Jeans Club, Dock Road, Tilbury

As I approach my second 40th Birthday I have been reminiscing about my teenage years in and around Tilbury. I recall a short lived drinking club that opened on Dock Road, close to the station around 1956/57. As teenagers we were attracted to the club as we were allowed to take along our Skiffle instruments and “entertain” the clientele. Joe Olliffe and I usually played guitars with Dennis Barter on a washboard. Dennis was described by one of the customers as “having rhythm in his fingertips”. An accolade he savoured for many a year. In the Summer of 1957 (I remember because it was shortly after my 18th birthday and avoided me being guilty of underage drinking) the club was raided by the Police. Joe and I were taken to Tilbury Police station for questioning. This was more to do with the Police wanting evidence to prosecute the owners, than our being guilty of any misdemeanours. After a short time we were allowed to leave. The premises owners were subsequently prosecuted and the club shut down. I doubt that we really contributed anything that served the Police prosecution other than having tormented the customers with our attempts at playing Skiffle. Joe inherited the nickname “Muggsy”, which stayed with him for many a year. Sadly Joe passed away a few years ago and Dennis earlier this year.

I wonder if anyone else has any recollections of Jeans Club? I guess you would have to be 80+, or guilty of underage drinking!

Jim Chapple

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  • I don’t remember the Jeans Club, but I do remember your skiffle group and the tale about the police raid.
    Being seven years younger I would have been about ten and I didn’t start my underage drinking till I was 15!
    I was a boy scout and after a scout meeting in the Methodist church hall you turned up with your gang and instruments to have a practice session. I remember saying proudly to the other scouts, ”That’s my big brother”.

    Have a great birthday party on Saturday, sorry I can’t be there.

    Your baby brother Cliff

    By Cliff Cowin (19/07/2019)

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