New book features hundreds of photos of Dirty Stopouts in Chesterfield nightclubs, bars and Woolworths photo booth

Revellers at such Chesterfield nightclubs as the Aquarius and Moulin Rouge in the 80s feature in a new book that will rekindle fond memories for those who hung out there.

Wednesday, 18th August 2021, 6:15 pm

Four decades ago the town’s Connection record shop was a big draw for music lovers while the Spires bar and its predecessor the Painted Wagon would pull in thirsty punters.

A new publication, The ‘Dirty Stop Out’s Guide to 1980s Chesterfield – In Pictures’ is the follow up to the best-selling ‘Dirty Stop Out’s Guide to 1980s Chesterfield’ which was released in 2013.

Author Neil Anderson was inundated with hundreds of photos when he asked fans of the town in the era to send him their pictures to be considered for inclusion.

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Friends on a night out at the Aquarius in the 80s. Photo by David Miller.

He said: “I think my favourites are probably the scores of photos people sent me from their visit to Woolies photobooth. Camera phones were still years away so it was our answer to today’s ‘selfie’. I was also lucky enough to have the use of some of David Miller’s photos from the Aquarius – that venue and its regulars are captured in vivid detail.

"Nightclubs like the Aquarius and Moulin Rouge pulled hundreds in every single weekend. They were the cornerstone of the evening economy for many.

“There was such an amazing variety of places to go out in Chesterfield in the ‘80s. There were so many local bands and vibrant club nights – the project has brought back some fantastic memories for me.”

Neil’s life was heavily shaped by the decade which he entered as a 13-year-old teenager and emerged from as a young man. He said: “I think my favourite places were the vinyl record shops – namely Connection and Hudsons. I’d spend hours in them every single weekend. I was pretty hooked on the town’s then buzzing after dark scene from an early age. I was a big fan of Brampton’s Three Horse Shoes; mid-week club nights at venues like Fascination and the Adam & Eve and pubs like the Hare & Greyhound and Anchor.

A punk wedding in Chesterfield in the 1980s, which features in the book, which was attended by Neil Anderson, pictured second from right on middle row.

"I think it was a rich era for youth culture. There were so many differing tribes – so different from today. Punks, goths, skinheads, rockers, straights – the list was endless. Image was everything. There was a big alternative culture in Chesterfield that had much of its roots in the punk scene and the art college. It was galvanised by the Miners’ Strike that hit the town hard. There were so many different party opportunities – it might have been a period of political and social unrest but it never got in the way of night out. Bars, fun pubs, nightclubs, gig venues – there seemed to be so much going on."

Neil lived in Chesterfield from 1972 until the late 1990s and was a member of a short-lived skate/punk band called Resurgence.

He was educated at Manor School and Chesterfield Boys and later became a hairdresser. “I decided that I needed to get a degree to get anywhere in life,” said Neil. “I ended up at Sheffield Hallam University for three years and that kick-started my future interest in writing and social history.”

The Dirty Stop Out’s Guide was originally launched in 1995 as part of a PR campaign which Neil devised in local Government. He said: “In 2010 I was mulling over a book looking restrospectively at nightlife in Sheffield and I decided to reuse the name as I always like it. The Dirty Stop Out’s Guide to 1970s Sheffield hit the national press when it came out as it was a catalyst for a couple getting remarried after nearly 30 years apart. I was guest of honour at the wedding! It was at that event that made me realise the power of nostalgia and Dirty Stop Outs was born!

Carl Flint poses in the photo booth at Woolworths in one of the photos that appears in the book.

“I’ve sold tens of thousands of them in recent years. We’ve now got them in Liverpool, Manchester, Coventry, Barnsley with new ones on the way in Birmingham and other places. We’re presently on the look out for writers to cover their own town or city.

"I’ve already got Chesterfield books covering the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘90s but there could be more – there seems to be real appetite for them in the town and I love doing them.”

There are 250 collector’s edition copies of the ‘Dirty Stop Out’s Guide to 1980s Chesterfield – In Pictures’ on sale now from www.retrobookoffers.net for £19.95 (plus P&P).

*Do you have any photos and memories from your days of going to clubs and pubs in Chesterfield in years gone by? Please share them by emailing: [email protected]

Neil Anderson, pictured right, in the Chesterfield band Resurgence whose photo appears in the book.
Matilda Scarface had her photo taken in Woolworths photo booth in the Eighties.
Boxer Chris Devine, centre, with friends having a drink at the bar in the Aquarius, Chesterfield, in the Eighties. Photo by David Miller.