The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club
The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club was a British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 television variety show
Variety show
A variety show, also known as variety arts or variety entertainment, is an entertainment made up of a variety of acts, especially musical performances and sketch comedy, and normally introduced by a compère or host. Other types of acts include magic, animal and circus acts, acrobatics, juggling...

 produced by Granada Television
Granada Television
Granada Television is the ITV contractor for North West England. Based in Manchester since its inception, it is the only surviving original ITA franchisee from 1954 and is ITV's most successful....

 from 1974 to 1977. It was set in a fictional working men's club
Working men's club
Working men's clubs are a type of private social club founded in the 19th century in industrial areas of the United Kingdom, particularly the North of England, the Midlands and many parts of the South Wales Valleys, to provide recreation and education for working class men and their families.-...

 in the North of England and was hosted by comedian Colin Crompton
Colin Crompton
Colin Crompton was an English stand-up comedian. He found fame on the Granada Television programme The Comedians in the early 1970s....

. Also regularly featured was comedian Bernard Manning
Bernard Manning
Bernard John Manning was an English comedian and nightclub owner. He was born and raised in Manchester in northwest England....

 who sang most weeks. Crompton was frequently the butt of Manning's jokes, unwittingly acting as Manning's stooge.

Acts featured

The show featured acts regularly seen on the Northern club circuits and often acts which were on the last legs of their popularity, like fifties crooner Johnnie Ray
Johnnie Ray
Johnnie Ray was an American singer, songwriter, and pianist. Popular for most of the 1950s, Ray has been cited by critics as a major precursor of what would become rock and roll, for his jazz and blues-influenced music and his animated stage personality.-Early life:John Alvin Ray was born in...

. It also gave newer acts such as Cannon & Ball, The Grumbleweeds
The Grumbleweeds
The Grumbleweeds are an award winning British comedy band, performing music and comedy. They were mostly popular on radio and television in the 1980s.-Career:...

, The Dooleys
The Dooleys
The Dooleys were a United Kingdom male–female pop group comprising eight members — six of them family members — at their peak. They achieved several UK chart hits between 1977 and 1981 including top-ten hits "Wanted", "Love of My Life" and "The Chosen Few"....

 and magician Paul Daniels
Paul Daniels
Paul Daniels, born Newton Edward Daniels on 6 April 1938, is a British magician and television performer. He achieved international fame through his television series The Paul Daniels Magic Show, which ran on the BBC from 1979 to 1994.-Early life:...

 their first TV exposure.

Other artists to appear on the show included The Krankies
The Krankies
The Krankies are a Scottish comedy duo that enjoyed success as a cabaret act in the 1970s and on television in the 1980s, featuring in their own television shows and releasing their own music single. They entered semi-retirement in 1992, but they have regularly appeared in pantomime since.The duo...

, Kathy Kirby
Kathy Kirby
Kathy Kirby was an English singer who was reportedly the highest-paid female singer of her generation. She is best known for her cover version of Doris Day's "Secret Love" and for representing the United Kingdom in the 1965 Eurovision Song Contest, where she came in second place...

, Roy Orbison
Roy Orbison
Roy Kelton Orbison was an American singer-songwriter, well known for his distinctive, powerful voice, complex compositions, and dark emotional ballads. Orbison grew up in Texas and began singing in a rockabilly/country & western band in high school until he was signed by Sun Records in Memphis...

, Lonnie Donegan
Lonnie Donegan
Anthony James "Lonnie" Donegan MBE was a skiffle musician, with more than 20 UK Top 30 hits to his name. He is known as the "King of Skiffle" and is often cited as a large influence on the generation of British musicians who became famous in the 1960s...

, Lyn Paul
Lyn Paul
Lyn Paul is an English pop singer and actress. She came to fame as a member of the international chart-topping pop group The New Seekers in the early 1970s...

, Tessie O'Shea
Tessie O'Shea
Teresa Mary "Tessie" O'Shea was a Welsh entertainer and actress.Born in Cardiff to Nellie Theresa and James Peter O'Shea, a soldier who was the son of Irish emigrants, Tessie was reared in the British music hall tradition, appearing on stage as "The Wonder of Wales" as early as the age of six...

, The Three Degrees
The Three Degrees
The Three Degrees are an American female vocal group. Formed in 1963 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,, the group has always been a trio though there have been a number of personnel changes and a total of fourteen women have represented the group so far. The original members were Fayette Pinkney,...

, Stuart Damon
Stuart Damon
Stuart Damon is an American actor. He is known for thirty years of portraying the character Dr. Alan Quartermaine on the American soap opera General Hospital, for which he won an Emmy Award in 1999....

, The Bachelors
The Bachelors
The Bachelors are a popular music group, originating from Dublin, Ireland.-Career:The founding members of the group were Conleth Cluskey , Declan Cluskey , and John Stokes...

, Susan Maughan
Susan Maughan
Susan Maughan is an English singer who released successful singles in the 1960s.-Career:...

, Buddy Greco
Buddy Greco
-Biography:He was born Armando Greco in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Greco began playing piano at the age of four. His first professional work was playing with Benny Goodman's band. Most of Greco's work has been in the jazz and pop genres...

, George Roper
George Roper
This is an article about the British comedian. For information on the British sitcom character, see Man About the House.George Roper was an English stand-up comedian, best known for his appearances in the long-running UK television series The Comedians.- Early history :He was born George Francis...

, Jim Bowen
Jim Bowen
Jim Bowen is an English stand-up comedian and TV personality. He is best known as the host of the ITV gameshow Bullseye, which he hosted between 1981 and 1995.-Early life:...

, Nana Mouskouri
Nana Mouskouri
Nana Mouskouri , born Ioánna Moúschouri on October 13, 1934, in Chania, Crete, Greece, is a Greek singer who has sold about 300 million records worldwide in a career spanning over five decades, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. She was known as Nána to her friends and...

, Freddie Garrity
Freddie Garrity
Freddie Garrity was a singer and actor who was frontman and comical element in the 1960s pop band, Freddie and the Dreamers.-Biography:...

, Karl Denver
Karl Denver
Karl Denver was a Scottish singer, who, with his trio had a series of UK hit singles in the early 1960s. Most famous of these was a 1961 version of "Wimoweh", which showed off Denver's falsetto yodelling register...

, George Melly
George Melly
Alan George Heywood Melly was an English jazz and blues singer, critic, writer and lecturer. From 1965 to 1973 he was a film and television critic for The Observer and lectured on art history, with an emphasis on surrealism.-Early life and career:He was born in Liverpool and was educated at Stowe...

 and John Chilton
John Chilton
John James Chilton is a British jazz trumpeter and writer. During the 1960s he also worked with pop bands, including The Swinging Blue Jeans and The Escorts....

's Feetwarmers, Design
Design (UK band)
Design was a British vocal group of the early 1970s and its members were Barry Alexander, Gabrielle Field, Kathy Manuell, Jeff Matthews, John Mulcahy-Morgan and Geoff Ramseyer. Their musical style has been described as folk rock 'with intricate and appealing harmonies and an interesting psychedelic...

, Frank Carson
Frank Carson
Frank Carson is a Northern Irish comedian and actor, best known on television in series such as The Comedians and Tiswas.-Early life:...

 and Terri Rogers
Terri Rogers
Terri Rogers, born Ivan Southgate was a transsexual English ventriloquist and magician.Rogers was born in Ipswich and was a somewhat isolated youth but determined to build a career in variety...

The show was produced by Johnnie Hamp
Johnnie Hamp
Johnnie Hamp is a British television producer, now retired. He is responsible for the early British television appearances of such acts as The Beatles, singer Cilla Black, comedian Woody Allen, and singer Lisa Stansfield as Head of Light Entertainment with Granada Television.-Early life and 1960s...

 at Granada Television in Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

. It was once filmed at the Layton Institute in Blackpool
Blackpool is a borough, seaside town, and unitary authority area of Lancashire, in North West England. It is situated along England's west coast by the Irish Sea, between the Ribble and Wyre estuaries, northwest of Preston, north of Liverpool, and northwest of Manchester...

. Actress Elizabeth Dawn
Elizabeth Dawn
Elizabeth 'Liz' Dawn MBE , is an English actress, best known for her role as Vera Duckworth in the long-running British soap opera, Coronation Street...

 appeared as a waitress prior to her role in Coronation Street
Coronation Street
Coronation Street is a British soap opera set in Weatherfield, a fictional town in Greater Manchester based on Salford. Created by Tony Warren, Coronation Street was first broadcast on 9 December 1960...

. An extract from the show can be seen in the film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

, 24 Hour Party People
24 Hour Party People
24 Hour Party People is a 2002 British film about Manchester's popular music community from 1976 to 1992, and specifically about Factory Records. It was written by Frank Cottrell Boyce and directed by Michael Winterbottom...

, where Shaun Ryder
Shaun Ryder
Shaun William Ryder, aka X, is an English musician, occasional newspaper columnist, actor, author, singer-songwriter and television personality, best known as lead singer for Happy Mondays and Black Grape – and more recently as the runner-up of the 2010 version of the British TV Show I'm a...

, in his formative years, is seen watching Karl Denver
Karl Denver
Karl Denver was a Scottish singer, who, with his trio had a series of UK hit singles in the early 1960s. Most famous of these was a 1961 version of "Wimoweh", which showed off Denver's falsetto yodelling register...

 perform "Wimoweh
The Lion Sleeps Tonight
"The Lion Sleeps Tonight", also known as "Wimoweh" and originally as "Mbube", is a song recorded by Solomon Linda and his group The Evening Birds for the South African Gallo Record Company in 1939. It was covered internationally by many 1950s pop and folk revival artists, including The Weavers,...


Origins of the name

A wheeltapper is a railway worker employed to check the integrity of train wheels and that axle boxes are not overheating.Typically employed at large railway stations and in goods yards, they tap wheels with a long-handled hammer and listen to the sound made to determine the integrity of the wheel;...

s and shunters were both types of railwayworker commonly employed on British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 railways prior to the 1970s.

The name of the programme thus echoes that of the many social clubs
Social clubs
A social club may refer to a group of people or the place where they meet, generally formed around a common interest, occupation or activity . Note that this article covers only two distinct types of social clubs, the historic gentlemen's clubs and the modern activities clubs...

 set up by railway workers in the 19th century, many of which are still in existence, albeit often having lost their railway origins.

Episode Guide

Series 1
  • Episode 01: Original Air Date—13 April 1974
  • Episode 02: Original Air Date—20 April 1974
  • Episode 03: Original Air Date—27 April 1974
  • Episode 04: Original Air Date—4 May 1974
  • Episode 05: Original Air Date—11 May 1974
  • Episode 06: Original Air Date—18 May 1974
  • Episode 07: Original Air Date—25 May 1974

Series 2
  • Episode 08: Original Air Date—27 July 1974
  • Episode 09: Original Air Date—3 August 1974
  • Episode 10: Original Air Date—10 August 1974
  • Episode 11: Original Air Date—17 August 1974
  • Episode 12: Original Air Date—24 August 1974
  • Episode 13: Original Air Date—31 August 1974
  • Episode 14: Original Air Date—7 September 1974

  • Episode 15: Original Air Date—31 December 1974

Series 3
  • Episode 16: Original Air Date—15 February 1975
  • Episode 17: Original Air Date—22 February 1975
  • Episode 18: Original Air Date—1 March 1975
  • Episode 19: Original Air Date—8 March 1975
  • Episode 20: Original Air Date—15 March 1975
  • Episode 21: Original Air Date—22 March 1975
  • Episode 22: Original Air Date—29 March 1975
  • Episode 23: Original Air Date—5 April 1975

Series 4
  • Episode 24: Original Air Date—19 July 1975
  • Episode 25: Original Air Date—26 July 1975
  • Episode 26: Original Air Date—2 August 1975
  • Episode 27: Original Air Date—9 August 1975
  • Episode 28: Original Air Date—16 August 1975
  • Episode 29: Original Air Date—23 August 1975
  • Episode 30: Original Air Date—30 August 1975

  • Episode 31: Original Air Date—31 December 1975

Series 5
  • Episode 32: Original Air Date—15 May 1976
  • Episode 33: Original Air Date—22 May 1976
  • Episode 34: Original Air Date—29 May 1976
  • Episode 35: Original Air Date—5 June 1976
  • Episode 36: Original Air Date—12 June 1976
  • Episode 37: Original Air Date—19 June 1976
  • Episode 38: Original Air Date—26 June 1976

  • Episode 39: Original Air Date—23 February 1977

Series 6
  • Episode 40: Original Air Date—14 April 1977
  • Episode 41: Original Air Date—21 April 1977
  • Episode 42: Original Air Date—28 April 1977
  • Episode 43: Original Air Date—5 May 1977
  • Episode 44: Original Air Date—12 May 1977
  • Episode 45: Original Air Date—19 May 1977
  • Episode 46: Original Air Date—26 May 1977
  • Episode 47: Original Air Date—2 June 1977
  • Episode 48: Original Air Date—9 June 1977

DVD releases

The complete first series of The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club was released on DVD in September 2009 and the second series (including the New Year's Eve Special) was released in July 2010 with the complete third and fourth series being released in February and June 2011. The complete fifth series is scheduled for release in later 2011.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.