Party like it’s 1989 via Sheffield’s own Bendibus to The Roxy

The Bendibus was synonymous with the 1980s in Sheffield

Bendibus in Sheffield

How times have changed…

Thirty odd years ago a night down the Roxy could have been a ‘Bendibus’ into town and bus home at 2am for just a few pence.

The city was a public transport utopia for after dark revellers with some of the cheapest fares in the country.

Many nightclubbers of the era had never even set foot in a taxi let alone dreamnt of life in 2019 when you just clicked an app and one magically appeared.

Nightlife was far more ordered in 1989. You knew your place and you knew your timings.

Pubs shut at 11pm and nightclubs opened at hour earlier at 10pm.

Sited on a piece of waste ground - Greasy Vera's was a late night institution for hungry night owls

Greasy Vera’s Cafe

And it was all over by 2am. The only places offering an extension was the local kebab shop or Greasy Vera’s – Pitsmoor’s own legendary late night sandwich bar.

If you were heading to the Roxy on a Saturday night the Stonehouse was popular pre-club destination as was the nearby Pig & Whistle (these days occupied by the popular Bessemer).

But many couldn’t help the pull of super-strength real ale up the road at the Frog & Parrott.

A third of a pint of Roger & Out – complete with certificate to prove you’d drunk it – was a true rite of passage in the era.

Pre-club pub crawls regularly started at 7pm (none of this post 9pm meeting shenanigans in the era prior to licensing deregulation!) and it’s no surprise more than a few punters had trouble traversing the hallowed steps up the sprawling Roxy on Arundel Gate.

Sheffield's spawning Roxy nightclub that boasted a capacity of over 2000 people

The Roxy

Once you’d got the green light from the bow-tie wearing bouncers you entered a sea of neon lights (it was truly gargantuan light show); dancefloor the size of a football field; a wealth of bars upstairs and down and a balcony to hone in on your future wife or husband (or at least you’d have one night dry run to assess compatibility).

If you were really lucky you might bump into Pete Waterman and Michaela Strachanas they got ready to record ‘Hitman & Her’ TV series – the dance music show that was recorded live from the Roxy and transmitted across the UK.

But the Roxy wasn’t for everyone on a Saturday night – the rockers were stationed a few hundred yards away and a whole lot higher up. In fact seven flights of stairs higher up above Castle Market at Rebels.

The differing tribes regularly gave each other a wide berth as they passed in the Hole In The Road

The alternative types preferred to be underground. They were dancing in the subterranean world of the Limit on nearby West Street.

  • On Saturday, May 9th, 2020, the 02 Academy is once again going ‘Back To The Roxy’ to celebrate this legendary club.
  • The event is raising money for Help A Hallam Child. Click here for more info.
  • Back To the Roxy flyer

    Back to the Roxy flyer

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