A couple who created a Wheeltappers style social club in their Benidorm bar can now be seen in Blackpool every weekend.
Nigel and Yvonne Turner developed a tongue-in-cheek Cumberland Sports and Social club in their Benidorm bar – then started holding reunions for its “members” in Blackpool.
Regulars would meet in the bar every afternoon from September to June – then started heading to Blackpool’s Queens Hotel for August re-unions.
They made membership forms and cards and at its peak had in excess of 450 members who were mainly holiday makers from the UK who went to see them whenever they were in Benidorm on holiday, said Nigel.
“The idea began when I employed Kevin Holt, an entertainer who takes on the role of a concert chairman very much in the style of Colin Crompton when he presented The Wheeltappers and Shunters Club on Granada TV,” he added. “It became so popular that I devised the membership cards as a bit of a joke but it people were actually interested so much they applied to join via the internet on the website www.Cumberlandbarbenidorm.com”
The idea of the first re-union came about when Nigel and Yvonne planned a few days visit to Blackpool.
“We thought that it would be an ideal place to stage a re-union event so got in touch with the Queens Hotel and they welcomed us with open arms,” said Nigel. The idea went so well it still attracts over 300 people, now to the Savoy Hotel, every August.
Nigel and Yvonne sold the Cumberland Bar in March this year but didn’t want to let go what they had built up over the past six years in Benidorm so after their Savoy reunion approached Blackpool Catholic Club to see if they could stage a show there.
The first one took place at the start of September and was so successful it has now been extended until the end of the Illuminations taking place at 8.30pm on Saturdays and 2pm on Sundays.
The show is divided into two halves, the first being a show where Yvonne (stage name Carlita) performs a few well loved songs, Kevin Holt shows off his skills as an impressionist including Billy Connolly, Sir Cliff Richard and, of course, the Concert Chairman and Nigel plays a few melodies on the alto saxophone, all culminating with a sing-a-long to round off the first half.
After a game of bingo the show recommences with a Sing-a-Long then the audience participate in karaoke but with the chairman taking on the role of compere and being his usual grumpy self.