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Sheffield History

The Penthouse Nightclub Sheffield

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THE PENTHOUSE NIGHTCLUB

LOCATION

Dixon Lane - Sheffield City Centre

PICTURES

picture - jason

pictures and artwork - Paul Norton

INFORMATION

Opened by Peter Stringfellow ?

We dont' have a lot to go on so it's over to you guys for information about the club when it was 'The Penthouse'. Did you go ? Do you know anyone that worked there ? Do you have any pictures ?

LINKS

Penthouse Page - http://www.rockreunited.co.uk

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I only came upon this site by accident so I was very pleased and interested to see the two photos of murals in the Penthouse. They are two of several photos which I took of my paintings in the Penthouse, the last of which were finished just the day before it opened, which was in 1969. This was the third club I had painted for Peter and Geoff Stringfellow starting with the famous Mojo Club, then Down Broadway on the High Street, then the Penthouse.

Its OK to use the photos by the way, I had sent them in a swop for some others with a guy called Jason who I linked up with on the Sheffield Forum. The featured black and white band photo is his.

The Penthouse mural theme started off being Greek/Roman, with the main mural being a large one of Apollo in his chariot and horses. All the murals were mainly colour themed and painted onto a dark brown wall. When it came to painting something on the endless flights of stairs from the club entrance to the top of the building where the club was, (hence the club name!) which I think I did after the club was opened, I had worked out an idea of portraying Greek/Roman gods. Starting with Orpheus in his underworld (hell) at the stairs bottom and finishing with Zeus (King of the Gods) on a mountain at the top of the stairs. That all seemed to make visual sense. Peter Stringfellow decided he wanted some funky ladies!

Enter the set of female dancing figures I painted and christened The Penthouse Ladies. Some were kind of based on real women who I liked at the time like Marsha Hunt and Julie Driscoll, some were amalgams of other model types out of Vogue. They were quite tricky to paint as the steps weren't very wide and as I worked my way up the stairs, the bigger the drop below!

The club was OK and started out well in its early years, with good music and regular live acts, including the Alan Bown Set who had been club faves with the crowd since the Mojo. The sound system as usual was excellent, Peter DJ'd along with one or two other guys, wee pipe west was maybe one of them. I remember a nice petite GoGo dancer as well called Baby Jane who did some very energetic spots on stage. I dated her a couple of times (hope you are well where ever you are!) But some of the great original Mojo crowd had begun to split up and move on for one reason or another and the club crowd began to gradually change, and as it did the trouble and drunkenness began to increase. It is somewhat ironic that this was the first Stringfellow owned club that sold alcohol.

It wasn't a great club scene there anymore, so in the end the Stringfellow Brothers sold up, sadly finally left Sheffield and moved to Leeds to open Cinderellas. The Penthouse later became Rebels and a totally different scene. I never went. The earlier club had its day for me and that was that.

I have looked at the Rebel Club section on this site and the comments about the sticky floor. Interestingly although the wooden parquet floor was expensive and made for good dancing, the Penthouse had trouble with the surface from day one. On the day of the opening the whole floor needed to be scraped to get the varnish or polish surface off to redo it because it went 'funny'. The panic then was would it dry before they needed to open. It did - just. Mind you in later years I think the carpet got sticky too!

'Big' Brian Turner was one of the doormen. Two others were Steve Hackett and Paul ???. Paul Stringfellow ran the bar and catering, I think Peters Mum still helped to take door money some of the time.

I no doubt have more to remember and tell, maybe another day. I also do have some more photos but am not quite sure how to put them on this site so maybe the site admin can get in touch with me.

Best regards to all who went there and who may remember me.

Paul Norton

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Absolutely fantastic post - can't thank you enough

I was sent the pictures so have been keen to trace the people who should be credited also - so thanks for that information too !

To post pictures on the site:

1. Click the 'ADD REPLY' button (instead of the 'fast reply' button)

2. Click the 'browse' button that will be on the right hand side (underneath the text area)

3. Choose the picture you want to upload onto the site from your computer (you can double click the picture to select it)

4. Click 'upload' - this will upload to the server

5. Above the upload button is a 'manage current attachements' drop down box - click that and click the picture you want to show

6. Click 'add reply'

Done ! (it's easier than it sounds and once you get the hang of it it's even easier)

Give it a go - if you hit a problem contact me by clicking on my username and then send message or you can email any pictures you woud like on the site to our email address:

admin@sheffieldhistory.co.uk

Many thanks again - it's contributions like yours that make the site a whole lot better (at the time of writing the site is only a week old so very much in it's infancy as far as content goes)

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http://www.sheffieldhistory.co.uk/forums/uploads/monthly_06_2007/post-42-1182256071.jpghttp://www.sheffieldhistory.co.uk/forums/uploads/monthly_06_2007/post-42-1182256135.jpg

http://www.sheffieldhistory.co.uk/forums/uploads/monthly_06_2007/post-42-1182256161.jpghttp://www.sheffieldhistory.co.uk/forums/uploads/monthly_06_2007/post-42-1182256185.jpg

The enclosed photos are of myself painting the Apollo mural, the finished Apollo mural, the Julie Driscoll painting at the bottom of the stairs to the left as you walked in, and part of one of the set of dancing ladies on the staircase.

I hope they bring back memories for someone out there.

Paul Norton

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Absolutely brilliant - thanks again !

Great artwork too - I guess it was painted over ?

Also - I absolutely love your look - you looked like a character from the Yellow Submarine movie !

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Glad you like the artwork. As to looking like a Yellow Submarine character, I do still have a moustache but not a long Mexican type (or whatever style it was supposed to be!) I had been growing it for a while but had never properly seen myself and moustache, together in a photo until the Penthouse club opening night. Peter had me on stage and gave be a big bottle of champagne for doing the paintings (I did get paid as well!) and a photographer took my photo. When I saw it I thought said moustache was 'orrible and immediately cut it a lot shorter!

My hair doesnt look very long, although I had before and since had it a lot longer. This was the time of the hippies and I was one, just didn't look very hip while wearing old stuff to paint in! My proper job at the time was Assistant Display Manager at nearby C&A Modes. They were always threatening me with the sack if I didnt get more haircuts!

As far as I can gather from Jason, who had visited the sad wreck of the old Rebels club not that long ago, the paintings had still been there at the time, just painted over.

The local youth culture and club scene seemed to move fast in those 60's days. Within 10 years we had seen fashions from Rocker to Mod, Beatle suits to 20s gangster look, Suedeheads to Hippies. The Penthouse was the third Stringfellow owned Sheffield club in 6 years. If you counted the Black Cat and Blue Moon clubs, and the regular sessions in the City Hall ballroom, then it was 6 clubs within 8 years!

Ah - what heady days!

Love and Peace,

Paul Norton

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would Peter Stringfellow have been running the Penthouse in Christmas 1971 ?My wife (girlfriend then) and I came to Sheffield late 71 and she got a job at the Penthouse over the Christmas period She was / is ,very charismatic ,if that's the right word ! and had been working at Bailey's etc in the North East . so was used to busy places .Long time ago but we still argue over whether it was PS who said I can pick em when she did so-o well on the selling drinks side .I seem to remember that he had sold it by that time !

Kered

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Good question - I'm sure you'll get the answer you need once a few people have read this !

(welcome to the site btw)

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Hello Dekka,

Yes the Stringfellows still had the Penthouse in 1971. It was their first club with an alcohol licence. So it could well have been Peter (or Geoff) who said that to you.

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This was the only Night Club I could ever get in, in the early 1970s. Hair too long, etc, etc.

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I had my stag night in there in 72' all i can remember is falling down all those stairs lol

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I remember the Penthouse very well - I had my Hen Night there in 1970! As already said in a previous reply, it didn't have the same feel as the Mojo, the 'in crowd' feeling was missing. Though this in part could be due to the fact that the music scene was rapidly changing, the homely feel of those smaller, earlier clubs was being overtaken by the larger, more luxurious nightclub where you didn't know nearly everyone who attended any more. I have fond memories of the Penthouse, but both the Mojo and Esquire have my heart! Not much on here about the Esquire, by the way! Am I the only one with loads of memories about this club?

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I only came upon this site by accident so I was very pleased and interested to see the two photos of murals in the Penthouse. They are two of several photos which I took of my paintings in the Penthouse, the last of which were finished just the day before it opened, which was in 1969. This was the third club I had painted for Peter and Geoff Stringfellow starting with the famous Mojo Club, then Down Broadway on the High Street, then the Penthouse.

Its OK to use the photos by the way, I had sent them in a swop for some others with a guy called Jason who I linked up with on the Sheffield Forum. The featured black and white band photo is his.

The Penthouse mural theme started off being Greek/Roman, with the main mural being a large one of Apollo in his chariot and horses. All the murals were mainly colour themed and painted onto a dark brown wall. When it came to painting something on the endless flights of stairs from the club entrance to the top of the building where the club was, (hence the club name!) which I think I did after the club was opened, I had worked out an idea of portraying Greek/Roman gods. Starting with Orpheus in his underworld (hell) at the stairs bottom and finishing with Zeus (King of the Gods) on a mountain at the top of the stairs. That all seemed to make visual sense. Peter Stringfellow decided he wanted some funky ladies!

Enter the set of female dancing figures I painted and christened The Penthouse Ladies. Some were kind of based on real women who I liked at the time like Marsha Hunt and Julie Driscoll, some were amalgams of other model types out of Vogue. They were quite tricky to paint as the steps weren't very wide and as I worked my way up the stairs, the bigger the drop below!

The club was OK and started out well in its early years, with good music and regular live acts, including the Alan Bown Set who had been club faves with the crowd since the Mojo. The sound system as usual was excellent, Peter DJ'd along with one or two other guys, wee pipe west was maybe one of them. I remember a nice petite GoGo dancer as well called Baby Jane who did some very energetic spots on stage. I dated her a couple of times (hope you are well where ever you are!) But some of the great original Mojo crowd had begun to split up and move on for one reason or another and the club crowd began to gradually change, and as it did the trouble and drunkenness began to increase. It is somewhat ironic that this was the first Stringfellow owned club that sold alcohol.

It wasn't a great club scene there anymore, so in the end the Stringfellow Brothers sold up, sadly finally left Sheffield and moved to Leeds to open Cinderellas. The Penthouse later became Rebels and a totally different scene. I never went. The earlier club had its day for me and that was that.

I have looked at the Rebel Club section on this site and the comments about the sticky floor. Interestingly although the wooden parquet floor was expensive and made for good dancing, the Penthouse had trouble with the surface from day one. On the day of the opening the whole floor needed to be scraped to get the varnish or polish surface off to redo it because it went 'funny'. The panic then was would it dry before they needed to open. It did - just. Mind you in later years I think the carpet got sticky too!

'Big' Brian Turner was one of the doormen. Two others were Steve Hackett and Paul ???. Paul Stringfellow ran the bar and catering, I think Peters Mum still helped to take door money some of the time.

I no doubt have more to remember and tell, maybe another day. I also do have some more photos but am not quite sure how to put them on this site so maybe the site admin can get in touch with me.

Best regards to all who went there and who may remember me.

Paul Norton

The Penthouse was regularly visited by the Police Plain Clothes Department in particular by one Sergeant Alan Mundy. Pete Stringfellow was later quoted as saying that Alan Mundy's attentions were a major factor in him selling up and moving to London and he went on to thank the said Sergeant for making Pete Stringfellow's fortune!!

Derek Sleath

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I saw Lenny Lunch and the Sandwich Rappers at The Revolution (Penthouse) with Disease. I was drunk and told Disease they were "not very good" or similar words and asked 'em to wake me up from under their coats when they were finished so I could watch Lenny Lunch - to their credit, they woke me up lol

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I was the DJ at The Penthouse in Scarborough, which ran from 1969 to 1982. It was often a source of confusion for some visitors who thought we'd opened a branch of our hugely successful and now legendary rock club in Sheffield. Researching for my own site, I keep coming across reference to band playing in Sheffield, when actually they played in Scarborough. If any of your contributors/visitors to your site were also customers at our Scarborough club, I'd love to know. Looking at some of the people in the photo section, and some of the design, I can't help thinking we must have shared a few!

Lovely website, yours, and great fun.

Best wishes,

Matt Watkinson

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Just though I'd add this. I found it amongst my old concert tickets.

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HI ,i WORKED ON THE DOOR WITH STEVE HACKET,MY NAME IS CYRIL PIDDINGTON.

WE THREW A FEW PEOPLE DOWN THOSE STAIRS, ALSO MY BROTHER AND I CARRIED BEER KEGS UP THEM ON DELIVERY DAYS.

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HI ,i WORKED ON THE DOOR WITH STEVE HACKET,MY NAME IS CYRIL PIDDINGTON.

WE THREW A FEW PEOPLE DOWN THOSE STAIRS, ALSO MY BROTHER AND I CARRIED BEER KEGS UP THEM ON DELIVERY DAYS.

Hi Cyril,

my name is pola, I remember those stairs and all the strange things I usually faced at Penthouse. I enjoied the club in late 74 and early 75 in it I used to spend all my nights for many months. Great nights and many nice memories. In that period I got known someone who worked as a DJ calling Dave, is it right?

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I wonder if anyone who went in the Penthouse in the early 1970s remembers a go-go dancer called Bridgette.

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Hi. Whoever you are, Only me. I am the person you are looking for. I saw your posting just over a week ago and couldn't believe anyone would remember me after all this time. Fantastic. Those were the days. I've only just found out how to post and reply to comments on this site (thanks to my son). Wonderful. Reply as soon as you can. lol

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hi my names dave i was a regular at penthouse and remember the gogo dancers good times

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