6Ts - Northern Soul's Southern Home

Roger Stewart

I’m sorry to tell of the passing of Roger Stewart this morning in the Chelsea and Westminster hospital from a lung condition.

Roger was an original member of the London Northern Soul fraternity in the mid-70s when it was still a very small scene. He came up to London from Bournemouth to work in a posh Knightsbridge hotel as a concierge. We would meet up at record stalls like Cheapo Cheapo in Soho and the occasional soul dos that Terry Davis or some other enterprising soul fan put on for the 50-80 souls who were interested. The early Bisley dos spring to mind and of course the trips to Wigan on the train or with him driving.

Roger drove all over the country for soul dances and it was only after I’d been travelling with him for a year that I found out he hadn’t got around to getting a licence. Like Mick Smith, Pete Wid and myself he was a keen junk shopper, hoovering up the Northern sides that emerged in the capital. We went around each other’s gaffs, playing and trading records and Roger often had something for the weekend for those of us who partook.

Roger and brun

His English collection was exceptional and he had terrific imports like Ted Wilson to augment them. Like me he was a collector before eventually DJing at the 100 Club for the 6TS in the early 80s. He was with us for a long time but as his respiratory problems got worse, he struggled with all nighters, though he did manage a long run of evening gigs at the Bisley reincarnation nights with the help of his great friend and batman Colin. He had to pull out of a few gigs in later years but it was so good to see him back behind the decks at the 40th anniversary last September. He clearly revelled in being back on the 100 Club stage and so many people acclaimed him that night that it must have given him one last huge boost before his final decline. One of the most important records he broke down there was Esther Phillips ‘Just Say Goodbye’ and there will be many of his friends who won’t be able to hear it without thinking of Roger.

Thanks for being such an entertaining, adventurous, loyal and loving friend Rog.

Ady & all involved with the 6TS Rhythm ‘N’ Soul Club

 

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In 2008 Colin O'Toole directed this documentary for Channel 4s ‘3 Minute Wonder’. Recognise our star?