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Preston’s former nightclubs and nightlife remembered

Posted on - 29th December, 2013 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - History, Nightlife, Nostalgia, Preston City Centre
Brooks Nightclub 80's

Brooks Nightclub in the premises of the former Ritz cinema on Church Street

It is around this time of year when many Prestonians start to think of a venue in the city where they can bring in the New Year.

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At Blog Preston we started to wonder what places, now gone by the wayside, that people went to on New Year’s Eve over the years. With some research and help from the fantastic members of the Facebook group known as ‘You Know You’re From Preston When….’ we came up with a surprising number of sources of night time entertainment from Preston’s past.

It has also been quite fascinating to discover that even in the 1800’s the good people of Preston would celebrate such events in the various entertainment establishments around the town centre of that time. Not least, were two very well known hostelries, one known as The George Inn Concert Hall on Friargate which was located approximately at the corner of Friargate and where Market Street is now. The concert hall was part of the George Inn and renowned for a great variety of professional artistes of the finest entertainment of the era. The other very popular place was the Guild Hall Tavern, this being situated in Library Street off St John’s Place, just behind the Minster on Church Street. This establishment would also offer a popular mix of well known circuit entertainers providing music and song for the pleasure of all. Even children as young as twelve years of age could be found there at times sampling the fine beers on offer from the Inn’s very own brewery!

To the more recent times from the mid 1900’s, Preston has enjoyed many night time places of licensed entertainment or night clubs as they became known. Up to the late 1960’s, the Public Hall on Lune Street was a much frequented establishment of night life in Preston.

Foresters Hall, The One Time Flamingo Club

Foresters Hall on Great Shaw Street, one time premises of the Flamingo club

One member of the group, Tass Cotton, recalls, “I don’t remember night clubs as such in my youth, around late 50s. My Saturday night out was to the Public Hall. If you met a lad he would agree to meet there on Sat. The tight fisted ones would ‘see you inside’ but the serious dates would meet you outside and pay for your entrance. Not sure if there were any real nightclubs in Preston then; I will be interested to see what I missed!”

Some members of the Preston based Facebook group, have stretched their memories to recall many of the places they remember visiting over the last forty years or so, during their younger years while living in Preston.

See how many you can remember from this list, compiled from the memories submitted by the group’s members.

The Piper – Tithebarn Street

Arabella’s – Church Street

Clouds – Church Street

Snooty’s – Market Street

Cherry Tree – Great Shaw Street

Tokyo Joes – Church Street

Piccadilly (above Duck Inn) – Fishergate

Legends (PNE grounds) – Deepdale

Manxman (MV ship) – Preston Docks

Gatsby – Great Shaw Street

Club Royale – Great Shaw Street

Worsleys Ballroom – Great Shaw Street

Top Rank – Church Street

Caves – Derby Street or possibly North Road

Turret Lounge (above bowling alley) – Tithebarn Street

Beachcomber – Fishergate/Glovers Court (above Cleggs shop)

Flamingo – Great Shaw Street

Brooks – Church Street

Scamps – Church Street

It is noteworthy that some of the venues mentioned in the list were of different clubs but at the same premises of a former establishment.

We would like to thank the members of the ‘You Know You’re From Preston When….’ Facebook group for their participation in assisting us to create the list of former clubs and night-time venues of Preston’s past.

Did you ever go to any of these places? Do you recall any others from times gone by? Let us know in the comments.

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