Ten things you didn’t know about Norwich’s The Talk, as it welcomes new owners
15:27 17 January 2014
© Archant Norfolk Photographic 2004
It has been part of the Norfolk night scene for 60 years, and its new management team are determined to make it the talk of the town once again. With this in mind, we compiled a list of 10 things that you may not have known about The Talk.
• The Talk opened on December 20, 1954, in Oak Street as the Norwich Industrial Club.
• The then Lord Mayor of Norwich, Horace Allen, opened the club and more than 800 people turned up to hear singing sensation Anne Shelton and music from Trevor Copeman and his Band who became regulars at the club.
• Over the years The Talk has had various names, and largely been run by the Fisher family until relatively recently. Founder Geoff Fisher moved from running the Boulton and Paul social club to the new club, and other members of his family – including his son John and grandson Carl – have run the club over the decades.
• In 1963, it became the Melody Rooms and featured up-and-coming live bands. The impressive array of acts included The Who, Cream, Status Quo, Rod Stewart, Slade, Freddie and the Dreamers, Roy Orbison, Gene Pitney and Eric Clapton.
• It became The Talk of the East in 1974, later renamed The Talk of East Anglia to avoid confusion with a Lowestoft venue. It was cabaret time and stars on the bill included Bob Monkhouse, Leslie Crowther, Mike and Bernie Winters, Arthur Askey, Dickie Henderson and Jimmy Jones.
• The Fisher family sold the venue in 1984 and it was renamed Springfields. The family bought it back in 1986 to turn it into a multi-purpose complex of banqueting suite and function rooms.
• In the 1990s, discos returned along with dinner-dances, and from the 2000s until now, private functions and a mixed programme including cabaret, retro and theme nights have been held there.
• In 2009, a planning application to build 58 homes on The Talk site was approved by councillors, but in 2012 an application to extend the permission was refused.
• On January 2nd 2014, Stuart Harmer and Mark Drury took over the reigns.
• Mr Harmer and Mr Drury have signed a 10 year lease for The Talkm and said the site was still owned by John Fisher, whose father Geoff opened up the venue in 1954.