputation for booking amazing acts early in their careers (and sometimes well into their careers, too); tickets are rarely more than £10, often much less, and it has a wonderful community feel to it. We learned about it via Matt Lucht, who has his finger on the pulse of the good community venues in London.

  3. I notice on the “playlist” from the Hotel Windsor that Chicken Shack played just before the original Fleetwood Mac – is this where John McVie and Christine Perfect first met?

  4. Oh – and a quote from David Bowie from the Pin Ups album (his covers of the music of that era): “These songs are among my favourites from the ’64–67′ period of London. / Most of the groups were playing the Ricky-Tick (was it a ‘y’ or an ‘i’?) -Scene club circuit (Marquee, eel pie island la-la). / Some are still with us. / Pretty Things, Them, Yardbirds, Syd’s Pink Floyd, Mojos, Who, Easybeats, Merseys, The Kinks. / Love-on ya!”

  5. Hi JP,
    I should introduce you to an inspirational man called Peter Ward who is a long-term Windsor resident and enthusiast – he’d love to help with the school when the time comes. Peter set-up a firm of consultants called Telos ( which does really interesting work; you’d like him! Shall I send you both an email to connect you?
    Season’s greeting,

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