History: Cascades and Telford Nightlife in the 80s & 90s

While many would think of Telford history as stuff of dusty books and etchings of men in stovepipe hats, part of the Telford Live History Project is to capture your memories from the 60s onwards, and the 80s is firmly part of that.

Cascades.  Shropshires Top Nightspot.
Cascades. Shropshires Top Nightspot.

Last night on Twitter, Pete Jackson, who has a interest in using local history to help dementia patients in Telford, was in the local when a friend pulled a matchbook out of his pocket emblazoned with the logo of a local nightclub.  Who knows where his mates coat had been for the last 30 years but the matchbook photos got posted on twitter and the rest is history.

In the mid-eighties in Telford, there were a number of pubs and bars that every teenager went to. Some rose and fell quickly, some are no longer around.  If you have any photos in your collections, I’d love to see them. Here are my recollections:

Quenchers: This was the ‘fun pub’ attached to the Cascades nightclub.  It was the place to meet up before venturing into the club.  I recall going to Quenchers one Tuesday night with my girlfriend.  We were enjoying a drink right up to the point where the topless dancers emerged.

Cascades: The nightclub was the first modern club in Telford, probably in Shropshire in the 80’s.  It’s part of the Telford Shopping Centre so fairly central for everyone in Telford, although some recall getting turned away from the door because they lived on Sutton Hill!  It also had some not very complimentary nicknames, including ‘Catch Aids’. Owned initially by John Bradbury, then bought by Ansells Leisure who then leased it to Punch Retail when it became Athena. Its been open an closed a few times, and is currently Club Crush & Vox, owned by Medlink Enterprises, a local business.

Film Exchange: The bar was situated in the then AMC cinema (now the Odeon). It was tiny.

Sawyers: This was an American theme bar (Tom Sawyer?) that served food as well as drink.  It was owned by Bass, and was full of USA memorabilia including a wooden canoe-type boat on the ceiling.  This only lasted a few years and is now Carpet Right/Allied Carpets on the Bridge Retail Park.

The Mill House: Often live music at The Mill House drew the crowds.  Unfortunately, many of the crowd were under 18 and the pub reputation suffered.
Several people have told me that it was remodelled into Frankie & Bennys.

The Ironmaster: The first pub at the Shopping Centre.  It was a portakabin with a bar.  Often frequented by heavy metal types, another venue for live music, mainly heavy metal which was popular at the time.  The pub was taken away and replaced with a Marks and Spencers.  Progress eh?

The Raven: For many years, the Raven was the place to be in Wellington. Nothing stood out about the pub, but it was inexplicably packed every weekend with all the right people. Greenhalls pub, probably serving Wrexham Lager and Grunhalle, which was a tasty a lager as it name suggests.  I stuck to Holsten Pils in them days, of Hoffmister if I were broke.

The Haygate: I kid you not that in 1986, this was a lovely place.  Wallpaper, nice carpets and furniture.  All the right people, and a regular stop on the pub circuit.  Still great now, but mainly for musical offerings.  Again a Greenhalls pub.

The Bridge at Trench: An estate pub, and even though I didn’t live anywhere near Trench, I used to visit here often.  Occasional music kept us kids entertained.  Banks beer, so I drank lager.  Again.

Tipsy Cat: Over at Shifnal, many of the nicer crowd who could muster wheels or lifts, also some different people.  Microscopic dancefloor but great vibe and disco providing the music.

Boos: This was next door to the Tipsy Cat in what must be Nells now.  Similar to Tipsy Cat from what I can recall, although in all honesty, that isn’t much.  Probably down to the lager.
LawleyFarmer corrects me.  Its where Oddfellows is now.

Updates:

Twenties: This was supposed to be for over 20 year olds but rarely the case.  Wall to wall TV screens in this place, and were talking CRT not flat screens.  MTV was in its infancy, but music videos were streamed through the venue.  Originally it was the Elephant and Castle at Ketley, and then Twenties, and now, Blue Elephant an Indian Restaurant.

Pisces: This was Telfords Wine Bar.  Top of Tan Bank in Wellington. It’s now Dhaka Tandoori.  This place got packed out solid, and from memory, I never sat down once here.

Rumours: Nightclub was pushing it a bit, but it had a late licence and paid music.  If Cascades was a hotel, Rumours was a cheap hostel, Sticky floors, painted matt black inside and a distinct lack of furniture made this place a haunt of the desperate.  Before it was Rumours, it was The Barons Club which hosted some great bands in the 80s.  Someone has thoughtfully posted some old flyers on Flickr here. It suffered a couple of fires of dubious origin before closing its doors for good in around 1998. This is now a Church.  Yes, a Church. Market Approach in Wellington.

More Updates:

Hotshots: Situated where the 10 Pin Bowling is at Southwater, Hotshots shifted the bowling lanes and installed a DJ.  Although it was meant for over 18s, it is suggested that many who were younger were able to enjoy the delights.

Fast Eddies: What is now the Cuckoo Oak Hungry Horse at Madeley, was for two brief years an American style diner & pool emporium.  The local VW club used to meet there. More history here at the wonderful Madeley Local History website

Over to you!

 

29 thoughts on “History: Cascades and Telford Nightlife in the 80s & 90s

  • March 3, 2013 at 6:41 pm
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    Got to give a mention for Pisces in Wellington – where the Dacha is now. Frequented by punks and associates. I lost a £20 note in there and remember being devastated

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  • March 3, 2013 at 7:14 pm
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    The Charlton Arms in Wellington…..this use to be a regular stop on a Fri or Sat night. I met my lovely husband here in 1992 too! Sad for the town that its still boarded up.

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  • March 3, 2013 at 8:44 pm
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    20’s was the place to be! Happy hour every night, video jukebox, great atmosphere, then off to sticky stairs for a late drink and a dance

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  • March 5, 2013 at 8:43 pm
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    The elephant and castle in Ketley used to be very busy place early to mid nineties, had a cocktail bar, I remember sampling some great drinks there in my early years….! Now an Indian restaurant I believe

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  • March 30, 2013 at 1:39 pm
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    Shimmers was the place to be, it was a much smaller dance floor below Cascades. Dave J was the DJ playing rare groove soul and dance. I remember a time when me and my mates used to go there Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Great atmosphere and because we were regulars we knew all the usuals there.

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  • March 30, 2013 at 1:57 pm
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    We would wear suits, blazers or tweed jackets back in the eighties often wearing a tie. I remember wearing a dark pin stripe suit with silver buttons! Can you imagine wearing a suit and tie to a club now! Ah the nostalgia of it all!

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    • July 22, 2016 at 10:22 am
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      What about the jaunts up to Stafford to the colosseum rich ?

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  • April 2, 2013 at 10:13 pm
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    When the cuckoo oak was known as fast eddies the locals used to call the Britannia up in Aqueduct ‘slow Daves’ because the landlords name was Dave. Don’t think he knew!!

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  • May 5, 2013 at 11:19 am
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    Rumours didn’t close till about 2003 and apart from the dance floor the place was full of furniture.

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  • June 18, 2013 at 5:04 am
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    Cascades? “Happy days” mixing “K” cider and “Red stripe’ then throwing up in the toilets, that never actually had any doors intact. Then finish off with a dog food burger from the mobile van. Anyone remember the all nighter?

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  • July 8, 2013 at 6:26 am
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    Some of my best nights out were at cascades. Andy king was the original dj there followed by Greg Parrot. Met the wife there and still married after 25 years.

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  • July 8, 2013 at 8:14 pm
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    does anyone remeber me the original doorman when quenchers very first open it used to be me and a guy called kieth

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    • March 24, 2016 at 11:17 pm
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      Hi two George’s phil and steve?? Been around 82? Apparently it was a cracking team 😉

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    • July 21, 2016 at 4:56 pm
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      yes I remember you and Keith (black curly hair) we were regulars

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  • July 22, 2013 at 5:23 am
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    Remember keith – the boxer

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  • August 2, 2013 at 8:32 am
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    Anyone remember the Gemini club? Used to be next to the Railway Bridge in Wellington where Stubleys is, I DJ’d there in the early 80’s

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  • September 4, 2013 at 3:53 pm
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    >>> CASCADES and SHIMMERS REUNION Saturday 5th October 2013

    Doors Open 9pm- 4am

    The ORIGINAL DJ’s
    The ORIGINAL Music
    The ORIGINAL Venue

    Club Crush, Central Square, Telford TF3 4DR

    Tickets and Information 01952 219921 http://www.facebook.com/crushtelford or /voxlounge

    Reply
  • February 22, 2014 at 11:08 pm
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    when is the next reunion i play with dj dave j any time this is dj mickyt i played there for sum time love to play there again we had over 1000 + in them days

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  • February 24, 2014 at 1:47 pm
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    Cascades was not owed by John Bradbury he was the general manager it was owned by ansells brewery site director was Mike Massey bar manager was Debbie Parker assistant manager was Dave Cole and myself John and Kieth were the original doormen

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  • March 30, 2014 at 8:16 pm
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    When the Severn Gorge opened in 1993 used to get packed standing room only. Had just moved to the area . Sayers was a bit of a novelty in that it somehow had a late night licence. Mill house was better than frankly and bennies can ever be. Even now Telford TC is a bit of a desert save for the Thomas Botfield.

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  • May 18, 2014 at 11:38 pm
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    Steve, phil,and two George’s were also doorman on cascades in the early 80’s anyone else remember them

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  • July 4, 2014 at 9:05 pm
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    No mention here of 42nd street in Oakengates which was really popular for a few years in the 1990s. Does anyone remember Spenders near the railway bridge also in Oakengates?

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  • March 1, 2015 at 9:21 am
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    Twenty’s was originally the Seven Stars , I remember drinking in there just the once.

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  • May 10, 2015 at 7:26 pm
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    Oh so many memories that have been mentioned here .. Certainly a blast from the past .
    Oh I wish cascades would have another reunion for the 4O something’s as I didn’t know about the first reunion with no longer living in Telford . Keep me posted if it ever happens : )
    I must also mention The Town House in Wellington down in the cellar , that Also brings back some happy memories and not forgetting Saturday morning ” journal Giants ” at the Clifton with Clive : ) happy days !

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  • July 30, 2015 at 8:52 pm
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    42’s, Cascades inc Shimmers, Quenchers, The Queens, Sawyers, hotshots, Rumours, The Raven, Minnesota Fats, The Elle (The Elephant & Castle)

    Out of town a bit but Wheel Of Worfield late 80’s early 90’s.

    All ace, All from my Youth, nearly all have great memories.

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    • April 4, 2016 at 2:21 pm
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      I REMEBER THE GOOD OLD DAYS WISH WE COULD DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN BUZZING SIMON

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  • July 22, 2016 at 6:40 am
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    Remember fast eddies (now cukoo oak) used to do trips to swoon

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  • November 1, 2016 at 11:54 pm
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    Kings head at Hadley,,had some riots in there ha ha

    Reply

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