Jump to content
Sheffield History

The Wapentake

Recommended Posts

Sheffield History

THE WAPENTAKE

LOCATION

Cambridge Street - Sheffield 1

INFORMATION

Another pub I need help with folks - so if you went in, have any pictures, any memories or can help draw a layout of the place then get posting !

The following is taken from the excellent site - http://www.borracho.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/rock/index7.shtml

The Wapentake was a bar which was in the basement of the Grosvenor House Hotel. Although it was open earlier, in the 1960s, The manager for the last 30 years of the 20th century was Olga, who, according to legend, was chiefly responsible for the bar changing into a rock bar, as she was able to convince the management that the rockers were a good natured bunch who didn't cause any trouble. Before the Wapentake she was at the legendary Buccaneer bar which was next door but one, up the road.

The music system in the Wap was a bit wooly to say the least, the loadspeakers looked like a couple of bass guitar speakers, in fact they had wooden rails on them on the bottom, which used to be used to push speakers around before casters became more commonplace, at one time, I remember one speaker going off altogether with a loose connection, and no one noticed.

The Wap (pronounced ***) in it's last years, always closed at 10.45pm A quarter of an hour earlier than other pubs. This didn't really matter to the punters, as the Yorkshireman's Arms was just around the corner, and the Sportman was very close too, and half of the people in the Wap finished up in Rebels afterwards anyhow. I don't know the real reason for the early close, but the rumour was along the lines of, the management wouldn't pay for the staff to have taxis home, and so the extra 15 minutes of time gave them opportunity to catch the last bus.

The early closure never did anything to stifle the popularity of the Wap, as there was frequently a queue to get in, I was often waiting outside for 15 minutes or more while the doorstaff slowly let us in.

Roy - For a very short time in the mid 80's they tried serving food during the week at lunch times, not a huge success as people brave enough to venture down the stairs usually took one look around and departed, can't imagine why the tables had white table cloths on.

The Wap closed around 2000, and after much fanfare and local newspaper features about "Egyptian style makeovers" was enlarged into the shop units above, the corner unit used to be Northern Rock Building Society. The venue is now called Casbah. The upstairs part has different music from the downstairs part where the Wap used to be. The downstairs usually opens at 10pm, and stays open until the small hours. The sound system is now very modern and loud, (often too loud) and they often have gigs down there. The room itself is bigger as they have knocked down the partition into the kitchen area where the old DJ box used to be. When it re-opened they spared no expence in the fixtures and fittings, the lights and the bar was all modern and impressive, it was a world away from the old Wap.

Do you have any pictures of the Wapentake ?

Did you used to go in the Wap ?

Post your memories and pics below !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mickjj

Remember drinking "Brew Ten" beer and eating stale cheese rolls in the early seventies down there. It was the greatest pub in the world but for some strange reaso a very poular one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sheffield History

A picture of how it looks today as 'Casbah'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
andyc

It had the worst draught beer and lager that I've ever tasted, served in plastic glasses. It was customary back then to throw the empty plastic glasses on the floor when empty. It was also the best pub I've ever been in, and I lived in there for over a decade. You could feel the atmosphere hit you as you walked down the stairs. Brilliant memories.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest lesvegas

Great pub with loads of mean looking people but they were all really friendly

a good atmosphere, decent music but dire beer so we drank newky browns

a relaxed pub, there arent any in town really now

casbah is crap

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
huthwaite

Used to say that you needed to wear wellies when going here as the floor got so wet and sticky! Remember the stainless steel loos ??? Good days, good company and good music.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
andyc

couldn't agree more huthwaite

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest zep

I used to drink the newcy brown, it was always warm though. We used to share fleas with all the other "hairys" at the time. there was only the Wap and the Nelson ever played any proper music in the city at the time. Someone said smouldering ping pong balls smelled of dope, so we used to take ping pong balls in and when there was a raid (frequent in my experience) we would light these ping pong balls and roll them under the tables. The police dog really got excited but we never knew if it worked or whehther it was just the smell thatr disguised the smell of dope.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MarionC

I worked at the Wap in the early seventies for a short while. The sticky floor is a memory not to be forgotten.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gippeswyc

I seem to remember in the late 1970s that it slowly transformed during the day from a quiet bar with guys in suits to a place for heavy rockers. My memories are those "hairies" moving the furniture around in the early evening. If I had just come from work, it wasn't a place to stay in your suit so we probably made our way to Josophines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest mummyjac

I used to go the in the mid 80's. Was funny I used to go to Henrys across the road with my mate first then we found The Wap & I was introduced to the sound of Heavy Metal & there was no turning back. Went there every friday & saturday & sometimes during the week, days & nights. It was dark n dirty but I loved the place :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sheffield History

Crikey - there's a bit of difference between Henrys (which no doubt would have been playing Luther Vandross etc) and The Wapentake !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mickjj

Here is a then and now set of pictures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DaveH

Here is a then and now set of pictures.

Nice then and now mickjj

Any dates for the pictures?

When I used to go in there I was just 18 and had just passed my A-levels and was waiting to go to University, that was in 1974 and it looked exactly like your first "then" picture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stuart0742

Nice then and now mickjj

Any dates for the pictures?

When I used to go in there I was just 18 and had just passed my A-levels and was waiting to go to University, that was in 1974 and it looked exactly like your first "then" picture.

I remember the booths in the Wapentake, you could get up to a bit of canoogling in them with out being seen.....hmmmm memories lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RichardB

I remember the booths in the Wapentake, you could get up to a bit of canoogling in them with out being seen.....hmmmm memories lol

http://www.canoogling-at-the-Wap.co.uk

Fictional, shame he he

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DaveH

I remember the booths in the Wapentake, you could get up to a bit of canoogling in them with out being seen.....hmmmm memories lol

Come on Stuart, keep it clean this is Sheffieldhistory.co.uk not canooglingtheladies.com

Does your wife know about this canoogling? :o ... or was she involved in it? lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DaveH

I remember the booths in the Wapentake, you could get up to a bit of canoogling in them with out being seen.....hmmmm memories lol

My own memory of the place (apart from it being very loud) is drinking warm keg beer from a plastic pint pot.

This is probably why I didn't particularly like the place, - not the best beer or best way to drink it.

However, for a Saturday night out in 1974 and I have probably said this in another post somewhere before, it was cheap

Bus fare to town = 2p

A gallon (8 pints) of beer at 12p per pint = 96p

Bus fare home = 2p

Total cost of a drunken night out = £1 exactly

For the benefit of younger members £1 was a note in those days, not a coin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stuart0742

Come on Stuart, keep it clean this is Sheffieldhistory.co.uk not canooglingtheladies.com

Does your wife know about this canoogling? :o ... or was she involved in it? lol

Given that we both worked at BT at the time, you had to go somewhere at lunch time.

Definitely moving off topic now. Perhaps a new topic "Where did you do your courting" lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mickjj

I took the latest one on my trip home last year, as for the older shot I am not sure when it was taken but check out the menu for clues.

Open Sandwiches 40p

Giant Hot Dog 35p

Wapenburger 60p (love the name)

Apple Pie 37p

And wash it down with a 30p pot of tea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DaveH

I took the latest one on my trip home last year, as for the older shot I am not sure when it was taken but check out the menu for clues.

Open Sandwiches 40p

Giant Hot Dog 35p

Wapenburger 60p (love the name)

Apple Pie 37p

And wash it down with a 30p pot of tea.

So there's a new challenge, - can we put a date to a photograph using only a menu displayed in the photograph?

In which year would a Wapenburger have cost you 60p?

My guess, - late 70's - early 80's.

If they had displayed their drinks list (beer prices) in the window it would have made this much easier to guess as beer seems to go up in the budget each year making its price more easily tracable with time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest wapntake

So there's a new challenge, - can we put a date to a photograph using only a menu displayed in the photograph?

In which year would a Wapenburger have cost you 60p?

My guess, - late 70's - early 80's.

If they had displayed their drinks list (beer prices) in the window it would have made this much easier to guess as beer seems to go up in the budget each year making its price more easily tracable with time.

My ID ( i have used since it closed) i made as a tribute to this bar which i had so many great nights and i use it on various sites as my ID, i know the spelling is different i did that deliberately as i thought the name would be already used. i used to spend my time between here and the Yorkshireman on Burgess St, queuing on Friday and Saturday Nights to get in then off to Rebels after. I remember the wap smelling of stale beer, cigarette smoke and a slight hint of of dope smell mixed in as you got down the stairs through the door. The large hot dog i think was called a "whopper sausage crusty" i giant sausage in a crusty French cob. was a meal in itself. I used to go in for lunch when i was at Granville College 1977 onwards. I think the DJ was Ken who i believe is still doing a bit somewhere, I stopped going in in about 1982 when i left college then started again in 1986 until it closed. never been in the casbah. it was like a family pub everyone knew each other great atmosphere. i miss those days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RockinInTheFreeWorld

The Wap - a place of legend, and as I've already stated in The Buccaneer post this was largely due to landlady Olga Marshall, without whom....etc etc. and I started going here after The Bucc closed in 1973.

You went downstairs turning right at the bottom into a kind of vestibule kind of arrangement; the gents were on your right and the ladies were directly ahead. From here you turned left and you were into The Wap itself.

Immediately on the left was the row of booths - already mentioned above - ideal for sitting with friends and shouting at one another in order to be heard above the music, or just having a drink and a 'cuddle' - as also mentioned in an earlier post! Directly across from here was the bar which ran from the DJ booth, then right along and round to the left as you viewed it from the booths or the main floor. To the right of here was an area for standing - I don't recall any seating over in this part but there may've been - I was usually in the main floor area.

The main floor was the standing area which ran from immediately as you entered right along and adjacent to the DJ booth.

Like The Buccaneer and The Nelson the beer was uniformly terrible and if you had any sense, or taste-buds, you bought a bottle of Newcastle Brown which the bar staff always poured into a plastic pint pot. Yes, the floor was sticky, on occasion the loos were beyond belief - you'd need wellies in the gents more often than not - it was dark and dismal BUT the music and the people there were the thing - that's why we all went. It truly was a blast - and it was another great underground bar in Sheffield's illustrious rock history. Let there be rock. And, lo, there was rock.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...