Aquarius Chesterfield: 9 of the best photos from night held to remember legendary nightclub

The Spanish-themed venue brought some of the biggest names in entertainment to perform for local audiences

They were one of the venue’s most popular acts in its heyday and they returned to celebrate the launch of a new book chronicling its life.

The Grumbleweeds had top billing at a night to remember Chesterfield’s Aquarius nightclub and celebrate the unveiling of a new title about the venue.

‘Remembering The Aquarius’ tells the story of the iconic cabaret club that first opened in 1972.

The book is full of exclusive interviews, rare photos and memorabilia relating to the club that outlasted many of its peers and ran for nearly a quarter of a century.

The Aquarius was an instant hit when it opened on the back of the cabaret craze that swept the country in the late 1960s. The Spanish-themed venue brought some of the biggest names in entertainment to perform for local audiences.

Names like Bob Monkhouse, Charlie Williams, the Drifters, Ken Dodd and scores of other renowned artists all wowed local crowds in the 1970s and 1980s.

Coaches came from miles around to experience the atmosphere.

Cannon & Ball famously did their first ever headline show at the venue. Even Oliver Reed turned up as a punter one night.

Neil Anderson of the Dirty Stop Outs that has put the book together said: “Few venues are remembered with as much fondness as the Aquarius. This book brings together amazing memories and forgotten stories from the people that were there. Most cabaret clubs were falling on hard times as tastes changed by the end of the 1970s but the Aquarius just kept going – in fact it seemed to get even more popular in the 1980s. This is its definite story.”

The book includes contributions from former employees, entertainers and club-goers.

Robin Colvill of the Grumbleweeds, says the venue played a key role in their success: “We used to do a lot of gigs at the Aquarius – we’d perform three to four weeks every year. We were very popular – it was always heaving. Because of the Aquarius, we did a BBC Radio show and that led to a TV show.”

The book has been produced as part of a wider National Lottery Heritage Fund project to celebrate the venue and its legacy.

‘Remembering The Aquarius’ costs just £11.95 (plus P&P) and is available from

The launch event was held at Dronfield’s Hilltop Sports and Social Club.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.