One of the most iconic music venue names in Britain, if not Europe and the rest of the world, is set to grace one of the places to be in the south east in two weeks' time as the Ricky Tick returns to its spiritual home, writes Paul Thomas.

The original 60s club that played host to The Rolling Stones, Manfred Mann, Stevie Wonder, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd, The Supremes, Tina Turner and so many, many more has been reincarnated for a new generation  with still a touch of the 60s Mod magic and a few famous faces from the past  - as Donovan and the grandson of the man who gave the Stones their name play The Old Court in Windsor on November 10.

The Old Court, in St Leonards Road will host the revival of a music legacy that was the town's very own ‘Ricky Tick Club’.

The original Ricky Tick club, founded in the 60s by Jon Mansfield with promoter Phillip Haywood, was an underground Jazz then R&B club, promoting music for young artists and bands. 

Its base moved around Maidenhead, Reading and High Wycombe, but Windsor remained the hub, with locations including the Star and Garter in Peascod Street and the Thames Hotel - now Browns.

However, the club’s spiritual venue will forever be Clewer Mead, the riverside mansion now buried underneath the current location of the Windsor Leisure Centre. 

Mansfield spent a fiver refurbishing the council-owned building, a semi-derelict mansion with over fifty rooms that spread across six flats. Using black paper for the walls, lighting was fashioned from ice-cream tins and furniture was crafted from packing cases from the old Volkswagon depot in Slough.

Windsorian Linda Lawrence first met Rolling Stones founder, Brian Jones, at the 'Ricky' having a son Julian Jones who was adopted by legendary 60s icon Donovan when he lived in the town.

Now the 'Ricky' has come full circle as the night's headlining singer songwriter is Joolz Jones, Julian's son and grandson of the long-lamented Stones originator Brian.  

Donovan's  hits include Mellow Yellow, Jennifer Juniper, Hurdy Gurdy Man and Sunshine Superman.

Joolz has toured and played on stage with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, Donovan at Glastonbury Festival and has performed at many other festivals and theatres in 2016-17 as lead guitarist. Having just toured Germany opening for Donovan, Joolz continues to perform as a solo artist and is currently opening for iconic Irish band, Aslan. 

At his induction into the R & R Hall of Fame in 2012 it was stated, “Donovan singlehandedly initiated the Psychedelic Revolution with Sunshine Superman” - a masterwork album he created late 1965 at 19 years of age. Donovan became the tutor of The Beatles on the famous trip to India, where he taught John, Paul and George the finger style guitar and many of his unique chord patterns, that would create many of their greatest songs.

Promoted by Hayward and Mansfield, from its early beginnings as a Jazz Club then a Rhythm and Blues Club in a dark and smokey backroom at the Star and Garter, the original Ricky Tick became an iconic part of the R&B and Mod scenes at various locations in the Home Counties in the mid 1960s. The club continued at the Star and Garter until spring 1964 and also used the Thames Hotel from summer 1963.

In spring 1964 the club moved to Clewer Mead, the ‘jewel in the crown’ - a big, rambling mansion  renowned for its unique décor.

Other venues included Maidenhead's Pearce Hall, Reading's Olympia Ballroom, Newbury's Corn Exchange and The Plaza plus High Wycombe Town Hall.

All the top British R&B acts appeared at the club, including Cyril Davies, Alexis Korner, John Mayall’s Blues Breakers, Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames, The Yardbirds, Graham Bond, The Stormsville Shakers, Brian Auger, Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band, Moody Blues,  Ronnie Jones and the Nightimers, Manfred Mann, Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, Zoot Money, Herbie Goins, Downliners Sect, Chris Farlowe, Jimmy James and The Vagabonds, Spencer Davies, The Animals, The Action, Alan Price, Shotgun Express, Amboy Dukes and The Who.

Many American guests also appeared including Stevie Wonder, Ben E King, Rufus Thomas, Lee Dorsey, Arthur Alexander, Lou Johnson, Solomon Burke, Patti LaBelle and her Belles, Clarence “Frogman” Henry, Larry Williams with Johnny Guitar Watson, Goldie and the Gingerbreads, Screaming Jay Hawkins, Inez and Charlie Foxx, John Lee Hooker, Sonny Boy Williamson, Memphis Slim, Little Walter, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Jimmy Reed, Howling Wolf, Roy C, Prince Buster – and even  Rock 'n' Roll legends, Bill Haley and his Comets and Jerry Lee Lewis.

Clewer Mead closed in summer 1966 to make way for Windsor Leisure Centre and the Ricky Tick continued at other venues including The Thames Hotel until July 1967 during which time new acts such as Cream, Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd also appeared but it was never the same. 

Hayward then moved on to open a restaurant and night club, Pantiles in Bagshot, while John Mansfield opened an antiques and old furniture business in Windsor.

Original club DJ, Martin Fuggles remembers the period well, saying: "In the early 1960s in Slough there was an ‘old fashioned dance hall’ called the Carlton Ballroom which was owned by a former dance band leader, Lou Preager. 

"In an effort to attract a new younger audience he introduced a record session on Sunday afternoons then a weekday evening session featuring local and up and coming bands. 

"Both sessions were hosted by a local DJ, Phil Jay. I used to regularly make requests to Phil and occasionally took records in for him to play so when they decided to invite people from the audience to go up and introduce a few records, I was the first person to do so and, as a result, had my picture in the local paper.

"Lou then decided that he would like to extend the Sunday afternoon session into the evening to form a ‘Sunday Marathon’ but Phil Jay already had a Sunday evening gig in Hounslow so they asked me if I would like to do it. 

"My first appearance was in May 1962 and from September it became a regular weekly event. I used my own records and while it was initially mainly a ‘pop music’ playlist followed by the early ‘Mersey Beat’ I increasingly steered towards an emphasis on ‘American originals’ including the very early years of Tamla Motown and, of course, that coincided with the rise of the Mods.

"I became increasingly aware of the Ricky Tick and spent many of my Saturday nights there and in April 1965 when I was given the chance to move there and do a Sunday evening record night and DJ when live bands were there (mainly on Saturdays), I jumped at it. It was very much my sort of music played there and there was also the privilege and status of working there. I even took a 50 per cent cut in pay to do so! 

"It was never the same after Clewer Mead closed and I retired after the last Thames Hotel gig on 1 July 1967. I was left with some wonderful memories of an amazing venue."

Martin says: My earliest memory is of seeing the Stones at the Thames Hotel in 1963 finishing their set with Chuck Berry’s Bye Bye Johnny and everyone in the audience waving bye bye.

"On a Saturday night after an evening at the Ricky Tick many people either headed to London to an all-nighter at The Scene or The Flamingo or went over to the Windsor Lanes Bowling Alley at Burnham."

Martin was approached by David Read, the Retro Festival Event Director, in November 2011 and invited to become involved in the recreation of the Ricky Tick at Retro Festival 2012 at White Waltham airfield.

He says: "I was very pleased to accept. In Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band, Chris Farlowe and Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, we had lined up acts that actually appeared at the original Ricky Tick. And, from a personal point of view, I was really looking forward to being able to share with the audience the great records that I played at the original Ricky. Sadly, it wasn’t to be as the Retro Festival, like a number of other such events, fell victim to the weather as the site owners were not prepared to risk serious damage to what is a working airfield."

Now the name has been revived for a new audience.

Martin Denny, who manages the Old Court, said: "We are delighted to bring the famous Ricky Tick back to Windsor. We’ve encountered many locals who are still very much excited by its legendary status so it’s a great pleasure for us, as the community Artspace, to be able to host the event.

 "The Old Court celebrated its first birthday last week. Throughout our first year we’ve been working hard to transform the venue into something the community can be proud of. Our auditorium now has a state-of-the-art sound system, so it felt like the right time to open our doors to the Ricky Tick.

 "We look forward to welcoming a stellar line-up with local connections, including an appearance by Donovan."

A revival of Windsor’s legendary Ricky Tick Club, The Old Court, St Leonard's Road, Windsor, Saturday, November 10, 7pm. The live room headlined by Joolz Jones and Donovan. In the DJ room Chelsea Singh brings his a-list crowd.

Tickets £20. VIP £30 (limited to 50 tickets). All profits and a  percentage from future events will be put into a new music fund for local artists to apply for.