Josephine's nightclub: Retro pictures tell the story of legendary Sheffield nightclub in 1980s

Here, Dirty Stop Outs Guide author Neil Anderson tells the tale of the famous Josephine's nightclub

Few nightclubs thrived as much as Josephine's in '80s Sheffield.

Despite record numbers signing on, the Miner's Strike, and the Labour-controlled council at loggerheads with Thatcher's Government, you'd have never known it was a city in the grip of a recession if you walked into the glitzy Barker's Pool nightspot, complete with an in-house champagne league and grand piano.

Club owner Dave Allen got it absolutely right. There was even a thriving silver service restaurant offering top-quality food.

Josephine's is featured in the newly republished ‘Dirty Stop Out’s Guide to 1980s Sheffield’ available here:

Josephine's had a strict door policy; gentlemen with hair longer than collar length didn't stand a chance. It was the sister operation of Dave Allen's city centre Bonapartes Casino and Napoleons on Ecclesall Road.

He opened Josephine’s in 1976.

Whilst some venues started to question strict dresscodes with the rise of punk, he upped the ante and it was marching orders for anyone that wasn’t dressed up to the nines.

The club offered air conditioning, brought in ice machines and the champagne corks popped from day one.

Dave Allen said: “I wanted to open a place that people would dress up to come in. The Penny Farthing was the club of the day but you didn’t get ice in your drinks. There was no air conditioning and it was all hot and sweaty.

“I think it was well known that if you were going to Josephines you had to get dressed up as if you were going to a wedding.

“I used to say that anyone who was anyone used to come into Josephine’s. 

"Anyone that used to play The Fiesta or Sheffield City Hall all came into us afterwards: Johnny Mathis, Tommy Cooper, Ronnie Corbett, Ronnie Barker – you name them and they were there.”

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