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  #1  
Old 25th December 2003
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Talking Charlie Chesters & Golden Horseshoe

Growing up in Sheffield my first taste of London was coming down to watch Wednesday play in the smoke with the lads from the Valley. We would hire a mini bus and part of the ritual was an evening of culture and entertainment in Soho.

I can remember Charlie Chester's and the Golden Horseshoe faced each other and it was usual to see dealers crossing the road from one to the other. I later learn't that there was only one staff room for the two casinos.

What was it like in those days?. It must have been unusual making your way for a break across a street full of hookers, pimps with dumb northern yobs staggering around into the early hours.

Any fond memories of the two casinos ?


Ian
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  #2  
Old 28th December 2003
andy711 andy711 is offline
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Talking

Hi Ian
I was trained at Chesters in late 1984. The training school was actually above the casino on 12 Archer St. I do remember having to cross the road to go on a break. As it was my first casino and I was only a teenager, new to London, it seem perfectly normal.
It was sometime in 1985 that the Horseshoe moved location to Bayswater and the crossing of the road ended.

Anyone who worked in either of these establishments will probably remember The Red Lion or The Lyric. They were the local watering holes. I do remember standing outside the Red Lion on a particularly warm night with some of the other dealers and seeing a completely naked prostitute running as fast as her legs would carry her... being chased by about half a dozen coppers. I remember thinking... 'well there's something you don't see every day!'

Cheers for now.
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  #3  
Old 28th December 2003
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Hi Andy,

I've got to ask, did they catch her?

Craig
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  #4  
Old 28th December 2003
andy711 andy711 is offline
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Hi Craig
I don't know. They ran into a different street. However, my money was on the hooker. She really had good pace and staminer.

Cheers
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  #5  
Old 4th January 2004
welshchris1963 welshchris1963 is offline
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Chesters

I worked in Chesters in the late 80's.One night doing a double I popped over to the Lyric for a few on my hour break.On the way back the fattest ,blackest and posibly ugliest hooker I have ever seen jumped out of a doorway and accosted me with the words "hello there white boy,fancy some nice blow job?" And she had no teeth!The worst part was all of it was caught on the camera from Chesters and replayed to the staff.
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  #6  
Old 5th January 2004
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In late 1975 , that lady was always doing that , but back then she was only missing the top and bottom middle teeth to make an interesting gap .
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  #7  
Old 7th January 2004
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Wink Welcome back Sakpi

Hello Sakpi,

Nice to see you are back posting again and I hope all is well.
Will no doubt see you at ICE.


There must, I would think have been some interesting punters who found their way to the tables of both casinos.

I suppose many of them though you would not really want to ask them what they did for a living.


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  #8  
Old 16th March 2011
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Exclamation Seven years on and another post !

12 Archer Street

Charlie Chesters is now Bocca di Lupo Italian restuarant
http://www.boccadilupo.com

http://thelondoni.com/wp-content/upl...ers-casino.jpg

http://www.londonchow.com/2010/10/bo...ho-review.html


The former Golden Horseshoe. Any info ?


Also interesting is this site
http://kingswaycasino.com

"The James Family owned 10 casinos and several betting shops in the sixties and seventies. The first legal casino in Wales was opened by The James family called The Casino Club Port Talbot. They went on to name and open The Charlie Chester Casino and Golden Horseshoe Casino in Soho's Archer Street in London. The family in the sixties were pioneers in expanding and providing casinos on new wave holiday cruise liners namely Canadian Pacific's The Empress of Canada and Empress of England"



The former Kingsway Casino in Southport burnt to the ground in September 2010
http://www.ormskirk.gb.com/news/show...php?t=50438694

Kingsway Casino - Southport
http://www.gamingfloor.biz/forum/showthread.php?t=3757


Tracking down images of casinos from the 60's and 70's is a difficult task so if any of you vets have anything of interest please let me know.


Ian
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  #9  
Old 14th April 2011
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April 2011

Charlie Chesters in April 2011. Part of the original signage retained.


Bocca di Lupo 12
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gamingfloor/5611829730


Bocca di Lupo 12



http://thelondoni.com/wp-content/upl...ers-casino.jpg


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  #10  
Old 19th April 2011
Snowman8 Snowman8 is offline
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70's Chesters

I was trained at C.C.C.C in 1977.
I learned to deal BJ, Roulette, Craps and Punto within a year and quickly moved on to a better paid Casino.
I remember we were paid weekly and my first wage packet was 29.
I remember that if you did a double shift, you got a free steak and chips dinner!!
I also remember the surgical scissors scam.
A group of pit bosses and inspectors sent the staff upstairs in Chesters after closing. Then proceeded to raid the drop boxes with surgical scissors.
The scam was discovered as notes with bits missing were regularly found on the count.
As there were no cameras then, a security guard hid in the valets servery and caught them red handed.
One of the Pit Bosses went on to have a famous daughter. His name was M**** W********.

I can't believe I have been in this business 34 years !!

Last edited by ian; 19th April 2011 at 10:32 AM. Reason: Edited the name out - Karma. Interesting post, interesting times
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  #11  
Old 3rd May 2011
Tonymanx Tonymanx is offline
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1974

I'm here in the USA watching a movie that is about the Windmill Theatre in London. About half way through I realized that that was round the corner from Chesters where I used to work. I tried Goggle maps and discovered CC was no longer there. But I found this forum!

I was there in '74. I did the 2 weeks training and will never forget that terrifying night when we first dealt BJ in the downstairs of the Horseshoe. I think the minimum bet was 10p and because of that the tables were packed with many of your less desirable punters. Many were trying to cheat, taking advantage of us green dealers.

We had a great football team. In 75 we played two finals. One at Stanford Bridge and one at Highbury - yes, Chelsea and Arsenal's ground. We won both. In fact I have the team picture on the wall next to me here. One of the finals was against the Playboy Club and two of our players had a girlfriend or wife who were bunnies at the time. Great rivalry!
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  #12  
Old 4th May 2011
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Thumbs up Don't lose the picture

Hello Tony,

Thanks for sharing your memories and if you also wan't to share the football team image I'm sure it would be of interest to Forum members and visitors.
I know we're only talking about the 60's, 70's & 80's but in those days rarely was there a camera around to record events so quality material is scarce.


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  #13  
Old 4th May 2011
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Question The Windmill Movie

Got a feeling it's this one

Mrs. Henderson Presents (2005)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKIx8jB3NUQ


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  #14  
Old 15th May 2011
casinocolin casinocolin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ian View Post
Hello Tony,

Thanks for sharing your memories and if you also wan't to share the football team image I'm sure it would be of interest to Forum members and visitors.
I know we're only talking about the 60's, 70's & 80's but in those days rarely was there a camera around to record events so quality material is scarce.


Ian
Love to see the team image. I worked at the horseshoe when these games took place, but can only remember some of the players who were in the team.
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  #15  
Old 9th July 2011
Tonymanx Tonymanx is offline
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Football Team

Dear Ian,
I am very sorry this took so long. This is the team from 1975. I have a match program somewhere that has all the names -- I'll have to hunt it out.

Best,

Tony
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File Type: jpg pic125.jpg (925.8 KB, 4713 views)
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  #16  
Old 10th July 2011
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Thumbs up Nice one Tony

To save a click here's the image at a lower resolution


Charlie Chesters Football team 1975



If members have any other images, perhaps on Facebook ?, it's always good to share


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  #17  
Old 14th July 2011
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Charlie Chester football team _ Names

I can name 4 of the team. In the back row from left to right first person Tony the coach who owned the sex shop next to the Golden Horseshoe. The last person in the back row is Bill Fergusion manager of Golden Horseshoe. In the front row left to right the first person is Tony Martin Pit Boss in Golden Horseshoe and the last person is Ricky Keech Pit boss at the golden Horseshoe, Later the manager.

I think Tony Martin and Ricky Keech were the guys who had a girlfriend/wife who were bunnies at the time.

Can anyone else name any of the others?
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  #18  
Old 14th July 2011
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The guy with the tash in the back row I think is Mitch Winehouse.
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  #19  
Old 14th July 2011
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Team Names

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowman8 View Post
The guy with the tash in the back row I think is Mitch Winehouse.
Yes I think you are right.
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  #20  
Old 15th July 2011
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sadly Bill Ferguson passed some time back whilst the manager of the Regency,great bloke.
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  #21  
Old 19th July 2011
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x

My blackjack training at Chesters took a week. I was asked if I felt nervous about going onto the casino floor. When I replied no. I was told, that's good 'cause that's where you are tomorrow.
I went on the floor at 2pm. I was told to give a break to a fellow dealer. The said dealer had done a lovely fan on the table. I was suprised and admired it, as I had never seen one before.
I was soon joined at the table by a customer to play 20p blackjack. He was an experienced casino type thank god as I didn't have a clue what to do with this fan thing. He even told me to chemmy shuffle and the easy way to collect the cards together.
I have only happy memories of the 18 months I spent at the Golden Horshoe. Many fond memories that casino staff today would find hard to believe.
I remember one new start dealer, who lasted nearly a whole shift before an eagle eyed pit boss noticed he was putting the cash straight into his pocket. Rather than the drop box.

Happy days
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  #22  
Old 27th July 2011
Tonymanx Tonymanx is offline
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Bill Ferguson was a great bloke and I'm very sorry to hear he is gone. I tend to forget it has been a while and we are all getting up there in years!
BTW I am the one to the left of the ball in the front row. I was there for about 2 years before going off to the Bahamas to deal.
I have several good stories from that period at CC:
At that time the IRA were doing bombings in London. One night the canteen phone rang and I answered it. A man with an Irish accent said a bomb will go off in CC at 9 pm. I told management, security etc. but they did NOT clear the place out. I was dealing roulette in the basement of CC and watching the time move closer to 9 pm. Obviously a bomb did not go off but I was close to soiling my trousers! What I did not know until later was they often received such calls from disgruntled punters (They could have told me!).

Best,

Tony Bowling

Last edited by Tonymanx; 27th July 2011 at 09:45 PM.
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  #23  
Old 3rd September 2011
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Thumbs up Finally found a good Chesters image

Best I've found on Flickr.

Casino, Archer Street
http://www.flickr.com/photos/xtinalamb/410694990/

Casino, Archer Street
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  #24  
Old 11th February 2013
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Interesting

Hi

I was doing a bit of reminiscing and looking for some old pics of Charlie Chesters on the net when I came across this forum..it brought back memories.

I trained around July 1974 (blackjack and dice). I almost didn't get in as I had come from NZ and they didn't want to do the Interpol check...turned out I was the first!

Never forget the place, especially some of the characters like Bob the postman and a terrifying boxman named Brian (Irish with lisp). At least he was terrifying to a 20 year old, green around the gills, trying to work out ridiculous bets and stroke pullers everywhere lol.

I'm out of the game now..normal job with Govt, but had lots of fun there that's for sure! Got pretty good at subuttio too

Cheers

Ellis
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  #25  
Old 10th April 2013
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Lightbulb Charlie Chester's 1973

Chris Moore trained and broke in at Charlie Chesters during 1973 and here are his recollections.

Casino Life Magazine - March 2013.
Chris Moore looks back at being a Lumpy
http://www.casinolifemagazine.com/ar...rs-london-1973



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