As a teen/twenty-something, I would frequent the numerous clubs around the mean streets of Hastings weekly.

Now, there seems to be only one still standing, the Crypt, which, now as then, is located in a cave underneath a town centre street.

Back then you couldn’t lean against a wall as your clothes would soon smell of urine or, if you were lucky, stagnant green water, as the goths mixed with the slightly obscure as we danced cheek to jowl in a crowded, sweaty mosh pit of a club which would have been disastrous had there been a fire.

A different demographic could be found at ‘JR’s,’ located in the Queen’s Hotel, once owned by the Krays. As such, with its reputation, the women folk were generally scared off, so aggressive males would become even more aggressive when they realised that they outnumbered the ladies 10-1. They would either fight over said females, scrap with each other or give up and take a walk in the biting wind along the seafront to ‘Saturdays’.

Now Saturdays was, how should I describe it? the ‘blue riband’ poster boy of Hastings clubland.

Entering through a small doorway, again past aggressive bouncers who had been sacked by JR’s for overt violence, you would have to clamber up the steep stairs inside the main door. Many didn’t make it.

I witnessed a few lose their footing and unceremoniously end up in a crumpled heap at the bottom of said stairs before the bouncers would helpfully eject them out into the cold or, if you had caused trouble in the club, they would accidentally push you down the stairs to make your exit even swifter.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Brett Ellis enjoyed nights out in HastingsBrett Ellis enjoyed nights out in Hastings

Saturdays started to go down market, if that was possible, when they renamed it G-Spot (I’m not kidding). It was always a running joke that we could finally find it, but once the joke had worn out, so did the novelty of the club that never moved with the times and sadly, it was burnt to the ground last year - the G-spot will never again be found.

Finally, we had ‘Dennies’ which was akin to the Bedouin bar in Star Wars. You would take your life into your own hands walking in there, located opposite the town centre multi-story car park.

As big as a large living room, it was mirrored and frequented by ratty-looking chaps and big, tattooed, women with sweat gland issues who would sexually assault you should you walk within a metre of them.

Although I have no wish to repeat it, the local clubs gave us all several stories to tell and I for one am  sad they have gone and, maybe, one day, I may go on a hunt to find the modern-day G-Spot and prove I am the oldest swinger in town.

  • Brett Ellis is a teacher