Wigan Casino celebrates 50 years since the beginning of Northern Soul culture

Northern Soul fans are paying tribute to 50 years since a nightclub opened its doors to revolutionise the disco scene.

Thousands flocked to Wigan Casino after it began running its now legendary all-nighters on 23 September 1973 - making it the epicentre of the unique heavy beat and fast tempo.

DJ Russ Winstanley, founder of the Casino, said: "It was the beat to the record that kept things going, the spins and the clothing to keep things going. It was great."

It began a culture which still thrives today, and saw the casino packed as people danced through the night to often obscure soul records from the United States.

In 1998, American singer-songwriter Edwin Starr said: "I looked up and it looked like it was raining inside of the building from just the pure condensation of sweat from people dancing.

"I said 'boy, this is my kind of place'."

The all-nighters proved to be a mecca for music fans and legendary artists alike.

At the Museum of Wigan Life there is an exhibition dedicated to northern soul. Credit: ITV Granada

At the Museum of Wigan Life, there is a Northern Soul exhibition including one of only two demo copies in existence of Frank Wilson's 'Do I Love You'.

Eleanor Whitehead, Lead Officer at the Museum said: "With Wigan it was right place, right time. It was a scene that was beginning to become quite big.

"The town is quite in the centre of the North West. It's got a great ballroom that lets people show off their moves, it just became a focus for people."

Most of the records played were B sides, with A side flops - but this did not stop the records catching on.

Today, there is still a small army of Northern Soul fans keen to strut their stuff on social media.

There are still regular northern soul nights at the Winnington Park Recreation Club in Cheshire. Credit: ITV Granada

At the Winnington Park Recreation Club in Cheshire, they still have regular Northern Soul nights.

Chris Rutter, a Northern Soul fan said: "I just love love it, it's just something that's inside you. It's just the best thing you could ever do."

Colin Austin added: "It's totally freestyle. You feel the music and you do your own thing. No one is there to judge you. It's about feeling it from the heart."

On 6 December 1981, after the local authority wanted to extend the nearby Civic Centre, the famous Wigan Casino held its final all-nighter before closing forever.

The site is now the Grand Arcade shopping centre - which has a Casino Cafe in remembrance.

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