Nostalgia: Advent of security cameras in Barrow clubs 35 years ago
ALMOST everywhere you go there are signs warning that spy cameras are watching "for your safety and security" and the first one in Barrow goes right back more than 35 years. The Mail on Thursday, March 12, in 1981 gave a taste of things to come when it gave details of the arrival of what was called closed-circuit television. It noted: "Big Brother is beginning to cast his electronic eye over Barrow's nightspots.
"The new pub Grain and Grapes is the first to install closed-circuit TV, while neighbouring club Scorpio One will shortly follow suit. "It is the normal practice of Grain and Grapes owners, Inns and Leisure, to install the system, which they have also done at Ulverston's Sun Hotel." Grain and Grapes manager John Raisbeck was pictured putting the cameras and monitors in place.
He told the Mail: "There are two monitors, one of which is in my office, and eight cameras. "While I can see the whole pub, the monitor which customers can see above the lounge bar only covers the wine bar and the cellar bar. "Closed-circuit TV is obviously a security measure because of the size of the pub but customers will also be able to see who is in the other bars.
"It serves a dual purpose." Scorpio nightclub proprietor Colin Lavery was invited to the pub's opening night and said he was impressed by the TV system. He had approached a Lancashire firm and expected his system - costing several thousand pounds - to be installed in the next few weeks.
Mr Lavery said: "There will be a couple of monitors and from one in the foyer you will be able to see who is on the dance floor.
"After this I will be getting videos for the club."
The Champers Club in Barrow was able to show video TV but only for the amusement of customers, not for security.