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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Soul nights are proving a success as friends reunite

Three friends are rolling back the years with a series of soulful music nights in Workington – and the next one is coming up in two weeks.

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SOUL MEN: Ivor Mirehouse, left, Roy Bell, centre, and Neil Little are running a Cumbria Soul Reunion event at Workington’s Masonic Hall on March 23

Neil Little, of Mason Street, Ivor Mirehouse, of Melbreak Avenue, Maryport, and Roy Bell, of Whitestiles, Seaton, have been attracting music lovers from across the country to their Cumbria Soul Reunion nights.

The friends, who went to Netherhall School in Maryport together, have been putting on soul nights featuring Motown, northern soul and R&B music at the Masonic Hall since June last year.

The trio regularly travel to music events across the country to get their fix of northern soul and Motown but last year they decided they wanted something closer to home.

They have now put on four soul nights in Workington, with about 100 people showing up to each one, and people coming from far as far as Blackpool and Preston.

Neil, 56, says: “We all do it for the love of the music and we don’t get paid for it.

“I have got friends all over the country because of the music.

“The music does come into your heart. It never ever leaves you. It’s in your soul.”

Any money left over at the end of the year from the events will be donated to a charity, which hasn’t yet been chosen.

When he was 13, Neil used to go around to Ivor’s house to listen to northern soul music, as they both lived on Buttermere Avenue in Maryport.

Northern soul is a style of American soul music based on the heavy beat and fast tempo of the mid-1960s.

They also travelled to Wigan Casino for its northern soul nights, organising a minibus from Workington. Once, when they couldn’t organise a bus, they bought a car for £5 from a friend to get them there.

They attended soul nights about 15 years ago at the former Cumbria Ballroom in Workington’s Corporation Road, but there were no similar events in the town after the ballroom closed.

The trio have about 5,000 vinyl records between them and will take requests at the soul nights.

They will celebrate their first year anniversary with an event on June 22.

The next Cumbria Soul Reunion event is from 7pm to 12.30am on Saturday, March 23, at the Masonic Hall.

Tickets cost £4 and can be booked by calling either Neil on 01900 602775, Roy on 01900 62068, Ivor on 01900 816139.

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