I've been having a bit of a chat with Jane Landymore (née Ashworth) about the Kilt in Bournemouth and Louis Brown
My dad, Jack Ashworth, opened Le Kilt, Bournemouth in about 1963, in partnership with Louis Brown.
My parents also owned The Swiss Restaurant, next door to Le Kilt. Louis had a flat above, in Hampshire Court that he used when he came down from London. Quite a crowd would come down from London at the weekends.
I remember David Shellard who drove a white E-type jag, and was manager for a while. Also Adriano who was more in the early 60's. He came over from Mennagio on Lake Como and went on to open Adriano's night club at The Lansdowne.
My father died when I was 9, in 1966, and Louis invited my mum, my sister and I to spend New Year's at his flat in Curzon Place. I remember him as
being kind, funny and overwhelmingly generous. He let us use his chauffeur-driven car with a TV and phone in it... Amazing!
I also went with my mum to the opening of Skindles on the Thames. Quite an eye opener! I was about 18, so it must have been 1978/79?
I will always remember his kindness. My memories of Louis are all good. I do remember my father nearly getting bitten by Louis's police-trained guard dog, which he had to protect himself! They were interesting times!
Here are some more comments form the internet:
Swinging Bournemouth - Nick Churchill takes us back fifty years – to the Stones Age - Published in February 2013
‘My favourite venue though was Le Kilt which was also the name of one of the top clubs in London. It was part of the Swiss Restaurant in Bournemouth Square and they’d get four or five hundred of us in there, the dancefloor had once been a squash court. You could get a drink there and kids would spill out across the street, the police would drive by, but I never saw any violence.’
28th March 2014
The Ritz to The Opera House: here's our list of 12 forgotten nights out in Bournemouth
Katie Clark DailyEcho
Le Kilt, Bourne Avenue – Bournemouth’s first ever discotheque. It was opened in 1963 by Edna and Jack Ashworth who ran the Swiss Restaurant before going into business with Louis Brown. After Jack died, Edna continued to help run the restaurant and club until closing the doors for good in 1975.
Amazed by the response & reaction to my piece - thank you. Bournemouth will always hold a very special place in my life. The two clubs Samantha's & Le Kilt were both owned by Louis Brown who owned half of London's discotheques at the time. Le Kilt was run by the very suave, E Type owning David Shellard! He saw Samantha's as serious competion although Adriano's at the Lansdowne was probably more of a threat!
The picture was stolen from a seller on ebay - I told her about this site and this is her reply:
Hello Adrian - thank you for the information - its always interesting and useful to receive information about items. I did actually
research it slightly on the internet before listing it and found this wonderful website full of photos from the club. As is often the
case, I was intrigued and fascinated by the website and was quite distracted looking at all the fun pictures and information....I
had to laugh, last night, as when I received your message I thought Id look at the website again to see if it was you...and yes
it was!! and there was the picture of le kilt flier on my coffee table!!! No worries, it made me laugh and can I say what a
wonderful website, very nostalgic and you all obviously had much fun then!! ONce again thank you for information, I will probably
relist the item in the next few weeks,
kind regards, Avril
Henry, who later worked as chef at the Kilt and eventually barman at Samantha's, used to come every weekend and always give Josianne a piece of chewing gum - funny the things that stick in your head, isn't it? Plus the fact he was Mr Singapore, what, 1964?
What everyone remembers about the Kilt is not so much the Scottish theme as the stage coach that housed the sound system, turntables and the DJ, which was Didi for so many years that he became synonymous with the place. Theo reminds me he did some nights off which I'd forgotten - I'm sure there's so much more to be remembered
Can anyone help? Fanchon? She lived in Battersea with a friend of her family which if I remember correctly owned Hermès! Anyone else remember her? Alex(is) who had connections with Aphrodite's child and was a song writer? Lived in a small flat along Ladbroke Grove not far from Holland Park. What became of him and Francois from the Dog Shop on Portobello Road? Does anyone have any contact with Alain? Or Jacques?
The club didn't have a proper late license originally but ran with an extended restaurant license which meant that alcohol could only be served with food. What we served was probably unpalatable although certainly edible but fortunately very few ever tried to eat it but it served its purpose. A certain Stéphane, loved of both Michèle and Karen, was in that small bar around 71 or so I think.
It was amazing they managed to squeeze in a roulette wheel (it was, wasn't it? not blackjack?) in that small space!
Paul Creeze was the first croupier and he was with, and finally married, Michèle. He went into partnership with Lucio from Les Enfants and opened the Pit Stop also on Dean St. Gary was on the door - he became a good friend of Didi - but where did he come from?
There was a lift in the building which I think was by Nash. Not many people knew that, but the Coca Cola delivery man did because that's where the crates (yes, Coca Cola came in bottles) were stored and I remember being so proud of being able to carry a full crate in each hand. Fortunately not a lot of beer was sold because those kegs weighed a ton. Oh yes although the stuff was stored in the lift it didn't work - and in any case only served the upper floors, not the basement. So it was quite something to get those kegs down the stairs.