Paul Gibson’s Hull and East Yorkshire History

Club, Disco & Go-Go - the post war dancing scene in Hull


The Hull Telephone Directory of 1960 had no individual sections for entertainments, discotheques, music venues, coffee clubs, coffee bars, nightclubs, or even working men’s clubs. Only ‘Clubs, Social and General’ were listed (of which there were 96) and ‘Clubs Dancing and Ballroom’, which had one entry - the Kevin Ballroom, North Church Side (also the home of the ‘Birdland’ jazz club – see later). Clearly, the telephone book would only list the venues that actually had a telephone, so there must have been many more, but by 1961 two more ballrooms were listed, the Majestic in Witham and the New York Hotel & Ballroom Anlaby Road, the latter listed in the ‘Hotels’ (mostly public houses) section. This remained the case throughout the 1960s but as the decade wore on the ballrooms began to be complemented by coffee bars, which became a place for teenagers to gather and listen to their new music whilst sipping ‘Espresso’ day or night. Coffee Bars had arrived in the 1950s, with all things exotic enjoyed by the more liberated post-war youth, and were epitomised by the 'Two-Is' Club in London. A few clubs, that were often un-licensed, also provided gambling and a stage for the local Beat group, Jazz combo or Folk Club, whereas the new discotheques (discos) catered solely for the ‘ravers’ who craved to dance to mostly pop-chart orientated music in more extrovert ‘hip’ surroundings.[the Concise Oxford Dictionary (1982) describes a discotheque as a ‘club, café etc.,where records are played for dancing’]

The sixties popular music scene was more diverse than today’s, although it could be said that the boundaries were a little clearer. The Jazz fans had their own favourite haunts and could be seen as several distinct groups; modern Jazzers, who listened to John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Charlie Mingus etc., and traditional or Trad’ Jazz lovers who had Chris Barber, Kenny Ball etc. Each group favoured their own venues but both formed their own clubs that frequently met in rooms above pubs, as well as clubs. Some of the Hull Jazz music clubs proved to be long-standing, such as those held at the Corn Exchange, the Haworth Arms (known as the Phase Two Club by the late 60s) and the George Hotel (corner of Walton Street), which enjoyed a boom in interest in the 1970s.

There were many, many other locations around Hull where Jazz could be enjoyed, such as the wonderfully named 'Granny's Parlour Folk Club' held at the Royal Oak pub, but many went unlisted and to note them here relies on the memories of the readers – so please contact me.

I have mentioned some in the gazetteer to get us started, mostly taken from Hull Jazz & Jazzmen by Laurie Dex. Hull’s Folk Music crowd too had their own venues and haunts, and jive halls still catered for those Teddy Boys reluctant to give up their ‘drapes and crepes’.

More mainstream music began to include examples of all the styles, which can be seen from the amazing mix to be found in an average hit parade of the mid-sixties. Blues sat alongside Rock & Roll and Skiffle, and Motown met with Rhythm & Blues and spawned a new breed of soul. Elsewhere, left-over do-wop hits jarred against the odd Folk protest song, and even a few Jazz hits. 1950s crooners often found themselves in poll place alongside the likes of Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Cream and The Rolling Stones. Essentially however, the 1960s were a period of revolution and whilst there will always be a trend to keep alive older and more traditional musical styles, nothing represents the optimism of that age like ‘pop’ music. This new music was epitomised by one group, as Ian Macdonald summed up well in his excellent book ‘Revolution in the head’ - ‘Though ultimately the product of influences deeper than pop, the Sixties’ soaring optimism was ideally expressed by it and nowhere more perfectly than in the music of the Beatles’. Even classical composer Aaron Copland agreed: - ‘if you want to know about the Sixties, play the music of The Beatles’.

The demand for the more accessible musical mixture on offer to the public brought even more new venues. As the 60s drew to a close the more popular ‘chart music’ commanded most attention, and alongside all the small eclectic Folk and Jazz clubs, many large new discotheques and dancing clubs opened their doors. The Hull & Yorkshire Times ran a front-page article by Rex Booth in their issue of Friday 15 October 1971, which reflected the attitude of the time towards the new scene, and is repeated here in full as a suitable introduction to the subject. The headline was: -

‘Where the young folk go - Boom in discos is Hull entertainment phenomena’

‘They are fighting to correct their image; they are very slowly attracting an older type of customer; they make plenty of work for those involved behind the scenes. Those are three of the conclusions to be reached from a steady look at the swinging discotheque scene in Hull – a scene that has mushroomed in recent months to provide the city with discos of all types. Mention the word ‘discotheque’ to the average man in the street and he thinks of drug pushing and brawls involving zombie like characters with more hair than a cave man and whom he wouldn’t trust with his daughter. ‘There is’ says Peter Croskill, manager and part share owner in one of Hull’s smaller town centre discos ‘a certain amount of misunderstanding, as so many places of ill repute are associated with discos’. And it seems that where a change of words is needed to help right the situation, the right one is proving very difficult to find. For discos are now more than just rooms in which to dance, with records booming away in the background. Now they can include snack bars, flashing lights, waitress service, drinks with meals – all competing for one of the most attractive money markets in the country today – the teenagers. And as Peter Croskill says ‘young people do seem to have more money than they used to’.

No trouble

Trouble is of course, cater for one group and you throw yourself open to abuse by another. One of Hull’s discos is pushing the idea of an under 18 night. But those who admit to being under 18 on one night may want, for drinking purposes, to be over 18 on another. So there the management are fighting to rectify a situation, which is not a problem to them alone, by currently using a pass system. Managements have varying means of fighting another problem, the ‘bovver boy’; by trying to tackle it at its roots before it has a chance to grow. Peter Croskill vets everyone as they come in the door specially designed, he says, to keep out undesirables. In another disco there is an adequate supply of door-men all of whom look capable of looking after themselves and anyone else who may need it. This place has put a ban on jeans but as the manager says - ‘very few come in jeans’ and as Mr Croskill points out ‘casual dress does not necessarily mean troublesome people’.

But who are the people who frequent the discos – the people who are Hull’s night owls and who are just starting to wake up when most of us are going to sleep? And will they spend the money that the market researchers tell us they have? ‘We come here’ said 18 year old Paul Dick ‘every Tuesday, some Fridays and Sundays, quite a lot in fact’. He was speaking from a corner of Hull’s newest disco – plush, attractively designed, warm, comfortable, with its double-decker layout and on Tuesday evening a bachelor’s paradise where the guys are out-numbered by the girls 3 to 1. Why do he and his friends make these frequent visits? ‘Somewhere to go and not much else to do’. And what did they do before these places opened? ‘Nothing at all; fly about on scooters’ Now he and his mate Graham Robertson are quite happy to spend £3 a week each to pay for themselves and their girlfriends to enjoy the disco’s facilities, and that sum is the most expensive item in their entertainment budget.

No fighting

There’s no question of them appearing at the door in jeans. Paul and Graham don’t mind turning out for the evening in gear very different from their normal working clothes. ‘My parents are often quite worried in case there are fights’, said Paul. He chuckled and added ‘and if there’s a fight I always seem to be in it’. But he finds no fights where he goes. ‘Keep yourself to yourself and you are OK’; and he believes there is far less chance of a fight breaking out in a disco than in a dance hall.

For 17 year old Terry Baynes it’s the atmosphere that draws; ‘It’s more lively, there is more happening’. The majority of his friends visit discos two or three times a week, and Terry and his pals find them the current in-place to meet girls. So why then at 9.50 in the evening, were there no men on the dancing space at all I wondered?  ‘The lads go up later’ answered Terry, ‘maybe they are not dancing tonight because there is something on at 10.30’ said Pat Barkworth, referring to both the empty floor and the fashion show due to be staged later. ‘If you are up there and others sit down, you stop up there, but you feel more self conscious if you get up early and you are the only ones’.

It’s once a week to a disco for Pat and her friend Linda Chappel, also 18. The new form of entertainment hasn’t stopped them playing badminton regularly at the YPI and they reckon they spend about 75p a week on disco entertainment. Knowing what sort of entertainment they want when they’ve paid their entrance fee is the work of the disc jockey – people like Dave Sanders, at 20 very au-fait with the 18 to 25 year olds who are the discos most frequent customers; and who moves from being an office clerk by day to a DJ at one of the towns smaller discos by night. ‘You’ve got to try to please as many as possible he says of his night work’. At the moment he finds what all the other DJs I spoke to find – that what pleases the majority is the Motown sound.

Mobile disco

A mark of the discos popularity and of the gradually changing age and social groups they are attracting is the new entertainment phenomena, which has risen alongside them over the last year or so – the mobile disco. For, say £8 you can have a full evening’s entertainment of music and lights for your party, with the music to suit your own or your guests varied tastes. Tony Cliff is one of three partners who run a local mobile disco. They have very regular bookings at various pubs in the district where they are an added attraction for the customers. But their work is not just a question of putting on records and flashing a few lights. Tony stresses it is essential to establish a communication between the disc jockey and the audience; ‘There has got to be feed back; if the disc jockey doesn’t communicate it will not be a success’, he says, - ‘and one wrong record could destroy an atmosphere it’s taken half and hour to build up. For the first few minutes when playing to a new audience the DJ must watch for their reaction and then cater for it throughout the evening’.

Own lights

All classes of people ask for a mobile disco to entertain them at some time it seems - from the types we might expect; such as University students to those we might not; such as golf club members. And the mobiles cater for the same age group as do the residents ones. ‘The most common age group we meet’ says Tony ‘is the 18 to 24 age group, these are the people who go in to a pub to listen to discos’.

The mobile disco world has its own lingo. A ‘rig’ includes frequency lighting, ultra-violet light and slide projection. Tony reckons his outfit have in excess of 4,000 discs and they can provide Go-Go dancers and films if they are wanted. The light-show side has its own people to run it, and Neil Manyan is the back room boy who looks after the sound equipment.

Older folk

I asked Tony what he thought were the reasons for the current boom in discos. After a pause he replied ‘where commercial ones are concerned there has been some relenting on the part of the Watch Committee I think, and the whole area is waking up to the idea of sound and vision. People don’t just want to go out for a drink they want something to look at and listen to as well’. Older people are finding the discos more attractive. One manager spoke of a few 40 year olds wandering in late on a Saturday night, another that they were trying to reach the older group on a Tuesday evening and a few are tending to drift in. Some parents have taken their younger children to a disco and collected them again later when they had enjoyed an evening out themselves. A few have even arrived and asked to be shown around. And I was surprised to find on Tuesday evening in one of the town’s discos two young married women without their husbands. But they were not here for the beer; merely the fashion show later that night. The viewpoint of these girls in their mid-twenties? - ‘we are quite happy with the image of discos and a disco is a bit more lively than a pub. But even so it doesn’t make us wish we were single again’. Perhaps not them, but I wouldn’t have minded shedding a few years on Tuesday evening’.

In 1972, just months after this article appeared, the Hull Telephone Directory had a section for Discotheques in its Yellow Pages for the first time. The entry read ‘Discoteques (sic):- see entertainment’s & amusements’, and from 1972 no ballrooms were listed in the Hull directories. In 1973 there was a section for ‘Night Clubs’ for the first time in the Yellow Pages, but the only club listed in this section was Tiffany’s until 1978-79 when Romeo’s & Juliet’s appeared. This suggests a possible distinction between those listed as social clubs and those listed elsewhere, i.e. was it to do with licensing hours? Did night-clubs have a late licence whereas the others had normal pub hours; or can they be quantified by actually having a licence for dancing? Either way, by 1981 four clubs were listed specifically as night-clubs - Club International, Romeo’s & Juliet’s, Spiders and Tiffany’s.

The following list of fondly remembered venues was gathered in 2001 from my own memory and those of friends and family, and may spark a few memories of our dancing (or relaxed listening) days. I have since updated it with additional memories sent in by readers and viewers of this website but it must only be a fraction of the places that you could call a club in Hull since the Second World War, other than traditional 'Social Clubs' and ‘working men’s clubs’. Obviously, having compiled the list in 2001 - it only features venues up to that date - somebody else can bring it up to date please.

Please email me with any memories that you have of the discos and clubs in Hull.

Hull Clubs — A to C

Adelphi Club, 89 De Grey Street.

Although now a legend in its own lifetime, the Adelphi began life as a working men’s club. First listed in 1982 under ‘clubs, social & general’ and still going in 2009, it was opened as a ‘music venue’ by Paul Jackson in 1984 and incorporated the Unity Club in 1985. Although frequented by a somewhat changed clientele, as the New Adelphi Club it continues to provide a platform for local bands as well as having international acts every now and then.

Annabella’s, Ferensway.

A new name and a new image for the old Mecca/Locarno Ballroom although it was still part of the Mecca Group. Listed from 1973, initially in the entertainment’s and amusements section of the Yellow Pages. Still open in 1979 but not listed in 1980.

Bailey’s, Jameson Street.

The Hull Times ran an article in July 1971 regarding the Bailey Organisation’s latest and largest night-spot; Bailey’s at Hull. 25 year old Ray Copeland was appointed the manager of the £80,000 club, scheduled to open in August 1971. Bailey’s closed its doors and was put up for sale in August 1977 due to falling attendances. However, it never seems to have been listed in the telephone directories, unless it was classed as a pub - everyone knows it was in the old Skyline’s premises, so where was it recorded?

I am grateful to Paul Rusling for contacting me with the following resume: -'Baileys should have been in the phone book - it had a 5 line switchboard and the number was 24000. manned 24 hours a day, Baileys had an all night watchman and female receptionists by day. The club was the former Skyline ballroom and had two halls - the main cabaret room that held 1200 guests SEATED and 200 more standing, plus a 700 person discotheqe next door.  I worked in the big room as cabaret host and resident DJ, 5 nights a week , while at College (of technology) doing my radio qualifications'.  

Bali Ha`i, 118 George Street.

First noted in the ‘entertainment’s’ section of the Yellow Pages in 1981 - another part of the Mecca Group, although I attended a party there in December 1980, so it must have opened earlier. Still listed in 1987 but gone by 1988. Later to become another venue - Ku2.

Barn, Whitefriargate

See Discoteque.

Barracuda, Bishop Lane.

May have been an early name for what became the Bier Keller, as remembered by my cousin Steve Worner of sixties group the Five Trax.

However, Graham Hardy has a different take: - 'I don’t actually remember the Barracuda but do recall seeing a photograph of Bishop Lane when it was there. The photograph which was taken from the Lowgate end, from what I can recall, would suggest that the Barracuda was on the opposite side to the Bishop Lane Club and was very near to the Lowgate end. You cannot actually see the club, just the sign so I suppose that it is possible that it was a sign pointing down Bishop Lane to the Barracuda rather than actually on the front of it. The reason I particularly remembered the photo was that it struck me as being very coincidental that the old Barracuda was so close to the new ‘beer hall’ in the Exchange on the corner of Bowlalley Lane by the same name'. Intriguing...

Beverley Road Baths

As well as having rock groups in the 1960s (and 70s?) the Beverley Road Baths had also been a popular ballroom dancing venue in the 1950s and 1960s. Regular bands were those of Harry Chatterton, Stan Thrussel and Leslie Rose.

Biarritz, George Street

Listed as a pub from 1994, but as it had a large dance-floor it was obviously intended as a place to boogie.

Bier Keller, Bishop Lane.

See Barracuda. This never seems to have been listed as a club in the telephone directories etc, so was it another name for the Bishop Lane Club itself. Graham Hardy remembers it was still open circa 1979. How wrong could I be, Paul Rusling, a DJ from the time recalls: - 'this was a coffee and coke speak-easy late night club in 1967. In march 1968 we began renting it for one early night a week for our Radio 270 fan club, when I began my DJ work (still but 13). I had to be off the premises by 10:30 when it opened up as a coffee bar! Run by Reg Lane and Andrea Petty.   Andy also had a place 15 52 Spring bank called, originally the Speakeasy. That had been a gambling place at some time, it still had blackjack and roulette tables when I first went in, in 1968. They opened a new club downstairs in june 1968 as Penny Farthing, and we moved our radio discos there. It ran as a regular late night coffee club and disco after 10:30, when the resident DJ was Jeff Bunting. Jeff also worked across the road at number 51, which was the legendary 51 Club. They DID have a casino licence, and also a dance floor and club operation. The club was run by Derrick [Geoff?] Mole, who had run The Discotheque in Whitefriargate - he was also an antiques dealer. 

Bishop Lane Club, 1-2 Bishop Lane.

Listed in the telephone directories from 1970 until 1977 under ‘clubs, social & general’ and ‘(students and teachers)’, which may have been some sort of licensing loophole i.e. it may have tried to be known officially as a club just for students and teachers. More commonly, it was known as Bier Keller, but not referred to as such in the telephone directories. As I wrote in my study of Bishop Lane: 

‘The fashion for discotheques was at its peak in the late 1960s and property in the old-town would have been at its lowest price for any prospective buyer. In 1970 plans were submitted for an extension to the ‘Bishop Lane Club’ which involved the development of former property in Stewart’s Yard, to the south of the original buildings of No.2 Bishop Lane. These were completed in December of 1970 just in time for Christmas.

During the 1970s the Bishop Lane Club catered for the younger market and was known amongst other things as ‘Temptations’ and the more memorable ‘Bier Keller’, which it remained until the late 1970s. By the end of the 1970s (1980?) Nos.1 and 2 High Street were part of a group of buildings, which also included the former Dunwell’s Forge next door on High Street.

Under the name of Montague’s Club, part of the building of the former Dunwell’s Forge had become the ‘Forge Bar’, with the disc jockey sat directly in front of the old forge chimney. Above this’ in rooms formerly offices and a school, was a wine bar entered from the tunnel entrance to Stewart’s Yard.

The main entrance to Montague’s was via No.1 Bishop Lane whilst the ‘downstairs dancefloor’ was the former No.2 Bishop Lane, the original entrance to No.2 being used as a fire escape. Montague’s had gone by the end of the 1980s and the ‘Hull Food Restaurant’ took over after vacating their premises in Charles Street in 1991’.

Blind Institute, Beverley Road.

Another regular venue in the 1950s and 1960s for ballroom dancing etc. Regular bandleader was Norman Mail & his band.

Blue Lamp Live Music Club & Bar, 2 Norfolk Street.

The Blue Lamp (a reference to the club having been a police station) took over from the Jailhouse late in 1992, but was never convincing as a proper live venue. All the flashy sound and lighting rigs could never quite recreate the ambience of the Jailhouse. Listed as a night-club from 1995 and continued until 1996 when it became known simply as The Lamp, just a pub really.

Brick House, Baker Street

The Brick-House was situated in the former Albion Congregational Chapel building, now a pine furniture shop opposite the former Irish Pub [now Fusion?]. Chris Ketchell remembers Barrie Nettleton (the B) ran it with Rick Welton (the RICK). Mark Peacock recalls it was part of the Hull Brick Company, a promotional company that formed in 1970 and was responsible for attracting larger bands to Hull (usually at the City Hall) – T Rex, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Yes, Free, Lindisfarne, Mott the Hoople, etc. They saw the need for a smaller venue and opened the Brick House in April 1971, which also opened during the day with a shop and a café where records could be listened to. Despite a great line up of acts the venue closed later the same year – Christmas eve 1971 saw the last gig and it closed completely in January 1972; as an unlicensed venue (never likely to get a licence in a former Methodist Hall) it was a risk, and also had problems with Hell’s Angels, which probably hastened its demise.

Cameo (coffee) Club, Hedon Road.

A Coffee Bar type place within Alexandra Terrace on Hedon Road, that was known as a coffee bar, but allegedly one could also buy more illicit substances and have a dance (Graham Hardy remembers). May previously have been known as the Talk of the Town?

Ceasar’s Palace, 112-116 George Street.

Another confusing name, ‘Ceasar’s’ had been a Casino in George Street circa 1975-78 at nos.48-50, but this Ceasar’s was listed as a night-club from 1994 and despite the numbering appears to have taken over from Ku2, which was no longer listed from this year on. It was still open in 1995 but not listed in 1996.

Central Park, Anne Street

Took over from Studio Circus in late 1992 and included ‘Ritzy’, which later became Eclipse. Continued until late 1999 or early 2000 when both became The Universal.

Club 51, 51 Spring Bank.

Noted under ‘clubs, social & general’ from 1965 until 1973, but by 1975 it had become the ‘Fifty One-Casino Club’ and was noted as nos.49-51 Spring Bank.

Club Henry’s, Anlaby Road.

The Hull Times ran an advertisement for this club in its issue of 28 November 1975 (page 13). Did it become ‘Club International’ and later Henry’s again – or was the later Henry’s a bar within Club International?

Club International, 208-210 Anlaby Road.

Situated within the block of property now demolished at the western corner of Anlaby Road and Argyle Street, and listed for the first time in 1978. Later listed as Club International, a night-club, until 1989. Became Rumour’s Night Club circa 1990 - was Henry’s part of it - Henry’s Bar? Not listed separately elsewhere. Demolished circa 1992?

Club Penguin, 242 Hull Road, Anlaby

A cabaret club open in the early 1970s, with an excellent name, and its logo was a cute Penguin carrying a drinks tray (from an advert in the Hull Times, 2 May 1971. 

Club Sahara, 30 Albion Street.

The first of a number of clubs to occupy this site from 1990 onwards, which sadly involved the partial destruction of this section of a wonderful Georgian terrace. Late in 1993 it joined with ‘Quigley’s’ to create the Oasis Club and is now [2001] part of Club Zen. In 2009 this section of Albion Street is under redevelopment to accommodation, which it started life as in the 1870s.

Club Zen, 25-30 Albion Street.

The most recent (late 1999?) variation on the Albion Street theme. Formerly Oasis, Oasis 2000, Quigley’s, Club Sahara etc. etc. 

Hull Clubs — D to K

Dingwall’s, George Street.

Difficult to trace in the telephone directories unless it was listed as a pub? Took over the former Hofbrauhaus/Oddessey site around 1983 (I was seeing bands there from January 1983) and was an excellent live music venue (Annie Lennox played here with the Eurythmics no less, and Dr Feelgood, the Damned, Sisters of Mercy etc). Demolished along with Odyssey next door following a fire in 1984.

Disco 66, Whitefriargate.

See also Discoteque.

Discoteque, ‘rear of 48-49 Whitefriargate’.

Noted under ‘clubs, social & general’ from c.1969 and was possibly the first in Hull to be known as a discotheque but seems to have gone by 1971. Originally known variously as the Kon-Tiki Club, the Barn and Disco 66. An ex Hull Mod recalls 'Mod haunt 66-68. Tamla/Atlantic music ... all-nighters ... club was hated by those "normals" from locarno ect., but much loved by in "in crowd".

East Hull Baths, Holderness Road.

Not to be out-done, the East Hull Baths also held regular dancing evenings in the 1950s. Usually with the Maxwell Daniels Band.

Eclipse, 16 Anne Street

Took over from Ritzy as part of the Central Park premises in late 1995 early 1996.

Enigma, Witham.

Opened in 1999 from the ashes of the re-vamped Paradise Club. A much younger clientele although it retained a dark side until its closure in …?

Evolution Club, Bond Street

Based in the old Edwin Davis’ building this club opened late 1992 and attempted to fill the need for a rave venue, yet sadly succeeded only in creating a drug-pusher’s paradise.

Fagin’s Night-Club, Royal Station Hotel, Ferensway.

I think I am correct in saying this was one of Hull’s first Gay bars. It was first mentioned in the ‘entertainment’s’ section of the Yellow Pages in 1985, and I remember it being rather tacky (although I wasn’t a frequent visitor). By 1986 it was known as the ‘Gatsby Club’ and neither were listed from the end of 1986. Was it also known as Oscar’s, or was that a pub within the Hotel?

Feno’s Coffee Club, 36 George Street

Things appear to have come full circle now [2001], and night-clubs (which is what this one thinks it is) have now reverted back to a fragment of their possible origins – coffee bars. Opened in 1996.

Flamingo Coffee Club & Casino, 106 Londesborough Street.

Sounds like a muso’s venue or a jazz club? Listed under ‘clubs, social & general’ from 1965 until 1977, when it was listed simply as the Flamingo Club.

Flipper Disc Café, 155-157 Holderness Road.

Sounds like a place were you grooved to the latest tunes. Noted in the 1966 telephone directory under cafés and restaurants, but could you dance there? Did this become a record shop?

Gatsby Club (The), Royal Station Hotel, Ferensway.

Took over from the short-lived Fagin’s in 1986. Advertised as ‘The intimate yet lively, fully licensed disco’. Closed 1986-87.

Gondola Club & Coffee Bar, Little Queen Street.

Listed in the telephone directories under cafés and restaurants from 1964 until 1975. Chris Ketchell remembered: - ‘Gondola Club - It was in Little Queen Street, latterly that loud Sgt. Pepper`s place, i.e. part of the back of Albert Chambers. I think I went a number of times in the (late?) '60s although I only really have specific memories of once or twice. I saw the visiting American blues harp player Little Walter there; it may have been a place where the ‘can the white man play the blues’ early British R`n`B people like Chris Farlowe, Geno Washington & the Ram Jam Band etc. played as I know I saw them, but some of these [memories] were at dances at the Art College. I can’t remember it as being licensed, but it may have been. My memory of it really is as a coffee bar. My sister, in a recent discussion about it thought of it as ‘a sophisticated jazz club’ which it may have been - that may have been the reason for the appearance of black R`n`B musicians - the date of this event is in an article in Mojo which Dave Burton loaned me recently in an article about Davy Graham and Bert Jansch (Bert Jansch was involved in some gigs with Little Walter). The place would have been frequented by ‘art students’ (the epitome of cool at that time)’. Site re-opened as a pub (?) in 1991/92 named Sergeant Pepper’s.

An ex Hull Mod recalled this was 'the other mod club 65-69 ... cool in the afternoon', and Ann who worked there as a waitress recalled more detail ...

'I came across your article on Hull discos when I was looking up the Gondola discotheque - as I used to work there in 1963 - and wanted to know what had happened to it since I had fond memories of the place - in fact it was one of the most enjoyable jobs I have had over almost 50 years. I was 20 and worked there as a waitress and helped out behind the coffee bar. We were one of the first places to serve capuccinos and hot chocolate with whipped cream. At lunchtimes we gave people excellent spaghetti bolognese liberally boosted with garlic and cooked in the tiny kitchen on the premises. I don't think we served alcohol. I can't remember the name of the owner, a small neat man with a bit of a presence, or his girlfriend, who put on regular dancing displays with her partner in what would nowadays not go amiss in Strictly. The Twist and the Jive were hot then. There was a very large Bouncer called Dennis. Among those live acts that came were Johnny Kidd and the Pirates and Johnny Dankworth, and a host of others whom I can no longer remember. The night after I left my job there, The Beatles actually performed there. I was unable to stay on because we were leaving Hull altogether; it must have been June, July or August 1963'.

Another regular was Margaret, who recalls: - 'I used to frequent the Gondola Coffee Club nearly every day and three times at the week-ends. I remember the jive dancers giving shows and also meeting Joe Cocker in his early days. He appeared one Thursday night and my friend and I were the only people in the club that night! The Locarno was another place of happy dancing days. 

Gothenburg Coffee Club, 3 Prince Street.

Listed under ‘clubs, social & general’ from 1971 but may have been known as a more of a dance venue (as Ruf 15 was) as it was to become the Rio Discotheque in 1973. It may also have started life as a working mens club (see Working Mens Clubs page).

Henry’s Nightclub, 208-210 Anlaby Road.

Chris Ketchell recalls this had red awnings outside. Listed as a night-club from 1992, it replace Club International, which ceased to be listed in the same year. It appeared to last less than two years and was not recorded in 1993.

Hofbrauhaus, 42 George Street.

Noted in the telephone directory for the first time in 1975 under ‘clubs, social & general’. Still running in 1981 but Oddessy took over from it in 1981- 82. Keith Daddy recalls Hofbrauhaus had strippers and topless go-go dancers at lunchtime for a couple of years and Dave Burton remembered he and Keith used to go and sit there with just half a pint ‘a very cheap afternoon out’ [they only went for the beer of course]. It went very downhill towards the end.

Upstairs was Scamps which was I believe owned by the same people. You were almost certainly guaranteed a fight if you wanted one in Scamps. Both Scamps and Hofbrauhaus had strippers on during the day at one time or another. Hofbrauhaus later became Dingwalls the music venue and Scamps became Oddessy. Both venues were burnt to the ground in, I am almost certain, 1985 – Steve and I had been to Waterfront followed by the take away curry house on George Street and were just walking past when the fire brigade first arrived. I believe that the building was originally a Baptist Church and reportedly still had straw in the roof (early form of roof insulation) which helped the fire get a hold. There was a lot of speculation surrounding the fire. It was suggested that the staff who normally stayed behind after closing for a few drinks were ushered out early that night and the DJ who normally stored his record collection at the club removed it that evening but such were only rumours and may be entirely untrue'.

Hull College-Students Union, Queen’s Gardens

Regular live music venue; I saw Slade, Little Bob Story (French rock band who crucified Small Faces numbers), errrr? Slade again, and several others there. You could dance too.

Intercon, George Street.

In-between name for the venue that became known more famously as Bali Ha`I - after Malcolm’s, but before Bali Ha`i, according to Dave Burton. 

Jack’s Nightclub, Anlaby Road.

See New York Hotel.

Jackson's Paragon Ballroom

A swish dance hall above the 1920s Jacksons store in Paragon Street. Rebuilt after blitz damage in the 1950s. Regular band was The Alan Bond Orchestra.

Jailhouse Rock Club Venue & Bar, 2 Norfolk Street.

Took over, from what had been Oliver’s, in 1990 and was an excellent rough and tumble place. Many superb live acts appeared here (Steve Marriot, Albert Lee) and it was a great place for a boogie to good old Rock music. Managed by the leader of Ched’s Blues Band (later Vigilante) Ched’ Cheeseman, who filled the Juke Box himself and made it the cheapest and best juke box I can remember anywhere, ever. Doing his best to keep live music alive.

Kestrel Club, 7 Charlotte Street Mews.

Listed under ‘clubs, social & general’ from 1971 until 1973 and was known as a dance venue. Paul Taylor was a regular, and he recalls: - 'Kestral on Charlotte Street Mews opened 1970 and the dance floor was on the 1st floor. It was a large two storey warehouse type building. it was famous for the way the dance floor bounced up and down as everyone danced in time with the music. Towards the end of its time, they opened a second dance floor on the ground floor. It opened 7 days per week till 5am and in summer of course, I remember leaving at that time in daylight!'

Kevin Ballroom, North Church Side.

Listed from at least 1960 as a ballroom dancing venue, but gone by 1963? Remembered by Chris Ketchell (what isn’t?) as ‘possibly a club over the covered market. Did it have anything to do with the Corn Exchange pub? Also known as a jazz venue called ‘Birdland’, now the St. Paul’s Boxing Club?’ Graham Hardy suggests it was a ballroom dancing venue that started playing Rock & Roll in the interval, which then became more popular and so on.

Later became the Prohibition 66 Club? (see separate entry below).

King’s Club, South Church Side

Took over the old King’s Market shopping arcade in late 1998 early 1999. Owned by Sami Leisure and included its own Taxi firm - King’s Taxis.

Kon-Tiki Club, Whitefriargate

Another name for ‘Discoteque’, also referred to as Disco Kon Tiki locally. There was later a Kon Tiki suite within Bali Ha`i for functions etc., which some will remember as a separate venue.

Ku2, 118 George Street

Opened late 1990 (?) on the site of the late Bali Ha`i. Advertised itself as ‘Hull’s premier discotheque’ (the first time the correct spelling had been used) ‘The only slide inside a night-club in the UK’. Ceased to be listed in late 1992.

Hull Clubs — L to M

Lexington Avenue, Ferensway.

First listed in 1987 as a night-club, known colloquially as el-aay’s and incorporating Luckie’s Bar upstairs circa 2001. [Scheduled for demolition in summer 2009 as part of the continuing Ferensway regeneration].

Locarno Ballroom, Ferensway.

Noted from 1962 as a ballroom dancing venue and listed as such in the telephone directories, but did it later have nights and Saturday mornings – I’m sure I remember going or being taken - devoted to popular dancing? Part of the Mecca Dancing group. Became Tiffany’s in 1973 and later L.A.’s.

The ex Hull Mod notes that: - 'Only plus point of Locarno was The Kinks played in 1967 - they looked arkward in such a naff venue'.

Paul Rusling has more specific memories: -'Locarno, aka The Mecca, - well, I could write a book on that. It closed in 1971 after Baileys opened and was refurbished. It re-opened in September 1972 as TIFFANYS (main hall) with a resident band plus DJs (myself - as Paul Alexander, and "Angus Androcules") and a smaller discotheue upstairs called Annabellas. It always had the same number - 28250.' 

Lucky Star Coffee Club, 39 Cave Street

Noted in 1964 and conjures pictures of guy’s and chicks standing around a juke box grooving to the latest discs (well it does for me, but in Cave Street that would seem a little unlikely).

Majestic Ballroom, Witham.

Noted for the first time in the telephone directory of 1961 under ‘Dancing, Ballroom’ and later probably became the Top Rank Club, circa 1966.

Majic Garden (Humberside Theatre), Spring Street.

Noted as a Sunday night concert stage that occasionally featured jazz bands, but you could dance Mid 1970s?

Malcolm’s Discoteque, George Street.

The Hull Times recorded that ‘Jimmy Savile [was] to open new disco’. The article recorded that the disco was ‘purpose built as a nightspot for Hull’s younger generation, Malcolm’s Discotheque on George Street will be opened on Saturday August 21st… the disco has two floors and entertainment will be in the form of dancing to the latest discs.’ Top groups had already been booked to appear and the club had a late licence but would also be open for the under-18s on certain nights.

The club was built on a site at the junction with Grimston Street that had been vacant since the multi-storey car park adjoining it was built in 1966. Owner Malcolm Backhouse of South Cave had known there was a demand for this type of entertainment for some years. Malcolm’s was recorded in the telephone directories from 1972 until 1974 after which it was known as Intercon for a short while before re-opening as Bali Ha`i. Chris Ketchell recalls Malcolm’s: - ‘purpose built as a club? Yes I assume so; the place (part of the multi-storey car park block in George Street) always has been a club. I think maybe I went there from the start, whenever that was - there may have been some sort of continuity from The Brickhouse, as I think that the person who ran the disco at the Brickhouse later ran, or was involved with the place. I recall seeing Elkie Brooks & Vinegar Joe there on a number of occasions’.

Andre Brannan was also an early visitor:- 'Have fond memories of Malcolms from 72 to 74.  I remember seeing there, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band (some of the band members sitting round the Queens Garden fountain in stage clothes earlier in the day).  Can, Darryl Ways "Wolf" and New York Dolls, gave them directions to get to the club.  Stackridge, a particularly memorable rendition of "Let there be lids".  John Peel did at least one gig there.  If I could find my copy of the NME encyclopaedia I could give you more names. One non musical memory was from that period when they couldn't serve you drinks except by waitress.  They had a sort of barrier in front of the bar behind which girls stood and you had to give them your order they would then get it from the bar staff and you then paid them, the system was dropped after a few months thank goodness, the beer was Camerons if I remember rightly'.

Mecca Dancing, Locarno Ballroom, Ferensway.

Listed concurrently with Locarno. Where they both the same, or two separate entities within one building? Neither was listed after 1972 and it became Tiffany’s in 1973.

Montague’s Club, 1-2 Bishop Lane, High Street corner.

See Bishop Lane Club.

Also a restaurant, but it had a dance floor and a disc jockey and separate bars, so it wasn’t just a restaurant. Also it took over from Bier-Keller, which definitely was a proper club. Circa 1982.

Movin’ Scene, Witham.

Graham Wilkinson remembered that this was Ocean 11’s earlier name, but it was never apparently in the directories, although Paul Taylor was also there and he remembers: -'Movin Scene on Witham opened towards the end of 1969 and it was exclusively soul music. I have still got my membership card with nice sillouette figure on the front. Prices as stated on the card in 1969 were as follows: Thursdays 3 shillings, Fridays and Saturdays 5 shillings, Sundays 3 shillings. Usually opened till 2pm'.

Hull Clubs — N to O

New Tudor Club, 22 South Street.

Listed from 1961 - was it an early coffee club, can anyone remember that far back? Listed as a social club and changed to No.11 South Street from 1962 - I just love that name.

New Waltham Club, Norfolk Street

A working men’s social club, later to become Oliver’s, Jailhouse etc. Rex Booth wrote an article in the Hull Times of 17th August 1973 entitled ‘They’re in the groove and the sound is Rock!’ [Sounds like Smashey & Nicey] that recorded the popular 50s nights at the club that were well attended by Hull’s Teddy Boys. See below for circa 1980 picture

New York Hotel, Anlaby Road.

A former Temperance Hotel strangely enough. Latterly the New York Hotel & Ballroom, from the 1950s onwards, where you could dance away to Harold Dawson & his band. More recently incorporating Jack’s Nightclub. I remember seeing bands there from around 1982, like Haze, Split Pig, and Over The Top, an early Ron Hale’s band and all his later incarnations. Yes you could dance (well freak-out anyway) if you could find room to do so - or actually manage to stand up in the first place.

Newington Hall, Albert Avenue.

Regular dancing venue in the 1950s and 1960s and beyond. Now demolished. Regular band was - of course - the Newington Orchestra.

Oasis Club, 25-28 Albion Street.

Club Sahara and Quigley’s joined forces to create one of Hull’s rather down market night-club’s in late 1993. This part of Albion Street had been the scene (no pun intended) of clubs of one sort or another since the 1960s; The Old Ormonde Club was listed at No.22 Albion Street from 1961 to 1978 (No.3 Albion Street in 1905!) and in 1973 ‘Downstairs’ a licensed café & restaurant was listed at No.26 Albion Street. Became ‘Oasis 2000’ in 2000 and is now [2001] Club Zen.

Ocean 11 Club, 23 Witham.

This was a former hairstylist’s and café until the late 1960s when it was supposedly known ‘off the record’ as Movin’ Scene. Listed for the first time as Ocean 11 in 1975 under ‘clubs, social & general’ I can remember popping in to this one. It was a place you went after going ‘round town’ and where you could get a drink after pub closing hours. No windows and no sign outside, and later fitted with ultra violet lights on the small dance-floor upstairs, which served only to make you feel more disorientated than when you went in.

Very rough and tumble with an old black guy on the door who always had a baseball bat handy. Taxi drivers were often in with their, ehem… more regular female customers. Excellent music, always. Still running in 1989 but converted to the Paradise Club in 1989-90. Became ‘Enigma’.

Oddessy Discotek, 42 George Street.

First listed in 1982 in the ‘entertainment’s’ section of the Yellow Pages, taking over the Scamp’s/Hofbrauhaus premises. Continued to be listed until 1984 – when it was almost destroyed by fire; demolition was underway by November 1984 and the site cleared by February 1985. My 1984 photo shows it fire damaged (see below) with Dingwalls alongside The very modern interior had a telephone on each of the round laminated – very Space 1999 - tables to enable you to ring your mate or a girl at the next table. Popular with city office workers out for a liquid lunch – did they have strippers too?

Oliver’s, 2 Norfolk Street.

First listed under ‘clubs, social & general’ in 1982 having replaced the New Waltham Club, remaining until 1985. Later the Jailhouse, Blue Lamp etc. but initially more of a working men’s place.

Outsider Disco, 9 Leonard Street.

Listed for the first time in 1973. Not sure if this was a mobile or not… Local Gareth Watkins remembered it was ran by Hull’s hippies and moved around, but I’m not sure what the inference is there? By 1975 it was listed as Outsider Supertruck Discos, at No.61 Leonard Street. It continued to be listed until 1977. Chris Ketchell suggested this was the contact address for a mobile disco. However, a website viewer Robert W notes: -

'I was one of those 'elitist students' at Hull University in 1972-75, and didn't like the discos there, except that on Sunday evenings the OUTSIDER DISCO was on in one of the small rooms. As you say in your entry it was run by the local hippies - if my vague recollections are correct, the disco had been going for some time before I discovered it in late 1972, and was run by students of a hippified nature who later set up in Leonard St.
I didn't go much to the town clubs - I found them too elitist - you had to wear a TIE!! - I saved myself for the informality of the Outsider. It cost 10p to get in and smelt mostly of patchouli oil. I expended thousands of calories headbanging and consumed about three pints of beer and four pints of water. Phew!
The University also had discos and bands at Cottingham, mostly at The Lawns, but they probably don't count for your purposes, as they weren't in Hull.'

Hull Clubs — P to R

Pacific Club, High Street.

Both Chris Ketchell and Graham Hardy recall there may have been live music here - but could you dance?

Paradise (Night) Club, 23 Witham.

The luxuriously named Paradise Club was first mentioned in the telephone directory of 1990, listed as a night-club from 1993, and closed 1998-99. Formerly the Ocean 11 Club. Now [2001] ‘Enigma’.

Park Lane (Hu5), 273-277 Beverley Road.

New kid on the block opened circa 1998; catering for thirty-something’s apparently although their original promotion suggested they were ‘introducing an over 25’s club to Hull’. Part of the Dorchester Hotel to you and I.

Penny Farthing Club, Spring Bank.

How 60s is that name? Located on the north side of Spring Bank somewhere according to Graham Wilkinson. Some suggest it was the site of the present Editorial Inn, and Paul Taylor, who visited in the late 1960s recalls: -'Penny Farthing was at the top of Spring Bank near Editorial but I think it was not at the end of a terrace but was mid terrace. The dance floor was in the basement and was exceedingly seedy. I seem to remember foreign seaman, prostitutes etc. Much the same as all the other so called coffee clubs such as Cameo or Gothernburg'.

Peppermint Park, Ferensway.

Taking over from Tiffany’s in 1984-5 when Tiffany’s ceased to be listed in the telephone directories, this night-club served the same clientele and soon changed its name to Lexington Avenue.

Planet Earth Nightclub/Bar, 112-116 George Street.

Another incarnation of the old Ceasar’s Palace, Ku2, Bali Ha`i site, opening late 1997?

Prohibition 66 Club, North Church Side.

Website reader Terry Scott recalls the Prohibition 66 Club - possibly on the site of the old Kevin Ballroom. Could the name suggest it was opened in 1966?

Purple Pussy Cat Club, Spring Bank.

Another great name, and ‘Near St Jude’s Church’ – ‘Hull's swingingist new club’ in a 1967 advertisement, mentioned in one of Tim Joseph’s ‘Grandad’s’ columns in WHERE? Magazine.

Quigley’s Nightclub, 28 Albion Street.

First listed as a night-club in the telephone directory of 1992, located next door to Club Sahara, with which it joined forces at some point in 1993 to create the larger Oasis. Now [2001] Club Zen.

Rio Discoteque, 3 Prince Street.

Formerly the Gothenburg Coffee Club and listed from 1973 until 1975 when it was listed as the Rio Disco Coffee Club, and continued to be listed until 1977.

Ritzy, Anne Street.

See Central Park and Eclipse.

Romeo’s & Juliet’s, 2 Jameson Street.

Taking over the old Skyline Ballroom (and Bailey’s?) Romeo’s & Juliet’s opened circa 1978-79 over the Co-op. I remember seeing many of Hull’s Rock Bands here around 1980, notably the wonderfully named Ethel The Frog who blew my mind with a heavy version of Eleanor Rigby (as well as the guitarist having a Gibson Explorer guitar). Still open in 1992 but closed by... ? Latterly incorporated Samantha’s and Stroller’s rooms as separate dance areas available for private hire. Easy places to crash a party I seem to recall.

Room (The), George Street.

Took over from the night-club Room 82-88 (opened late 1995), which also incorporated the pub ‘Room 86-88’ that itself had started life as Room 1795 in 1992. Confused?… now [2001] offering; ‘House, Trance and Funk Lounge’.

Room 82-84, George Street.

See Room. Opened 1994 ish’ and was listed as a night-club that became known as Room 82-88 by 1996.

Rosie O’Grady’s Nightclub, County Road North.

The Hull Daily Mail recorded ‘a new night-club on County Road North’ in 1984.

Ruf 15, Vernon Street.

Now a driving school, but once a small club that served coffees, upstairs above Furman’s shoe shop, during the day and had a select clientele during the evening… my sister Anne recalled this was one of the first places you could go just to dance. I can’t locate it in the telephone directories, but Chris Ketchell remembers the name was taken from the number plate of the owner’s car. Was it anything to do with Furman’s or were the rooms above the shop just vacant and available? [RUF is also FURman’s backwards…?]

Rumour’s Night Club, 208-210 Anlaby Road.

Took over the Club International in 1989-90 and was demolished shortly after, circa 199… something. Still there in 1991, as the photo below was taken in that year.

Hull Clubs — S to T

Silhouette Club, 51 Spring Bank.

Taking over the old Fifty One Casino Club/Club 51 site, the Silhouette Club opened in 1979 owned by Zipwain Ltd., see right. Later circa 1990 moving to new premises at No.29  Park Street, where it remained for many years. Still a club in 2009, although now long closed. See below right.

Spider’s, Cleveland Street.

I have memories of this being the place to be when it first opened (my diaries say I was at a party there in February 1981), very new-wave, very black clothing, very… drunk. Last stop on the way home from town (unless you had gone to Paradise, but that was usually early in the week and Spiders only opened Fri/Sat) with your pointed suede shoes. It was formerly Seven Seas Club, and had nice Tetley’s beer in the upstairs bar. Historically this had been the site of the Hope & Anchor pub. First listed in the ‘Night-club’ section of the Yellow Pages in 1981 and still going strong in 2001 when you had the choice of ‘Positively 4th Street’ upstairs, and ‘Indie & Rock’ downstairs. But did it still serve Tetley’s?

Studio Circus, Anne Street.

The first of a new breed of clubs, which accompanied a shift in the music scene in general and was noted as a night-club for the first time in 1990. Extremely loud, with impressive light shows etc. Also catered for the rock crowd as most clubs eventually had to. Listed until late 1992 when it became Central Park & Ritzy’s.

T.C.’s Club, Folkestone Street.

Opened circa 1990, taking over the former Sculcoates Club - a working men's club. Originally a church hall, it was similar to Jailhouse in many respects but not quite as good. Not listed in 1994.

T.C.’s Nightclub & Restaurant, 1 Ropery Street.

Not sure if this was anything to do with the old T.C.’s in Folkestone Street. There are other T.C.’s in the area (Grimsby has a pub called this near the Fish Dock) but may not be connected. Listed as a nightclub from 1999.

Talk of the Town, 319 Hedon Road.

Noted under ‘clubs, social & general’ from 1970 until 1973 but sounds a bit more up-market and dancey. Graham Wilkinson remembers it as a dance place. May have later become the Cameo Club.

Telstar, Mr.ZZ’s etc., Bransholme Centre.

The strangely sixties sounding Telstar Club opened in September 1974 to serve England’s biggest housing estate.

Temptations, Bishop Lane.

See Bishop Lane Club.

Tiffany’s Nightspot & Discoteque, Ferensway.

A double site coupled with Annabella’s, and both owned by the Mecca Group. Listed from 1973 until 1985 when it became Peppermint Park, another daft name, although I was still going to parties there in March 1986, so it must have closed that year. I prefer to remember it as a Monday night venue - ‘Rock Night’ where I used to go after playing pool in the Spring Bank Tavern and saw wonderful people like Dr. Feelgood and Chris Spedding (minus his Womble outfit).

Top Rank Club, Witham.

Listed in 1966 only and was probably an early dance venue similar to the Locarno but this has to be confirmed. Was this the earlier Majestic?

Tower Nightclub & Restaurant, 52 Anlaby Road.

Legendary local hot-spot, listed as a night-club for the first time in 1984. Formerly the ‘flea-pit’ Tower Cinema. Now famed for the phrase ‘Tower fur n’ owerr’, which is where you go when the pubs close in Hull. Latterly closed and under threat but now [2009] open again as …

Trogg Bar, George Street.

Sparkling black walls, floor awash with sticky beer, ‘Sylvia’ (Focus) & ‘Frankenstein’ (Edgar Winter Band) on the Juke Box, bliss. Part of the Manchester Hotel and a very cool place to go in the late 1970s and early 1980s. A disco room in a pub?

Hull Clubs — U to Y

University of Hull-Students Union, Cottingham Road.

A dance-floor and a live venue that I always found a bit difficult to get in at first because of all the elitist student types. In the late 60s I think it was known as 'The Round' and /or 'Bizarre society' c.1971. In the early 1980s I remember seeing The Damned (and later Captain Sensible solo) and possibly Dr Feelgood (again) but others are a blur….

Washington DC, No.1 Little High Street.

Listed for the first time as a night-club in 1982 at the fictional address ‘Little High Street’, which is merely a colloquialism for the north end of High Street. Too far off the beaten track, it soon closed… later the same year. Later to become the equally short-lived Mutiny on the Bounty pub etc., which also died a death or the same reasons.

Waterfront Club (The), Prince’s Dock Side.

The Waterfront Club opened circa 1979 in a converted warehouse to acclaim from all sections of the community and after a near disastrous fire was still going strong in 2001. Chris Ketchell recalled: - ‘I know the date it opened. I mean in theory I know the date it opened - I have a file on it if only I could find it, I saw it recently. Help! Conservation Action Group was very involved in its early days. We supported Francis Daly through all the planning battles he had over it; and when it opened, based all our activities there; we had committee meetings and public meeting there and stored things in the basement. Francis was our Vice President, we went to all the opening do’s and presentation ceremonies as we got him all sorts of awards. I have a really good file with lots of photos of the restoration process. I will find the file….

I’ve just been looking in old diaries. I think it must have opened 1979, as I’ve recorded a Help! Meeting at Waterfront on 28 February 1980; but there’s hardly anything written in my 1979 diary.’

Wellington Club, 105 Beverley Road.

Noted for the first time in 1963 as the Wellington Social Club, under ‘clubs, social & general’ but was probably more of a working men’s club until its new lease of life in the late 1970s (?) as a more trendy venue. In the 1980s it became the ‘alternative’ venue in Hull, and was the location for many events usually patronised by social workers, students or teachers. From 1992 it was listed in the Yellow Pages as a night-club, so does this suggest it was at this point it got its first regular late licence? As with many clubs, the Welly’ was also a place you could see local bands. It closed and re-opened again in the late 1990s but was not listed in 1999. Enjoying a renaissance in the early naughties.

XL Coffee Club, 1 Mechanic Lane.

Listed as a night-club for the first time in the telephone directory of 1992. 

YPI, George Street

The Young People's Institute also held ballroom dancing nights, with regular bands - Tommy Fisher, Ken Brookes, and Louis Gold.

- and Mobile Discotheques...

These appeared for the first time in the telephone directories in 1971 although I suspect they existed earlier. Only one was listed in 1971 - Red Bird Discotheques of 22 New Walk Beverley, in the ‘entertainers’ section. By 1972 there were more: -

Diskord Enterprises, 13 Cranbourne Street

Family Show, 12 Westbourne Avenue

Moby Disc, 76 Davenport Avenue, Hessle

P.R.P. 13 Montrose Avenue

Red Bird, New Walk, Beverley

Even more in 73’: -

Black Light, 29 Cholmley Street

Diskord Enterprises, 13 Cranbourne Street

Eastern Mobile, Wansbeck Road

Falstar Entertainments, 15 Spring Bank

Light Fantastic, 15a Hull Road, Cottingham

Moby Disc, 76 Davenport Avenue, Hessle

Psycho, 137 Westbourne Avenue

Red Bird, Octagon House, 9 Norfolk Street

1975 had all the above plus: -

Back Track, 20 Mayville Street

Carotech, 104a Grafton Street

Elektradisc, 95 Hawthorne Avenue

Phonograph, 17 Weardale Sutton Park

IT, 16 Westfield Road

Road Runner, 187 Chanterlands Avenue

NB Red Bird was also advertising Go-Go dancers for hire in 1975.

Between 1977 and 1988 the number of mobile discos stayed around the 15 mark, reaching a peak of 18 in 1984. In 1997 Déjà vu (Independent Promotions) situated in the Hull Business Centre were first entered in the Yellow Pages under ‘night-clubs’. This marked possibly the beginning of the new breed of ‘discos’, a mobile event rather than a static club?

© Paul Gibson 2009


Hull Entertainment Guide- Issue No.8 April 1948, Vogue Publicity Co., 6 Bond St. Hull (Author’s collection).

Rave Magazine, November 1966 & April 1967 editions, Tower House Publications, London 1967 (authors collection).

Revolution in the Head; The Beatle’s Records and the Sixties, Ian Macdonald. Fourth Estate, London 1994.

The Stones, Philip Norman. Book Club Associates, London 1984.

White Boy Singin’ the Blues; The Black Roots of White Rock, Michael Bane. Penguin Books, Harmondsworth 1982.

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