Aquarius Chesterfield: Reunion for revellers from one of Derbyshire's most famous nightclubs

Former revellers from one of Chesterfield’s most famous nightclubs will get the reunion they’ve been waiting for in a few weeks’ time.

Tuesday, 29th March 2022, 11:16 am

Last year’s Aquarius event sold out weeks in advance and tickets are already in strong demand for the event that takes place at Real Time Live in Chesterfield on Saturday, May 14.

The original event marked the launch of a new book on the venue – Neil Anderson’s Dirty Stop Out’s Guide to 1980s Chesterfield - Aquarius Edition – which became his fastest selling online book since it was first released in 2020.

Launched in the height of lockdown – demand for the book was described as “truly phenomenal”.

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Inside Chesterfield’s Aquarius – photo copyright David Miller

This event will be celebrating the recent news that the National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded £70,000 to a project to conserve and restore hundreds of photos from the venue taken by former in-house photographer David Miller.

The often candid pictures capture life in the venue in the 1970s and 1980s in a time before mobile phones.

Hundreds of the photos have never been seen before. Work has already begun to conserve and archive them before they are eventually made publicly available to view.

Neil Anderson said: “We’re thrilled that we’ve received this support thanks to National Lottery players. The Aquarius was the hub of Chesterfield’s social scene for a quarter of a century and to be able to preserve this amazing photo archive will ensure its legacy lives on for future generations.”

The Aquarius nightclub in Chesterfield during the 1970s

Sheffield Road’s Aquarius venue first opened in 1972 as a cabaret club and played host to some of the biggest stars of the era.

It was the venue that gave Cannon & Ball their first headline billing and saw everyone from Marti Caine to Bob Monkhouse grace the stage.

Local comedian Bernie Clifton was one the venue’s earliest hosts.

The venue was a staple for the north east Derbyshire area for a quarter of a century, outlasting rival venues like Sheffield’s famed Fiesta and Batley Variety Club.

Inside Chesterfield’s Aquarius – photo copyright David Miller

By the 1980s it was arguably more popular for its nightclub which enjoyed packed houses every weekend for much of the era with coaches turning up from right around the region.

Cabaret nights, fashion shows, an early gig by Def Leppard and even a legendary appearance by British actor Oliver Reed – there wasn’t much that didn’t happen in the venue down the years.

Neil said: “Few clubs anywhere created memories like the Aquarius. It was a byword for after-dark enjoyment and entertainment for a quarter of a century

“Scores of buses used to leave the town centre every Friday and Saturday as they ferried the hordes in the direction of the glitzy nightspot.”

The Aquarius outlasted scores of other venues in the town before finally shutting for the last time in the 1990s.

Tickets for the Aquarius reunion are just £9 and available from: bit.ly/Aquarius70s-80sChesterfieldMay2022