12 hour marathon set marks the end of an era for DJ partnership

It is the end of a very long era !   It was the last day for (left to right) Nigel Freemantle (59) and Dave Shirley (67) that they operated 'the decks' at the Clarence Arms in North End   Picture: Malcolm Wells (123170-700)

It is the end of a very long era ! It was the last day for (left to right) Nigel Freemantle (59) and Dave Shirley (67) that they operated 'the decks' at the Clarence Arms in North End Picture: Malcolm Wells (123170-700)

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BETWEEN them they have spun thousands of records at some of the city’s most popular haunts.

But yesterday marked Nigel Freemantle and Dave Shirley’s final appearance together behind the ‘ones and twos’ as they raised cash for charity.

The pair produced an epic 12-hour performance featuring favourites from the 50s, 60s, and 70s at the Clarence Gardens pub in London Road, North End, as part of Macmillan Cancer Support’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning.

Mr Freemantle, 59, from Widley Road in Stamshaw, presents Mr Nigel’s Nonsense show on internet station Angel Radio but disability has forced him to give up his passion of performing behind the decks.

They have notched-up more than 40 years of spinning hit records between them.

Mr Freemantle said: ‘We have done numerous charity events and together we have done double discos.

‘I am in crutches which has made me cease entertaining apart from my radio show.

‘But when the coffee morning idea came up I thought it was something we could do in the pub. I said how about we come out of retirement and put on our disco – Dave said that was great.’

Mr Freemantle says he has lots of fond memories DJing with his good friend and recalls one of their famous double disco battles at the Manor House pub in Cosham during the 1980s.

He said: ‘I had my gear on one side of the room and he had his on another. People could request to put a record on for a £1 and 50p to take it off. We raised a lot of money for charity..’

He added his favourite record to play was Barry White’s You’re the First, the Last, My Everything following a chance encounter with the star himself.

He said: ‘In the early 70s we went to see a quite unknown artist called Barry White and we went to a bar afterwards. He came out of the backstage door with his wife Glodean.

‘We went over there and he chatted for 20 minutes.

‘Some years later I organised a coach to see him at the Royal Albert Hall. When he was on stage he saw me and said ‘Nige, nice to see you again’ – I felt 50ft tall on a coach full of people on the way home!’

He added he hoped to raise £500 from the DJ set.

Mr Shirley, 67, of Cardiff Road, North End, said: ‘We have a lot of memories performing together.

‘It’s great to work wotih him because there’s so many people that know us from doing discos.

‘Performing for charity makes you feel really good. I have done lots of charity days.

‘You don’t need a drink because of feed off the buzz you get when you see people donating money.

‘Nigel and I are professional DJs and prepared to put on a show to raise money.

‘At the end of the day what we have achieved is a fantastic feeling.’

I present a Mr Nigel’s nonsense program and also engineer for Angel Radio a nostalgic Radio station which plays music up to 1959, has a local audience of around 50.000 and listened to world wide on the internet.

In my past I entertained as a Disc Jockey and along with another DJ Dave Shirley singularly and together have raised several thousand pounds over the years for various charities.

I am now disabled and reliant on crutches which has made me cease entertaining apart from my Radio Show.

For a final appearance together Dave and I are teaming up to perform at the Clarence Gardens in North End for the Macmillan Coffee Morning on the 28th September which will start at 11am.

Please could you give this a mention in the News. It will be a nostalgic morning/ afternoon music wise, coffee and cakes on sale, traditional pub games to take part in, a raffle and all in all a “very good” fun time.

It will be great to meet friends old and new and help raise for this very worthy cause.

If you are able, it would be great for you or a colleague to attend to record this historic event!

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