Sound and Vision – The cherry tree

The Cherry Tree


Well well well, it’s getting more interesting every month, getting some reaction from you guys at last. First of all some thank yous – Dean Reynolds for getting in touch, who’s really enjoying the articles, also Warren; who used to be the glass collector in the Shaftesbury and sister, who’s loved reading the stories with a tear in her eye, also had an email from Mick Edge in mid Atlantic sailing his yacht his!!! (do they distribute out there?) – Who informs me had great times, good memories but unfortunately most of the lads are dead now but he himself is looking forward to hell! Wouldn’t expect any different from Mick, Kev and the lads from Wheels.

Also a big thank you to Beverly Heselden from Saxton for forwarding me the picture of the girls in The Slip in 1978. It’s been fantastic not only to be sharing these memories but to have had such feedback, it’s blown me away and have loved reading your comments. Come on, let’s have some more!!!

Now onto The Cherry Tree; nothing special to look at outside, basic 1960s built pub. A box in a big car park but inside was a different matter, a nice oblong tap room lounge with pool table and juke box, with a smart and comfortable interior and to one side the concert room which was named Ricky’s. Double fronted doors into the foyar which housed the toilets and reception area where all the big boy bouncers hung out in their dicky bow black and white attire.

Run by landlord and landlady Ricky and Cath Wheelhouse, I did four nights here – the normal disco music to rock and roll rockabilly nights (live music) and a big reggae scene from Bob Marley, UB40 to the ocherry-tree-bckld classics, not forgetting the Sunday dinner time entertainment for the lads; golden oldies, stripper and a comedian would you believe, just the norm in the 70s and 80s. A fairly big venue with people coming from all areas of Leeds and also close to the town centre. Quite a few hair-raising experiences fighting and carrying on in lumps, mainly fist fights but on odd occasions it would go over the top with tables and glasses thrown, to the extraordinary event of a bouncer having a hatchet placed between his shoulders!

I’d like to thank Les Holt who stood in for me when on holiday, always had a laugh about him getting pulled over the top of the DJ stand, on his first night as well! Lucky the bouncers Glen Monks and Co were around.

People will have fond memories of the staff – Sue; bar and cloakroom, BA; our good old black bar man – some fantastic stunts he pulled and ended up on the wrong side of the football team, what a balls up – fiery jack time! And Alternative Margaret, from Thursday to Sunday the usual afters and alternative kebabs all round till god knows what time!

I’m sure you girls will remember the new installation of the mirrored dancefloor. Or should I say, you didn’t realise it was mirrored till I turned the lights off! The dancefloor would light up in different sequences when on, turned off it was mirrored. It was one of those pubs; doors open at 8pm, couldn’t get a seat from half past with people coming and going in their droves all night long. Despite the agro it was a fantastic place to socialise for people from all walks of life who shared so many great memories here.

Next time, some home truths from the Victoria to the Seacroft and half a dozen pubs in between them two!! Keep reading, your name may just pop up next month!

Live every day as though it’s your last… John Moody.


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