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That Was the Year That Was – 1997
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1997 Gas (Petrol) was .22 a gallon in the US and 2 Pounds 70 pence in the UK , Great Britain handed back Hong Kong to China and the Dow was at less than 8000 . The first signs of the dreaded Bird Flu in China where the first documented case of the jump to humans causes Hong Kong to kill 1.25 million chickens. In the UK Tony Blair is the prime minister and Princess Diana dies in a car accident. Microsoft becomes the worlds most valuable company valued at 1 billion dollars. Internet Explorer version 4 released. The comet Hale-Bopp has its closest approach to earth. Microsoft buys minority stake in Apple Computers for 0 million.

1997 Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Eurovision victory, Film: Titanic, Friends, Girl Power is born, Harry Potter: J.K Rowling released the first book. Northern Lights: Philip Pullman also began a fantasy series, The X Files, The Nintendo 64 was released, I’m Alan Partridge hit our TV screens, Final Fantasy VII, South Park, Ally MacBeal made its debut, EastEnders: Rickaaaaayyyy and Bianca marry, Britain was walking on sunshine when Katrina and the Waves took us to a long awaited victory in the singing competition with Love Shine a Light. Well played Katrina, for a while Eurovision Fever became a bit of a thing again. Channel 5 started, Robot Wars was built, The Teletubbies entertained all children and Princess Diana’s funeral watched by 1.5 billion people around the world.

Things You Were Doing on the Computer in 1997

It’s easy to complain about the state of current consumer electronics. You may, say, wish your laptop didn’t get hot enough to cook a panini. Or that the Wi-Fi in your apartment didn’t always have your Netflix buffering. Or maybe that your browser didn’t always crash when you opened your 115th tab. As much as you may grumble about your gadgets and services, just know this: We’re much better off now than we once were. To illustrate that point, we took a look back at the year 1997 to see how things used to be.

Before people were filling their hard drives with MP3s, the best way to hear new music on the Internet was with Real Player. (Napster would be released two years later, and WinAmp was just getting started). Before music blogs, the best you could do was dig through forums to stream new songs, which you would then bookmark to play later. And you’re mad that Spotify Premium is ?

In ’97, the top three computer (hardware) companies were IBM, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard. (Apple’s iMac wouldn’t drop for another year.) But what kid wanted an IBM computer? I didn’t know any. Everyone who wasn’t building their own wanted a HP or a Dell. We’re guessing you were the same way.

Not only did Microsoft have a near monopoly on computer operating systems, it also made the only word processor that mattered. Sure, you could use Word Perfect and be fine, but your school probably used Word. So, all that formatting you spent the night working on would go to waste if you weren’t rocking with the best. For those (like me), who were stuck with the struggle that was Microsoft Works, which also wasn’t compatible with Microsoft Office (WTF?), be happy those days are over.

If you’re parents didn’t shell out money each month to keep "You got mail!" ringing throughout the crib, you were more than likely going through a ton of the free discs they mailed to your house unsolicited. If you weren’t on that hustle, you were at least using AOL instant messenger to keep stay connected to your friends during your two hours of Internet use a day.

Seeing as how by 1997 Microsoft had completely dominated the personal computer industry with the release of 95, there’s a great chance that you were using what some still consider the best version of Windows ever made. It introduced some of Windows hallmark features like the Start Menu and the task bar, and set the tone for nearly every release to follow. It was so popular, you probably didn’t stop using it until Windows XP dropped in 2001.

Now-a-days people complain about smartphones that don’t come with a high-speed LTE Internet connection. Back in 1997 some people would have killed for the ability to download files at 18.6 megabits per second on their computer. But no, back then all we had was a 28.8kbps (or, if you were lucky, 33.7kbps) connection that made downloading certain, um, pictures a tiresome experience.

Google wasn’t founded until September 4, 1998, so in ’97 your options for searching the web were limited to the motley crew of crawlers that were jokeying for the top stop. This was a time when, if you asked 10 different people what search engines they used, seven of the people would tell you six different search engines, and the last three would ask you, "What is a search engine?" The good ol’ days.

Even though Microsoft included a version of Internet Explorer with Windows 95, the superior Netscape Navigator was still the king of the hill, commanding 54% of the browser compared to Microsoft’s 39 to 45% (depending on which study you read).

The iPhone 5 has a resolution of 1136×640 pixels. The average resolution of CRT monitors, because a flat screen LCD was out of the question, was 640×480. Let that marinate the when you start complaining about not being able to afford the iPhone 5S.

Only a few people will relate, as most of us couldn’t afford CD burners for at least two more years. But, for those that could afford drop nearly a G on a CD burner, you were, without a doubt, the coolest kid on the block.

TV Soaps

1997 was the year that the Battersby clan descended on Coronation Street, shaking up the sleepy soap in a way that angered many viewers. The behaviour of the clan, which included Les headbutting Curly Watts, had viewers outraged but they certainly pulled in some new fans and, since they were toned down, they became fairly likeable characters in their own right.

Sir Cliff Richard enjoyed a hearty pint in the Rovers Return with Andy McDonald (played by Nicholas Cochrane) and Liz McDonald (Beverly Callard) as he appeared as an extra on Coronation Street back in 1997.

It was a big year for Emmerdale. Not only were they granted a third weekly episode but they celebrated 25 years of being on air in true soap style: with a bit of carnage. Linda Fowler was killed when a drug fuelled Lord Alex Oakwell crashed their car into a tree.

EastEnders: Rickaaaaayyyy and Bianca marry.

22–25 September – BBC 1 soap EastEnders airs a series of episodes from Ireland which attract criticism from viewers and the Irish embassy because of their negative and stereotypical portrayal of Irish people. The BBC later issues an apology for any offence the episodes caused.

Death of a Princess

Diana, Princess of Wales, has died after a car crash in Paris. She was taken to hospital in the early hours of Sunday morning where surgeons tried for two hours to save her life but she died at 0300 BST. In a statement Buckingham Palace said the Queen and the Prince of Wales were "deeply shocked and distressed". Prince Charles broke the news of their mother’s death to Princes William and Harry at Balmoral Castle in Scotland where the royal family had been spending the summer.

The accident happened after the princess left the Ritz Hotel in the French capital with her companion, Dodi Al Fayed – son of Harrods owner, Mohammed Al Fayed.

Criminal investigation: Dodi Al Fayed and the vehicle’s driver were also killed in the collision in a tunnel under the Place de l’Alma in the centre of the city. The princess’ Mercedes car was apparently being pursued at high speed by photographers on motorbikes when it hit a pillar and smashed into a wall. Mr Al Fayed and the chauffeur died at the scene but the princess and her bodyguard were cut from the wreckage and rushed to hospital.

The French authorities have begun a criminal investigation and are questioning seven photographers. Tributes to the princess have been pouring in from around the world. Speaking from his home in South Africa, the princess’ brother, Lord Charles Spencer, said his sister had been "unique". While it was not the time for recriminations there was no doubt the press had played a part in her death, the earl added. Hundreds of mourners have gathered at the princess’ London home, Kensington Palace and many have laid flowers at the gates.

Only Princess Diana’s bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones, survived the crash. Blood tests showed the driver, Henri Paul, had taken both drugs and a large amount of alcohol before the accident. The royal family was criticised for its reserve during a time when there was an unprecedented national outpouring of grief. Around one million people lined the streets to see the princess’ funeral cortege as it made its way to Westminster Abbey in early September.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ip3_Fl4KM8

No charges were brought against the paparazzi who had been pursuing the princess’ car. But the behaviour of the press came under close scrutiny and the code governing the British media was tightened in December 1997. An inquest into the princess’s death was opened in the UK in 2004. It has been adjourned while the Metropolitan police, led by Lord Stevens, carry out an investigation into the crash. Retired judge Lady Elizabeth Butler-Sloss will conduct preliminary hearings into the inquests in early 2007.

"Candle in the Wind 1997" is a re-written and re-recorded version of Elton John’s 1973 hit song "Candle in the Wind". It was released on 13 September 1997 as a tribute single to the late Diana, Princess of Wales. In many countries, it was pressed a double A-side with "Something About the Way You Look Tonight". It was produced by Sir George Martin.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8gO0Z818j4

Tony Blair becomes Prime Minister

The Labour Party won the general election in a landslide victory, leaving the Conservatives in tatters after 18 years in power, with Scotland and Wales left devoid of Tory representation. Labour now has a formidable 419 seats (including the speaker) – the largest the party has ever taken. The Conservatives took just 165, their worst performance since 1906. Tony Blair – at 43 the youngest British prime minister this century – promised he would deliver "unity and purpose for the future".

John Major has resigned as Conservative leader, saying "When the curtain falls it’s time to get off the stage and that is what I propose to do." Many prominent Tories lost their seats. Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown was triumphant on a day that saw his party win 46 seats, the best achievement for a third party in more than 60 years.

1997 Timeline

1 January – 11 VCI children’s titles – out now on video.

7 January – Carlton Television presents Monarchy: The Nation Decides, a live studio debate discussing the future of the monarchy in the United Kingdom. The debate quickly descends into a shouting match, while viewers are encouraged to vote on the issue in what is the UK’s largest television phone poll. However, Carlton is forced to extend the deadline for calls following complaints from people unable to get through. Of the 2.6million callers who vote, 66% are in favour of retaining a monarch while 34% are against.

15 January – Diana, Princess of Wales calls for an international ban on landmines.

The strengthening economy is reflected in a national unemployment total of 1,884,700 for last December – the lowest level since January 1991, although the Conservative government who oversaw it are still behind Labour in the opinion polls as the general election looms.

16 January – The Conservative Party government loses its majority in the House of Commons after the death of Iain Mills, MP for Meriden.

17 January – A jury at the Old Bailey rules that 86-year-old Szymon Serafinowicz is unfit to stand trial on charges of murdering Jews during the Holocaust.

East 17 singer Brian Harvey is dismissed from the band after publicly commenting that the drug Ecstasy is safe.

20 January – Death of Labour Party MP Martin Redmond ends the government’s minority. On the same day, the party vows not to raise income tax if, as seems likely, it wins the forthcoming general election.

4 February – Moors Murderer Myra Hindley is informed by Home Secretary Michael Howard that she will never be released from prison. Hindley, who has now been in prison for more than 30 years, was originally issued with a whole life tariff by the then Home Secretary David Waddington in 1990, but not informed of the ruling until just over two years ago.

5 February – The first Wednesday edition of the National Lottery is aired with the introduction of a second weekly draw.

6 February – The Court of Appeal rules that Mrs Diane Blood of Leeds can be inseminated with her dead husband’s sperm. Mrs Blood had been challenging for the right to use the sperm of her husband Stephen since just after his death two years ago.

9 February – The live final of the 1997 Masters is interrupted by snooker’s first ever streaker, 22-year-old secretary Lianne Crofts, who invaded the playing area at the beginning of the third frame. After stewards removed her from the arena, Ronnie O’Sullivan amused the crowd by comically wiping the brow of veteran referee John Street, who was refereeing his final match of his career.

22 February – Scientists at the Roslin Institute announce the birth of a cloned sheep named Dolly seven months after the fact.

27 February – The government loses its Commons majority again after the Labour victory at the Wirral South by-election.

8 March – ITV begins showing the UK television rights to Formula One, after 18 years of coverage shown on the BBC.

10 March – 160 vehicles are involved in a motorway pile up on the M42 motorway at Bromsgrove, Worcestershire. Three people are killed and 60 injured.

17 March – John Major announces that the general election will be held on 1 May. Despite the opinion polls having shown a double digit lead almost continuously since late 1992, Major is hoping for a unique fifth successive term of Conservative government by pinning his hopes on a strong economy and low unemployment – no incoming government since before the First World War has inherited economic statistics as strong as the ones that Labour will should they win the election.

18 March – The Sun newspaper, a traditional supporter of the Conservative Party, declares its support for Tony Blair and Labour. It condemns the Conservatives as "tired, divided and rudderless" – a stark contrast to its support for them in the run-up to the 1992 election where it waged a high-profile campaign against the then Labour leader Neil Kinnock and, after the Conservative victory, claimed responsibility for the result.

23 March – Unemployed continues to fall and now stands at just over 1,800,000 – its lowest level since December 1990.

30 March – Channel 5, Britain’s fifth terrestrial television channel and its first new one since the launch of Channel 4 in November 1982, is launched.

31 March – BBC pre-school children’s television series Teletubbies first airs.

April – Nursery Education Voucher Scheme introduced, guaranteeing a government-funded contribution to the cost of preschool education for 4-year-olds.

5 April – The 1997 Grand National is delayed after a suspected IRA bomb threat. The race is run on Monday 7 April at 5:00 pm. It is the last of 50 Nationals (including the void race of 1993) to be commentated on by Peter O’Sullevan.

8 April – BBC journalist Martin Bell announces that he is to stand as a candidate against Neil Hamilton in the Tatton constituency on an anti-corruption platform.

A MORI opinion poll shows Conservative support at a four-year high of 34%, but Labour still look set to win next month’s general election as they have a 15-point lead.

29 April – The last MORI poll before the election tips Labour for a landslide victory as they gain 48% of the vote and a 20-point lead over the Conservatives.

1 May – General Election: The Labour Party under Tony Blair defeat the incumbent Conservatives under Prime Minister John Major to win the election in a landslide result, winning 418 seats. Several high profile Conservative MPs, including seven Cabinet ministers lose their seats, as do all conservative MPs in Scotland and Wales. Michael Portillo, who was tipped by many to be the next leader of the Conservatives, is among those who lose their seats. The Conservatives fail to make any gains. A record 119 women are now in parliament. Mohammad Sarwar, elected for Labour in Glasgow Govan, becomes the first ever Muslim MP.

2 May – Being the leader of the party holding a majority after the General Election, Tony Blair MP is appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom by The Queen.

3 May – Katrina and the Waves win the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Love Shine a Light, the first time the UK has won the competition since 1981.

6 May – New Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown announces that the Bank of England, central bank of the UK, is to assume independent responsibility for UK monetary policy.

19 May – The new Labour government announces that it will ban tobacco sponsorship of sporting events.

June – Ford enters the growing compact coupe market with its Puma, which uses the same chassis as the Ka and Fiesta.

2 June – The Halifax Building Society floats on the London Stock Exchange. Over 7.5 million customers of the Society become shareholders of the new bank, the largest extension of shareholders in UK history.

8 June – Faye Dempsey wins the eighth series of Stars in Their Eyes, performing as Olivia Newton-John.

12 June – Law Lords declare that former Home Secretary, Michael Howard, acted illegally in raising the minimum sentence of the two juveniles who committed the murder of James Bulger, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, to 15 years. They also strip the government of setting minimum terms for prisoners aged under 18 who had received life or indefinite prison sentences.

19 June – The High Court of Justice delivers judgement, largely in favour of McDonald’s, in the libel case of McDonald’s Corporation v Steel & Morris ("the McLibel case"),
the longest trial in English legal history, against two environmental campaigners.

25 June – An auction of dresses owned by Diana, Princess of Wales, in Manhattan raises more than £2million for charity.

30 June – Publication of J. K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

1 July – The UK transfers sovereignty of Hong Kong, the largest remaining British colony, to the People’s Republic of China as the 99 years lease on the territory formally ends. This event is widely considered by historians and commentators to mark the end of the British Empire, the largest imperial endeavour in the history of mankind.

2 July – Chancellor Gordon Brown launches the first Labour budget for nearly 20 years, which includes a further £3billion for education and healthcare, as well as a £3.5billion scheme to get single mothers, under 25’s and long term unemployed people back into work.

4 July – Russian carmaker Lada announces the end of imports to the United Kingdom after 23 years and some 350,000 sales of its low-priced, low-specification cars, which at their peak sold in excess of 30,000 cars a year, but managed just over 6,000 sales last year.

19 July – The IRA declares a ceasefire.

30 July – Sunderland’s Stadium of Light, the largest football club stadium to be built in England since the 1920s, is opened by the Duke of York.

31 July – Less than three months after the Labour landslide, Labour loses the Uxbridge by-election to the Conservatives.

2 August – John Major’s Prime Minister’s Resignation Honours are announced.

14 August – Derby County F.C. move into their new Pride Park stadium, but their inaugural match against Wimbledon in the FA Premier League is abandoned in the second half due to floodlight failure.

21 August – The new Oasis album, Be Here Now, is released – selling a record of more than 350,000 copies on its first day.

27 August – An international survey shows that British rail fares are the most expensive in the world and have risen by 12% since privatisation.

Stoke City F.C. move into their new Britannia Stadium, which is officially opened by football legend Sir Stanley Matthews.

31 August – Reports emerge in the early hours of the morning that Diana, Princess of Wales, has been injured in a car crash in Paris which has claimed the life of Dodi Fayed, the Harrods heir. Within four hours, it is confirmed that Diana has died in hospital as a result of her injuries. The United Kingdom and much of the rest of the world is plunged into widespread mourning.

1 September – French investigators reveal that Diana’s driver, Henri Paul, was over the drink-driving limit and had been travelling at speeds in excess of 100 mph before the crash that killed her. Lawyers for Mohamed Al-Fayed, father of Dodi Al-Fayed, lay the blame on the paparazzi who were pursuing the vehicle.

A new style of fifty pence coin is introduced.

Reebok Stadium, the new home of Bolton Wanderers F.C., is opened by deputy prime minister John Prescott.

5 September – The Queen makes a nationwide broadcast in tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales, following widespread criticism of the Royal Family’s response to her death.

6 September – The funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales takes place at Westminster Abbey, London followed by a private burial at the estate of the Earls Spencer in Althorp, Northamptonshire. The Earl Spencer, brother of Diana, attacks the Royal Family’s treatment of Diana in his funeral eulogy. TV coverage of the funeral is hosted by both BBC 1 and ITV, attracting an audience of more than 32,000,000 which falls just short of the national TV audience record set by the England national football team’s victorious World Cup final in 1966.

11 September – Referendum in Scotland on the creation of a national Parliament with devolved powers takes place. On two separate questions, voters back the plans both for a national Parliament and for it to have limited tax raising powers.

13 September – Release of Elton John’s Candle in the Wind remade as a tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales. This will be the second best-selling single worldwide of all time.

17 September – Police investigating the death of Diana, Princess of Wales reveal that the car in which she was travelling may have collided with a Fiat Uno seconds before hitting a concrete pillar.

18 September – Welsh devolution referendum on the creation of a national Assembly takes place. Voters in Wales narrowly back the plans.

Opening of Sensation exhibition of Young British Artists from the collection of Charles Saatchi at the Royal Academy in London. A portrait of Moors murderer Myra Hindley created from children’s handprints by artist Marcus Harvey is removed from display after vandal attacks.

25 September – A Saudi court sentences British nurse Lucille McLauchlan to eight years in prison and 500 lashes for being an accessory to the murder of Australian nurse Yvonne Gilford in December last year. Fellow British nurse Deborah Parry is charged with murder and could face the death penalty if found guilty. Ms Gilford’s brother Frank, is reported to be willing to accept £750,000 in "blood money" for Ms Parry’s life to be spared if she is found guilty. Foreign Secretary Robin Cook condemns the sentence of flogging against Ms McLauchlan as "wholly unacceptable in the modern world".

29 September – British scientists state that they have found a link between Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and eating of BSE-infected meat.

1 October – The final LTI FX4 London cab is produced after 39 years.

3 October – 14 VCI children’s titles all going to Paris.

4 October – The BBC introduces its new corporate logo across the corporation. As well as new idents for BBC1.

15 October – Andy Green driving the ThrustSSC sets a new land speed record of 763.035 mph (1227.99 km/h), the first time the sound barrier is broken on land.

24 October – WPC Nina Mackay, 25, is stabbed to death in Stratford, London, when entering a flat to arrest a Somali asylum seeker who was due to be deported.

4 November – BBC News launches a full-time online news service, having already created special websites for the 1995 budget as well as this year’s general election and the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

6 November – Labour hold the Paisley South by-election despite a swing of 11.3% to the SNP.

12 November – Brazil’s Supreme Court refuses to extradite the Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs to Britain.

17 November – Six Britons are among the 58 people killed by terrorists in the Valley of the Kings, Egypt.

20 November – The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.

24 November – The British Library opens its first public reading room at its new London site on the Euston Road.

3 December – Andrew Evans, who was convicted of the 1972 murder of 14-year-old Judith Roberts in Tamworth, Staffordshire, has his conviction overturned by the Court of Appeal after the hearing is told he was being treated for depression when he confessed to the crime, and there is no other evidence against him.

10 December – John E. Walker wins the Nobel Prize in Chemistry jointly with Paul D. Boyer "for their elucidation of the enzymatic mechanism underlying the synthesis of
adenosine triphosphate (ATP)".

11 December – The Royal Yacht Britannia is decommissioned after 44 years in service.

18 December – The bill to establish the Scottish Parliament unveiled by Secretary of State for Scotland Donald Dewar.

19 December – William Hague marries Ffion Jenkins.

Moors murderer Myra Hindley loses a High Court appeal against the whole life tariff which was imposed on her by Home Secretary David Waddington in 1990 and later confirmed by Waddington’s successor Michael Howard.

22 December – The government announces an independent inquiry into the BSE crisis.

Twelve people are arrested during protests by disabled people outside Downing Street.

23 December – Rover Group produces the final Rover 100 after 17 years.

24 December – Will Straw, son of Cabinet minister Jack Straw, is arrested on suspicion of supplying cannabis.

27 December – Ulster Loyalist leader Billy Wright is shot dead in the Maze Prison. Prisoners of the Irish National Liberation Army are believed to have been responsible for Wright’s murder.

31 December – Singer Elton John and football legend Tom Finney among the men receiving knighthoods in the New Year’s Honours List.

Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow (the "armadillo"), designed by Foster and Partners, is completed.

The Weare prison ship is berthed in Portland Harbour as a temporary overflow facility.

Television

30 March – Channel 5, Britain’s fifth terrestrial television channel and its first new one since the launch of Channel 4 in November 1982, is launched.

30 March – Channel 5, the UK’s fifth and last terrestrial channel, launches at 6.00 pm. The first faces seen are the Spice Girls, who perform "1-2-3-4-5", a rewritten version of the Manfred Mann song "5-4-3-2-1". The opening night’s highlights include the launch of a new daily soap, Family Affairs, and The Jack Docherty Show, a weeknight chat show based on the format of US shows such as The Late Show with David Letterman.

1 April – At 4:40 am, Channel 5 begins a rerun of the Australian soap Prisoner: Cell Block H. This is the series’ first networked screening in the UK as, during its earlier run on ITV, scheduling of the programme had varied from region to region.

31 May – Channel 5 airs its first international football coverage, a match between England and Poland. The channel experiments with a new presenting format which attempts to recreate the atmosphere of a bar, with presenters providing coverage against the backdrop of chatter from an invited audience. The format draws criticism, with The Independent‍ ’​s Glenn Moore describing it as a "shambles" However, the coverage gives the channel its largest audience so far, with a viewership of five million.

6 January – Channel 4 closes down for the last time after more than 14 years. From 6 am, the channel broadcasts 24 hours a day.

Konnie Huq presents her first episode of the UK children’s programme Blue Peter. She will go on to be the longest running female presenter and third longest overall in the show’s history, presenting for ten years before leaving in January 2008.

BBC1

20 February – Chalk (1997)
31 March – Teletubbies (1997–2001)
7 April – 50/50 (1997–2005)
10 May – Jonathan Creek (1997–2004, 2009–2010)

BBC2

19 September – Ground Force (1997–2005)
3 November – I’m Alan Partridge (1997–2002)
December – Robot Wars (1997–2004)

BBC News 24

HARDtalk (1997–Present)

ITV

Power Rangers Turbo (1997)
Power Rangers In Space (1997–1998)
23 March – Midsomer Murders (1997–present)
6 April – Where the Heart Is (1997–2006)
12 August – Cadfael The Rose Rent (1997 Season 3 Episode 1)
19 August – Cadfael Saint Peter’s Fair (1997)
26 August – Cadfael The Raven in the Foregate (1997)
5 September – Kipper the Dog (1997–2000)
8 September – Noah’s Ark (1997–1998)
19 October – Trial & Retribution (1997–2009)

Channel 4

29 January – Brass Eye (1997–2001)

S4C

Y Clwb Rygbi (1997–present).

Channel 5

30 March – Family Affairs (1997–2005)
The Jack Docherty Show (1997–1999)
31 March – 100% (1997–2001)
Whittle (1997–1998)
5 April – Night Fever (1997–2002)

Disney Channel UK

1 September – Studio Disney UK (1997–2005)

Sky One

14 October – Dream Team (1997–2007)

Cartoon Network

14 July – Johnny Bravo (1997–2004)
15 July – Cow and Chicken (1997–1999)
I Am Weasel (1997–2000)

New channels

3 February – Trouble
30 March – Channel 5
1 September – National Geographic Channel
1 November – UK Arena
UK Horizons
UK Style
9 November – BBC News 24

Popular Films

Titanic
The Lost World: Jurassic Park
Men in Black
Tomorrow Never Dies
Air Force One
As Good as It Gets
Liar Liar
My Best Friend’s Wedding
The Fifth Element
The Full Monty
Batman & Robin
The Rainmaker

Music

By far the biggest-selling single of the year, came from Elton John. In August, Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed in a car crash. At her funeral, John played a rewritten version of "Candle in the Wind" known as "Candle in the Wind 1997", a song originally written about Marilyn Monroe (made #11 in 1974, with a live version reaching #5 in 1988). When released this year, it quickly overtook 1984’s "Do They Know It’s Christmas?" to become the biggest selling UK single ever, selling 4.86 million copies, and the biggest selling in the world, selling 37 million. It continues to hold the record to this day.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8gO0Z818j4

Charts Number-one singles

"2 Become 1" – Spice Girls
"Professional Widow" – Tori Amos
"Your Woman" – White Town
"Beetlebum" – Blur
"Ain’t Nobody" – LL Cool J
"Discothèque" – U2
"Don’t Speak" – No Doubt
"Mama" / "Who Do You Think You Are" – Spice Girls
"Block Rockin’ Beats" – The Chemical Brothers
"I Believe I Can Fly" – R. Kelly
"Blood on the Dance Floor" – Michael Jackson
"Love Won’t Wait" – Gary Barlow
"You’re Not Alone" – Olive
"I Wanna Be the Only One" – Eternal featuring Bebe Winans
"MMMBop" – Hanson
"I’ll Be Missing You" – Puff Daddy and Faith Evans
"D’You Know What I Mean?" – Oasis
"Men In Black" – Will Smith
"The Drugs Don’t Work" – The Verve
"Candle in the Wind 1997 / Something About the Way You Look Tonight" – Elton John
"Spice Up Your Life" – Spice Girls
"Barbie Girl" – Aqua
"Perfect Day" – Various Artists
"Teletubbies say "Eh-oh!" – Teletubbies
"Too Much" – Spice Girls

Memories of Nightlife, clubbing, bars and entertainment in Bristol
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Image by brizzle born and bred
Nightlife, clubbing, bars and entertainment in Bristol

Bristol’s ever-changing pub & club scene from the 60s to the 90s and beyond – which ones do you remember?

Town’s Talk, Bedminster Down, Bristol

Towns Talk Night Club/Restaurant and motel on the A38 out of Bristol just pass Bedminster Down. (grab a granny and scampi and chips)

The Lokiel, Welsh Back

The Lokiel was a boat in the floating harbour where all the waterfront bars like Piano and Pitcher. For some of the time it had a nightclub in the hold.

The Stage Door was in Kings Street

A pub on two floors. If you did not leave before two in the morning,they would lock the doors and you would be stuck there until six.

Chutes in Park Street

information needed?

Scamps – All Saints Street

On All Saints almost next door to Mad Harry’s Amusements and the Cinemas, a stag and hen night place.

Platform 1 – Whiteladies Road

On Whiteladies near the train station. Favourite club for City football players of the late 70s was Platform 1 – If you managed to get in – door policy seemed to be you had to be a footballer, friend of a footballer or a female or live in Clifton?.

The Dug Out (Thai House Restaurant) – Park Row

The steep staircase was a test of how drunk you were.

Best known these days as the club that gave birth to the ‘Bristol Sound’, the Dugout was often used as a live music venue in the late 1960s. Those freaky longhairs of Bristol alternative collective Plastic Dog put on a weekly residency by local prog rock one-hit-wonders (Jig-A-Jig, 1971) East of Eden. But booming audience numbers meant that they soon had to decamp down the hill to the much bigger club that was the Granary.

For years, the Dug Out, on Park Row, was the centre of the Bristolian music universe, nurturing artists, DJs and bands like the Wild Bunch – later to become Massive Attack – and Roni Size.

And since it closed in 1986, the myths surrounding the club have continued to grow, along with the numbers of people who claim to have been regular visitors back in the day.

Martells (Formerly LeMans? Magellans? Now a Casino) – Anchor Road

Anchor Road behind the library. You could even buy Scampi in a Basket from a funky hole in the wall hatch.

Papillons (formerly Top Rank, Baileys, Romeo & Juliets (R&Js), Odyssey, The Works) – Nelson St

Who can forget Bailey’s also known as R&Js but known as The Top Rank.

Positioned handily opposite the old Bridewell Police Station, this place is – you guessed it – yet another bloody student nightclub. It’s gone through a variety of names and is currently called The Syndicate. But back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, it was the Top Rank. Here you could have seen everyone from prog titans Genesis, King Crimson and Gentle Giant to The Sweet, Cream, Peter Frampton and even the Beach Boys.

Busbys ( formerly Gaumont cinema, became Ritzys, Creation and Sports Cafe) – Baldwin St

Livermore’s People’s Palace the new Palace and finally the Gaumont – Now this building in Baldwin Street is an ex night club but at least its fascia remains – In its heyday it took a staff of 40 to run the New Palace under the watchful eye of manager Mr G. H. Blackburn.

Records of the era do not appear to have survived but many music hall stars of the day appeared at the People’s Palace, including Arthur Lloyd, Maie Lloyd, Harry Lauder, Little Titch, Charlie Chaplin, John Philip Sousa and his band.

The Rank Organisation submitted planning proposals in the 1970s to convert the Gaumont to a Bingo Hall, but this does not appear to have been followed through. In 1980 they applied and received permission to change the building use from a cinema to a discotheque. The present layout of the building is believed to date from this time. The nightclub was originally known as Busby’s, later it was called Ritzy, then Creation, and latterly the Sports Café.

Tiffanys (formerly The Glen, demolished for Glen Hospital) – At the top of Whiteladies

The infamous Ronnie Butler used to do the door.

Which had a Thursday night rule of girls get in free. Tiffany’s, finally closed its doors. Situated in the Glen, a former quarry on Durdham Down, and run by Mecca Leisure, the club had been providing young Bristolians with a good night out and the possibility of romance for an incredible 25 years.

Formerly known as The Glen, this dance hall at the top of Whiteladies Road was a frugging mecca for generations of Bristolians, renowned for its classy plastic palm trees. In the early ’70s, it was also a live music venue under the decidedly non-PC moniker Boobs (hey – in the 1970s, they could probably have got away with calling it Titties or Jugs). Thin Lizzy, Motorhead and Hawkwind are among the bands known to have played here. Perhaps most extraordinarily, Bob Marley and the Wailers played their first Bristol gig at Boobs in May 1973. Later in the ’70s, Tiffanys had a punk night with live music from the likes of The Clash. Its was later demolished. The Spire private hospital now occupies the site.

Lourdes (formely Roxy’s, demolished for Galleries) – Fairfax Street

Approximately above where Midland Educational used to be on Fairfax St was Lourdes. Originally it was a heavy metal place called Roxys but went disco after Saturday Night Fever and even had Bristol’s first illuminated glass floor and infinity mirrors put in. You’re impressed I can tell. There was a car park out the back, it was considered very entertaining to pee off it into Fairfax St.

The Locarno, New Mecca Centre, Frogmore St

Part of the the ABC Entertainment Center on Frogmore St with the Cinema, Ice Skating Rink and other nightclub Raquels. The Locarno did more gigs than act as a club. In the early days the security was done by Teddy Boys from the ice rink, morons in Crombies who hated the punks that started to play there.

This venue in Frogmore Street went through many different names. In the late sixties it was home to the Electric Village prog night, which brought Jimi Hendrix to town in 1967. In 1972, you could have seen David Bowie and the Spiders from Mars supported by Thin Lizzy. The Studio/Locarno subsequently played host to the likes of The Clash, Spirit (supported by The Police!), Elvis Costello, Joy Division, Iggy Pop, U2, Kraftwerk, Iron Maiden, Faith No More, Living Color and Ozzy Osbourne. Today, it’s been converted into student flats.

Raquels, New Mecca Centre, Frogmore St

I think Raquel’s was the first place to have lasers, back when seeing a single red beam slice through some smoke was pretty exciting. They would only switch them on for a short time though and instead of dancing townies would sit down to watch while they jiggled the beam a bit and Be Amazed.

Sandra Mccolgan used to work at Raquels in the New Bristol Centre.

Steam Tavern (formerly Lautrecs?, Yesterdays, changed to Steam?) – King St

Near the Naval Volunteer in King St. Popular for office parties.

The Porthouse (The Warehouse?) – off Prince St

I think there were two nightlcubs close together off of Prince St, one was the Porthouse. Multilevel place with tiny dance floor on the bottom but you could actually get away from it a bit and have a conversation upstairs.

Bierkeller (formerly Hoffbrauhaus) – All Saints Street

The Hofbrauhaus, in All Saints Street, open from 11.30am until 2.30am, was offering a ‘lunchtime scene’ – with four strips every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. There was an admission fee of just 10p plus pub-price drinks and cheap pub grub.

Funny place, part oompah band for various weekend office do’s and part Rock venue. If you went regularly they would give you tickets to next week and keep the cycle going.

Mandrake Club – Frogmore Street

Big Richard the owner was on the door ex-copper. (Oldest nightclub in Bristol) Full of nurse’s and coppers on a night-out!.

Story goes that it was mainly there for the benefit of nurses, coppers and others working late shifts to go for a drink. Most people who went there were faces that owner Richard knew. If you didn’t have the face then you had to be a member, to be a member you needed another member.

A bunch of tiny cellars decorated in the psychedelic 60’s and apparently unchanged since. Try to avoid seeing it with the lights on.

The Boulevard (formerly Sedan Chair) – Bristol Centre

Not a club, The Sedan Chair was a sad and tiny city center pub that always seemed to be struggling. Some bright spark tried the old barmaids in lingerie trick to pull in punters. So along came The Boulevard featuring girls in Basques, Stockings and Suspenders. It caused quite a stir, at least in the media where it got featured on Points West and such.

Golds (the Tube?) – Frogmore Street

Just a bit along from the Mandrake on Frogmore was another doorway. This was Golds, small and nothing special. I think it was connected to Bristol Poly somehow because we ended up there once after going to the secret Unity Street Student Bar…clearly it failed to make an impression on me.

Bibas – opposite St Mary Redcliffe

Stilettos (formerly Malt and Hops? became Slug and Lettuce?) – Corn St/Broad St. Dave Hamilton was a bouncer at Bibas "Big Dave".

Funny little place opposite St Mary Redcliffe, could get a bit rough. Another refuge for those who couldn’t get in anywhere else in town. You had to watch where you put your foot in the car park outside it, loads of potholes filled with water.

Vadim’s (became Bimbos?) – top of park street on the triangle

Vadims was at the top of Park Street on the triangle and a bit posey, student territory. The DJ used an converted white piano as the record deck. There were lots of photo posters of Brigitte Bardot on the walls, based on Film director Roger Vadim.

Reeves (Parkside, Arnos Court) Tropic? – Bath Road Arnos Vale

Just next door to the HTV studios. A lot of underage drinking in the Arnos Court bar. For a while there was a "Fun" bar called Bonkers here in the late eighties, dancing on the bar.

Ceasers, Arnos Vale, early 70s?..information needed?

Vickys – strip club on Park St

Sad and tacky strip club on Park St, long, long gone. Oldest and scariest naked women you would ever see outside of Barrow hospital. These girls had tattoos when it was unusual on anyone except a sailor, as much hair under their arms too.

The punters would shout ‘get ’em on , get’ em on’

Am I being unfair to the girls! some of the strippers were hard-up university graduates, particularly those with arts degrees?

The changing room was next to the gents toilet. It was a strange place with a tiny dance floor, where the girls would perform their act.

Sleazy lunchtime striptease, you can’t keep good entertainment away, apparently, and by now Lesters Club in Worrall Road was not alone in advertising its ‘girls’.

Park Street’s well-known Princess Club, billed as the ‘ideal businessmen’s meeting place’, was also offering ‘fabulous strips’, but this time at the more respectable hour of 9pm (until 2am).

Curves (Formerly Hickys? became Maxims?) – Park St

Half way up Park St, I have a feeling there were two clubs and I may be confusing them.

Chasers – Kingswood

For Kingswood locals, very rough, ok if your looking for a punch up or worse?. A Kingswood nightclub that boasts on its website that it provides "the biggest nights out this side of Bristol" was temporarily banned from playing music by a top judge. The proprietors of Chasers Nightclub were hit with the injunction for playing music without a licence.

Bristol Bridge Inn

Generations of pub rock bands paid their dues at the Bristol Bridge Inn on St Nicholas Street at the top of the steps leading from Baldwin Street to St Nick’s Market. It also staged occasional gigs by indie bands including a bunch of schoolboys called The Coltranes who a few years later had evolved into one of Bristol’s finest acts – Strangelove. Various cafes and shops have inherited the site, most recently Obento Japanese restaurant.

The Mauritania – Park St

The original oompah band venue full of Bristol City football thugs.

Another Grade II listed venue, The Mauretania at the bottom of Park Street used to stage live music shows for a while. Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist Zakk Wylde played a low-key gig here with his band Pride and Glory in the early 90s. Live music was curtailed in 1994.

www.flickr.com/photos/brizzlebornandbred/4200187244/

Alexander Club – Clifton

A disappointment, small and cliquey. Ok for a quiet drink.

The Fleece and Firkin – St Thomas St

Behind Victoria St on St Thomas and still there, this appeared in an old warehouse during the early 80’s I think. A brew pub with live music and Real Ale in amusingly varieties like Dogbolter, you could see a lot of students falling over by the end of the night.

The Hawthorns – Woodland Rd, Clifton

The Hawthorns was another haunt, the hotel was also called the Hawthorns, as I recall and on the junction of University Rd.

The Hawthornes was a grab-a-granny type place.

The Coronation Tap – Clifton

Clifton was popular because of the Coronation Taps, very good value for money getting pissed on Scrumpy.

www.flickr.com/photos/brizzlebornandbred/2078704764/

The Famous Royal Naval Volunteer – King Street

Live music venue at the back.

The Bamboo Club – St Pauls

Opened in 1966 by that Tony Bullimore fella, The Bamboo in St Paul Street was the first club to cater for Bristol’s West Indian immigrant community. It also nurtured local reggae outfits Talisman and Black Roots. Bullimore attracted plenty of top acts, including Desmond Dekker and, most famously, Bob Marley and the Wailers, who played the Bamboo not long after their Boobs show. Later, punks rubbed shoulders with the dreads. The club burned down in 1977, shortly before a combo named the Sex Pistols were booked to play on December 21.

www.flickr.com/photos/brizzlebornandbred/4280770875/

The Oasis, 14-16 Park Row, Bristol, BS. Circa 1973 – December 1991

Always called ‘The O’, this was Bristol’s major gay club for men until the 1990s. The Oasis occupied a basement beneath shops in Park Row, with the street entrance a barely noticeable black door with a vinyl canopy above (now the Dojo Lounge). It inherited the slightly Middle Eastern decor and arched openings from its previous incarnation when the Oasis had been a club for architects. Richard Sweet purchased the lease in 1972 and initially continued to run it as a straight club, but in 1973 decided to turn it into a gay club. The doors at the back opened onto a narrow paved yard known as ‘the garden’ overshadowed by Trenchard Street multi-storey car park.

Moulin Rouge 72 Worrall Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8. Circa 1970 – October 1976

Known as the ‘Moulie’, the Moulin Rouge occupied a former swimming pool off Whiteladies Road. The swimming pool was boarded over to form a huge dance floor making it one of the largest gay clubs in Britain. Its complex history has been researched mainly through the files of the Worrall Road Area Residents’ Association at Bristol Record Office.

The site had a long history as a sports and then a bingo club since 1934, and since 1962 as a dance club. By 1966 it was a striptease club called Lesters; in September 1966 the owners opened a second club, the Moulin Rouge, at the rear as a discotheque but it was not gay. The Kray twins were reported to be regular visitors during the late 1960s. In February 1969 Terence O’Brien, a Knowle scrap dealer, took over the lease. Within a few months drag acts were showing and a fancy dress ball was held (probably meaning a drag ball). There were frequent problems with the licence and in April 1970 it became the Drum club, “with an African flavour”. Noise nuisance was a problem; by October 1970 the Drum moved into the city centre and the Moulin Rouge reopened.

King’s 17 Prince Street. 1975 – c. late 1970s?

King’s opened in February 1975 in an old building on the east side of Prince Street, backing onto Queen Square. Many of the staff had worked at the Moulin Rouge. It had three floors: a ground floor pub-style bar, a dance floor with light show above, then a brighter lounge space on the top floor.

King’s was sold and reopened as Smith’s in about 1978. Smith’s was fairly short-lived. The building was demolished and replaced with offices in the 1980s.

The 49 Club (later the Top Deck) 20 Christmas Steps, central Bristol, BS1. c.1977 – c. 1996/7

A small upstairs bar on the east side at the bottom of Christmas Steps, just behind the well-known fish and chip shop at the corner of Narrow Lewin’s Mead.

It began as the 49 Club and operated over two or three floors of the building, and was run by Wilf, formerly of the Ship Inn at Lower Park Row. Later the top floor re-opened as the Top Deck Club. There was a narrow staircase leading up to a small bar with bench seating, and at the back a record deck near a tiny square of parquet, known optimistically as the dance floor. More than six people trying to dance at once was inviting injury or death.

Chantelle’s 135 Whiteladies Road, Clifton, BS8. 1977-1982?

A women’s club open by 1977. It was the venue for an HTV documentary filmed on September 13, 1977, following a day in the life of a gay person. It was still in operation as a lesbian venue in 1982, though its name changed at about that time to Pierrot’s.

The Scarlet Coat 19a Union Street (basement exit in Fiennes Court off Fairfax Street), BS1. c. 1984-90

The earliest known reference is in Bristol Gay Switchboard day book; in January 1984 the Scarlet Coat was being run as a restaurant by two gay women, with women-only discos every Thursday and Saturday night. The transformation from restaurant to full-time club must have happened shortly afterwards.

The owners were a couple called Jane and Bernie. Jane was said to have previously served in the Hong Kong Police. You generally entered it from a doorway in Union Street and went downstairs. The exit was at the back into a courtyard off Fairfax Street. It was one room with about four rectangular tables with benches on one side, one or two round tables and chairs on the other side with the dance floor in the middle. In 1994 the same premises were occupied by a gay club called Just.

Just 1 Fiennes Court, Fairfax Street. 1994-9

Opened late in 1994 by Winston Bright and John Hesketh, in the former Scarlet Coat premises. It closed in April 1999 when the lease was sold to a developer. Winston then opened Winn’s in West Street (Old Market).

Flamingo Joe’s / Club Leo 28 St Nicholas Street, BS1. 1993- c. 1998?

A big dance club situated in the gap between two former gay venues, the Radnor Hotel and the Elephant. It opened in September 1993 as Flamingo Joe’s but was renamed Club Leo by February 1995.

The closing date is unverified, possibly c. 1998. Please tell us if you know more.

Winn’s 25 West Street, Old Market, BS . 1999- ?

Opened in Autumn 1999 in former bank premises, one of the first clubs in the newly gay Old Market area. The licensees were Winston Bright who had formerly run Just, and Julian Potter.

Vibes, 1 Frog Lane. 2001 – ? c. 2009

Opened November 1, 2001. A big club and popular from the start, attracting mixed age groups. It had two bars and an enormous dance floor for those wanting to shake their booty. As the scene’s centre of gravity moved firmly towards Old Market, Vibes perhaps suffered a bit from being in the wrong location as well as the economic recession, and it closed down. It re-opened as OMG on December 8, 2010.

O2 Academy, Frogmore St was originally designed as a ‘superclub’ back in the days when it was asserted that rock was dead and henceforth da kidz would entertain themselves by shovelling down huge quantities of MDMA and waving their arms in the air to repetitive beats all night.

Granary club at 32 Welsh Back

The roll of honour above the entrance to the Granary club at 32 Welsh Back read like a who’s who of prog, metal, classic rock and punk: Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, Robert Plant, Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy, Ian Dury, Iron Maiden, Dire Straits, Motorhead, John Cougar, Status Quo, Billy Idol, Def Leppard, The Stranglers . . . More than 1500 bands squeezed on to its tiny stage between 1968 and 1988. Originally run as a jazz club by the late Acker Bilk, the Grade II listed Bristol Byzantine building announced its reincarnation as a rock venue on November 15, 1968, with a gig by the great bluesman Muddy Waters. Its director was legendary local capsizer Tony Bullimore. A grungy, sticky-floored dive, with local bikers serving as ‘security’, The Granary couldn’t have been further removed from today’s corporate, elf’n’safety-constrained venues. That’s probably why it remains so widely loved, spawning a book (The Granary Club: The Rock Years, Broadcast Books), website and regular old rocker reunions at the Golden Lion on Gloucester Road. Today, the building has been converted into expensive apartments with a fish restaurant on the ground floor.

Victoria Rooms

The historic Victoria Rooms has had a number of functions over the years. In the 1920s, it was briefly run as a cinema. In the 1960s, several groovy pop happenings took place. The Vic Rooms even formed the backdrop to a promo by bubblegum popsters Edison Lighthouse (see above). Pink Floyd played here three times. 1974 brought Supertramp and Chris De Burgh. Then things went very quiet until the early 1990s, when a brief burst of gigging activity included Suede, INXS, The Wedding Present, The Cocteau Twins, Marillion and Lenny Kravitz. Since then, bugger all.

Corn Exhange

Promoter Freddy Bannister, who went on to organise the massive 1970s Knebworth festivals, brought the top bands of the mid-sixties to the Corn Exchange between 1964 and 1967. Their ranks included The Yardbirds, Cream, The Who, The Small Faces, The Pretty Things, The Zombies, Them (with Van Morrison), Pink Floyd and Gene Vincent. The Byrds played one of their handful of British dates here in 1965.

Yesterdays, King St

A folky club on King Street with strong connection to the Troubadour Club in Clifton.

Troubadour Club, Waterloo Street, Clifton

Situated in Waterloo Street, Clifton, this was the hub of the late ’60s folk boom in Bristol. Among the acts who played here were John Renbourn, Bert Jansch, The Incredible String Band, Roy Harper and Bristol’s very own Fred Wedlock. Al Stewart, later of Year of the Cat fame, had a residency at the club and immortalised it in song in Clifton in the Rain on his debut album Bedsitter Images. The Troubadour closed in 1971.

The Croft, Stokes Croft

Now yet another Stokes Croft hipster hostelry, The Croft was basically a windowless sweatbox at the back of a pub whose glory years were from 2006 to 2013. Before that, it was the Bristol Brewhouse and Bristol Comedy Pub. As the Comedy Pub, it played host to local DIY music nights such as Choke and Pull the Strings, whose popularity led to the eventual music takeover. Memorable nights at the Croft included Circulus all dressed up in medieval garb to support Witchcraft, Julian Cope turning up in full biker regalia to DJ at a low-key gig by Krautrock titans Michael Rother and Dieter Moebius, and lady duo Harptallica playing Metallica songs on harps in 2009. Other acts who played here included The Melvins, Viv Albertine, Robin Williamson, Imelda May and Bring Me the Horizon.

The Berkeley Centre, top of Park St

The Berkeley Centre is now the Berkeley Wetherspoons at the top of Park Street. Upstairs was Carwardines which was very much part of the Bristol live music scene in the 70s and early 80s. Gill Loats, author of Bristol Boys Make More Noise: The Bristol Music Scene 1974-81 (Tangent Books), recalls "Carwardines was a great gig, upstairs from Bristol’s original High Street coffee house the Berkeley Café. The ballroom upstairs with its high ceilings and stained glass dome was a perfect venue for our Bristol boys and some out-of-towners including Paul Young’s Q Tips and a little band called U2." Ah, that U2 story… you’ll find it all over the interweb and maybe Bono and chums did play the Berkeley Centre/Carwardines, but they definitely played the Trinity Hall. It was an Ashton Court Festival benefit gig in 1979, promoted by Mark Simpson. There were about 75 people in the audience with tickets priced at £1.50 in advance or £1.80 on the door.

The Stonehouse, Newfoundland Road

The Stonehouse was the venue at the back of the Bunch of Grapes pub on Newfoundland Road near The Western Star Domino Club. It was mainly a folk music venue, but in its later years also staged gigs by Bristol’s practitioners of punk and new wave. This is where you might go to see The Untouchables, Essential Bop, The X-Certs or The Stingrays. There is an urban myth that the Bunch of Grapes/Stonehouse was a listed building and was demolished ‘by mistake’ in the development of the bottom of the M32 in the early 80s. Hey, these things happen, and look what we got instead of a characterful pub and quirky live music venue – The Spectrum Building.

The Domino Club

As the name implies, this was a club where West Indian gents would gather to play dominoes. But it also put on live music in the 1980s, with much-loved local acts such as The Losenges being regular visitors. Notably, Erasure played their very first gig here in November 1985, away from the media spotlight. The club was subsequently demolished. In its place is the Staples car park. But, hey, that’s progress.

Top Cat Club, Temple Back, off Temple Way

Nightclub in an old converted mill, saw Tony Blackburn there in he 1970s (the building was pulled down to make way for new development)

The BBQ

information needed?

The Rummer ‘The Underground Club’.

In latter years the large Rummer basement was used as a live music venue named ‘The Underground Club’.A Haunting Manifestation of a man dressed in contemporary clothing was seen in the cellar before quickly vanishing, while the ghost of a woman with long hair has been reported in the bar.

The Whip at Studios

info needed?

Way Inn next to Royal hotel on College Green

info needed?

Can you add anymore to the list?