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THE BUCCANEER - Leopold Street, Sheffield

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The Buccaneer Pub Sheffield.jpg

 

THE BUCCANEER

LOCATION

Leopold Street - City Centre

FACTS

Closed in 1973 - when the Grand Hotel was demolished to be replaced by the Fountain project

PEOPLE

Landlord/Lady - Alma ?

DJ - George Webster (of limit club fame)

DJ - Dave Bates

Bouncer - Mark Melluish

PICTURES

We need your help with this one folks - can you provide any information that would help us in this Buccaneer section ?

There's a Buccaneer web page here - http://www.moss-net.co.uk/buccaneer/index.htm

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Taken from the Buccaneer webpage:

the Buccaneer Bar

For those of you old enough to remember the Buccaneer Bar, in Sheffield. You may, as I do, look back fondly on what was at first glance, a pretty dismal place.

For those of you that frequented it during the daylight hours the interior could only be described in architectural terms as neo-mortuary. The floor was carpeted, well, there was carpet somewhere. What was left of it served only as an underlay for the fossilised mixture of beer, *** ends and vomit that formed the non slip surface on which in the course of an evening, one became glued to.

The walls and ceilings were painted black with few decorative features except a couple of tables with ships compass motif and a dead snake skin nailed to an overhead beam. Well I hope it was just the skin it was hard to tell from the aromas permeating from it.. Oh and a Parrot!!! Yes, a real one (I think).

The general background aroma can only be described as essence of *** ash, stale beer, vomit & other bodily fluids, with faint undertones of Marijuana & patchouli oil.

The glasses were made of plastic, which was a good idea as it was impossible to find anywhere to put it when empty, except drop it on the floor. Except of course on Friday's and Saturday nights when you guarded it with your life. By about 9.00pm the bar staff had run out of glasses so it was essential to keep the one you had or scout around on the floor for a discarded one. With the latter option it was generally refilled without washing it first.

You may think from this description that it was a bit of a dive, far from it. The Bucc was one of the few real music bars in Sheffield at the time. I personally seemed to spend all my time in there and I mean seven days a week. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't some sort of wee wee head. It was the Music and the Atmosphere that made it such a brilliant place to go.

Sometimes if it got a bit too thronged (which happened often) we might venture down to the Wapentake or the Nelson or even down to the Whetstone on Cumberland Street. The Whetstone was the only place on the list that was quiet enough to have a conversation, so it was the place you took a girl too.

The volume of the music in the Buccaneer was unbelievable. It took half an hour after you had left the bar before you got your hearing back.

On Saturdays, I used to work until 12.00, then straight down to the Bucc to meet up with friends, where we would stay until chucking out time at 3.00 pm. Then stagger down to the Sidewalk cafe on Chapel Walk and sober up on Coffee. As soon as the doors were open back we went and stayed till 10.30 which were the allowable drinking hours in the1970's.

At the time of the Bucc's closure in 1973 I was working at Butlins in North Wales for the summer season with my then girlfriend, now wife, June. What a shock when we returned to find it closed up. What had happened to all the people, where had they gone? Most had re-housed themselves at the Wap ,where Olga the Bucc's Landlady had re-surfaced. Some went to the Nelson others were scattered around the few decent music pubs in Sheffield at that time.

There were several DJ's I can only recall George Webster who must have had a record collection to die for. After the Closure of the Buccaneer in 1973. George moved around a bit eventually ending up at The Limit on West Street.

The Bucanneer was the best place to hear "non-pop" music at this time and was well known around the Country.

Buccaneer Play list from 1972/73

TITLE ARTIST

Schools out Alice Cooper

Jessica Allman Brother Band

Horse with no name America

Hold Your Head up Argent

Wells Fargo Babe Ruth

Mockingbird Barclay James Harvest

Hey Jude Beatles

The Wizard Black Sabbath

Supernaught Black Sabbath

Lay. Lady Lay Bob Dylan

Intro and The Outro Bonzo Dog Doo Da Band

Chestnut Mare Byrds

Bug eyed beans from venus Captain Beefheart

You're so vain Carly Simon

It's Too Late Carol King

I'm a man Chicago (Transit Authority)

Smoke, Smoke, Smoke that cigarette Commander Cody & the lost planet airman

I Feel Like I'm Fixing To Die Rag or (gimme an "F") Country Joe McDonald

Suite Judy Blue Eyes Crosby, Stills Nash & Young

Back Street Luv Curved Air

Starman David Bowie

Highway Star Deep Purple

Comin' Hom Delaney & Bonnie with EC

Layla Derek & The Dominoes

Intergalactic Laxative Donovan

Vincent Don Mclean

American pie Don Mclean

Road House Blues Doors

Sylvias Mother Dr Hook

Jig a Jig East of Eden

Frankenstein Edgar Winter

Rocket Man Elton John

Spill The Wine Eric Burdon

Bell Bottom Blues Eric Clapton

Weavers Answer Family

Do You Want to ride In My Car Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention

Peaches en regalia Frank Zappa

The Stealer Free

Rock & Roll Gary Glitter

Paranoid Grand Funk Railroad

Cherry Red Groundhogs

Race With The Devil Gun

Silver Machine Hawkwind

Doctor My Eyes Jackson Brown

you've Got A Friend James Taylor

Move Over Janis Joplin

White Rabbit / Somebody to Love Jefferson Airplane

Locomotive Breath Jethro Tull

Run Run Run Jo Jo Gunne

Big Yellow Taxi Joni Mitchell

Stranger in Blue Suede Shoes Kevin Ayers

21st Century Schizoid MAn King Crimson

Stairway to Heaven Led Zeppelin

Meet Me On The Corner Lindisfarne

Lady Eleanor Lindisfarne

Walk on the wild side Lou Reed

All The Young Dudes Mott The Hoople

Don’t Look Around Mountain

Southern Man Neil Young

Heart of Gold Neil Young

Music For A Gong Gong Osibisa

Liar Queen

Here Comes The Sun Richie Havens

Maggie May Rod Stewart

Reason to Believe Rod Stewart

Sympathy For The Devil Rolling Stones

Bullfrog Blues Rory Gallagher

Virginia Plain Roxy Music

In Every Dreamhome a Heartache Roxy Music

Black Magic Woman / Gypsy Queen Santana

Family Affair Sly & The Family Stone

Rikki Don’t Lose That Number Steely Dan

Magic Carpet Ride Steppenwolf

The Pusher Steppenwolf

Love The One Youre With Steve Stills

Lay Down Strawbs

Higher & Higher Strider

Love Like A Man Ten years after

Whisky in the Jar Thin Lizzy

Mama told me not to come Three Dog Night

Look at Yourself Uriah Heep

The Wizard Uriah Heep *

Killer Van Der Graff Generator

Blowin' Free Wishbone Ash *

JailBait Wishbone Ash *

Roundabout Yes *

I've Seen All Good People Yes *

Hi Ho Silver Lining Jeff Beck

Honk-Tonk Woman Rolling Stones

Spiders from Mars David Bowie & The Spiders from Mars

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Please help !

I've tried to contact the chap who put together the Buccaneer webpage but unfortunately his email address didn't work ?

If anyone knows this person ask them to contact me !!

Thanks so much for reviving my memories. Like you I spent most evenings in the Buck 71-72-73. I even spent some time as a ‘bouncer’ – that was a laugh – our ‘uniform’ was a bow tie worn on our usual denim shirt!

We used to work ‘shifts’ , taking it in turns on each of the doors (the most popular being the one at the bottom of the entrance stairs in Leopold street) and we had an ‘alarm’ system which consisted of the house lights being flashed on and off a certain number of times depending on the area of the bar where there may be trouble. One night I was upstairs (Captains Cabin?) when the lights flashed to tell us that there was trouble at the small bar next to the DJ cave – I took the back stairs and slipped in someone’s vomit – so my nice clean denims were well and truly covered. This did not make my temper too good and promised myself that whoever was causing the trouble would be shown the door dead quick.

When I got to the bar it was a bunch of soldiers – all in uniform and big as concrete ****houses, who were casing the upset. Obviously when I saw these guys, and the size of their fists, diplomacy got the better part of me and I asked them politely what was the trouble – it transpired that the silly bargirl did not want to serve them cause they were squaddies and as such ‘were not cool’ so she just ignored them – this resulted in them throwing the plastic glasses at her until she flashed the alarm. One quick round of beers and they were all happy bunnies – except me who had to contend with the strange odour form my clothes and straight home afterwards instead of the usual ‘after hours’

Music – my God!! Where do I stop? – during my time at the Buck I used to work at a music shop on Eccelsall Road – Johnson Electrics – it was just about the only place in Sheffield where musicians could try out guitars, amps etc without any hassle, so became very popular with the local bands – that place and the buck was responsible for my musical education – like you said there were certain ‘Buck Anthems’ – I remember one track which got quite a bit of play, was not a song but a humorous track from the Mothers of Invention called ‘Do you like my New Car?’ – also a piece about Vietnam, but right now I cannot remember the singer – lyrics were:

"And its one. Two, three, what are we fighting for? Don’t ask me I don’t give a damn,Next stop is Vietnam’

Do you remember the ‘dancer’ that sometimes performed in front of the DJ cave? – small blonde guy if I remember.

I could go on and on.

Thanks for bringing up the memories

Mark Melluish

Thanks for reminding me what it was like, i remember the small bar to the left as you went in down the stairs and the main room on the right. I have some very vivid memories of standing down by the DJ's booth next to a speaker whle Highway Star blasted out, it explain why my ears don't work as well as they once did.

I had some fantastic times in that pub all those years ago and I can remember a few of the people who frequented the place.

Two guys stand out, Phil Burger and a guy called Norman who ran a disco around the corner at the Grapes on Trippet Lane on Friday nights.

Here I am thirty years on and I can almost feel the stickiness of the carpet as you walked on it, taste the plastic of the glasses and the sweet smell of patchouli oil. Along with the Sunday afternoons in Weston Park and the first night at the Wap I miss those old days.I look forward to some more photos from around that time especially of the local bands, Axis, Acid and Manic Depression to name but a few.

Jinx

PS. I'll see if I can find any of my photos.

Paul Jinkinson

Hi,

I just found your webpage remembering the Buccaneer`.......thank you so much for putting it together it made me feel somewhere between 18 and 21 for a while !! I can`t wait to show it to my husband when he gets home from work. We were and are actually from Manchester but we always prefered Sheffield, we had friends there,we don`t know what happened to them.........

in particular were `Pete Neary` and `Jane Swain` don`t suppose you knew either of them ? it`s sad isn`t it, you don`t bother keeping in touch because you don`t think things will ever change. A couple of years ago we (my husband Ian and me) were walking around Sheffield and much to our dismay couldn`t pinpoint exactly where the Buccaneer used to be.........we though it was

on what we used to call the `bottom end` you know, the slopey bit.......or perhaps it wasn`t the street that was slopey !!

What we seem to remember most about it apart from the stuff you`ve already covered on your page......is that in a certain light the stuff in your glass (we remember having plastic ones now and again) always appeared to be a strange shade of green...........or was that just us too ? Weren`t we all `slim`in those days, if I find any foto`s of us from that wonderful period of time I`ll mail them to you.

Thanks again to both of you,

Eleanor and Ian.

Found your site by chance Have many happy memories of the Bucc where I spent my (mispent) youth

My claim to fame.... I used to date the DJ Dave Bates who incidentally did quite well for himself subsequently!

I am now a criminal brief in London

Joy

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The Buccaneer (or 'The Bucc' as it was fondly known) also intelligently themed the music played in there by playing music around who was playing the nearby City Hall.

So whilst people going to the Bowie concert would be drinking out of their plastic glasses in the bar they could listen to lots of Lou Reed, Roxy, and maybe even some records by Bowie himself playing.

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I think Ray Banks DJd there for a while. He later did Ozzie Owl / hillsboro Suite and owned the record shop at Firth Park (Roadrunner Records ?).

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What a pub, we used to get served at the bar upstairs and then down the spiral staircase. The music was great, some lunch times when there was'nt a disco the juke box was free. Once when I was slighty pissed I put Mary Hopkins Temer Harbour on about 10 times which did'nt go down well. Always wanted one of the round tables with a compass on, went away for 2 weeks and when I came back it had closed. Alway chanted to Country Joe MacDonald.

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Once when I was slighty pissed I put Mary Hopkins Temer Harbour on about 10 times which did'nt go down well.

ha ha !!!

I think that's something that's always worth doing once in your lifetime for the amusement factor

Although these days would cost you about £20 to do it

I did it a few times at another boozer (new bridge inn at wadsley bridge) when they had the White Album on the jukebox (by the Beatles for those who don't know)

Put "Revolution 9" on about 20 times and sat and watched the place slowly getting more and more angry

lol

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ha ha !!!

Put "Revolution 9" on about 20 times and sat and watched the place slowly getting more and more angry

lol

For me it was 'Coat of many Colours' by Dolly Parton in a pub which back in the mid - late 70's at the weekends became a 'cool' place to hang out- I too was slightly pissed, the pub was full of nine bob millionaires all putting "Oh Lori" by the Alessi Brothers on the juke box and thinking they were really cool. So I bunged a couple of quid in the box - which gave about twenty plays I think, and watched the reaction - the landlord eventually was persuaded to reset the juke box - childish thing I know, but it gave me and me mates some amusement at the time watching the 'smoothies' trying to chat up the local lasses to Dolly Partons 'b' side to 'Butterflies'

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lol

I think that if people read this thread that we might have inspired them to go and take over the jukeboxes in a similar fashion

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The Buccaneer holds many many fond memories - back in the early seventies, I guess during it's 'hayday' - it was a pretty amazing place.

I was don in Glastonbury a couple of years ago doing the tourist thing and went into a shop and was instantly transported back in time to the Buck - it only took one whiff of Patchouli oil and I was right there - plastic pint pot in hand - drinking Double Diamond - listening to the amazing records.

It was always great on the night of the 'big' concerts at the City Hall 'cus the DJ's would invariably play the music of the band on at the hall for those popping in for a pint before the gig. There were always the die hard fans who went one step beyond just listening to the music and tried to look like their heroes as well. So for Emerson, Lake and Palmer it was short denim jacket and tight jeans tucked into biker boots - Wishbone Ash - long sleeved T shirts and loon flares etc.etc.

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I have very fond memories of The Buccaneer, despite the fact that I was FAR too young to be going in there at the time.

Main memories are of semi-darkness, 15 deep queue at the bar, then once you had been served, having to push your way back through the mob whilst carrying 2 extremely full plastic glasses, which once empty were just thrown on the floor and trampled!

Fond memories of the music played - at deafening volume - with everyone singing along at the top of their lungs to classics like Alex Harvey's "Next" - and Hi Ho Silver Lining tuurning into a football chant every time it was played.

As a teenage girl (and a regular), the highlight of the evening was pushing your way through the throng to the toilets and seeing who was in (and how many guys you knew & could snog on the way there and back!)

I met my husband in The Buccaneer (although we are long since divorced) and we were disappointed that we missed the last night because we were on holiday in Cornwall at the time.

Although the clientelle, manageress and the DJ moved on to the Wapentake, I never felt that they every managed to duplicate the atmosphere of The Bucc.

The Buccaneer is still the source of many happy memories from my teenage years and was sadly missed.

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Just been browsing and found this little piece about The Bucc - together with a nice photo of the Grand Hotel - some time before the Bucc took over the basement!

Grand Hotel Leopold St

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This was my pub of choice in town and I started drinking there in 1970/71. If we were there early enough we went for the seats below the window to the street level on your immediate left as you went downstairs. You had the advantage of seeing everything that went on in the bar and admiring the view as mini skirted girls walked past on Leopold Street. It was dimly lit and I remember that being an attraction. If it had been well lit I guess it would have looked far worse than it was as a lot of beer finished up on the floor most nights! It was so dark that if you popped over to the Stonehouse for a late drink you needed shades as it seemed so bright in comparison. The toilets were a dump and very small?

I remember paying 1/6d (7.5pence would you believe) for a pint of double diamond. I don't remember them having draught lager at that time and I still hadn't aquired the taste for bitter. I seem to remember the music was better and louder than most pubs which they probably got away with being below street level. This also had the disadvantage of it being very smoky. We all seemed to smoke back then and if you didn't you probably breathed in a pack of 20 a night of other peoples smoke! You sometimes use to see the the odd group of Sheffield Wednesday players there and I seem to remember Wilf Smith, David Ford being there a couple of times.

There was a lot of protest when plastic glasses were introduced and things didn't seem the same after that. I haven't lived in Sheffield since 1982 but was there to see it close which was a sad day. I only ever went to the place that replaced it once. Featureless I remember.

ps. evidently it closed in 1973 but I thought it was a lot later than that.

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Even better !

My favourite band ever

I'd have fit right in there then

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.

There was a lot of protest when plastic glasses were introduced and things didn't seem the same after that.

I was a bouncer at the Bucc and prior to the plastic glasses they used, mainly, the dimpled glass mugs with handles. Great to drink out of, but became the weapon of choice by some of the ars***oles that came in, got tanked up and decided to have a pop at some one.

I heard some nasty stories of previous bouncers being coshed by these vessels which were nicknamed, 'fighting mugs'.

On more than one occasion I had to face off a few yobs who had too much, were too loud but didnt like being asked to leave. I was pretty grateful at that time that the plastic glass had been introduced. Back then, unlike now, there were no knives or guns, so the worse that could happen was that I would get a kicking if things didnt go to well!

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Please help !

I've tried to contact the chap who put together the Buccaneer webpage but unfortunately his email address didn't work ?

If anyone knows this person ask them to contact me !!

Country Joe McDonald, one, two three, etc. Mothers of Invention had some brilliant stuff, my favourite was "I'm losing status at the high school, used to think it was my school. A bunch of pompom girls looked down their nose at me, they had painted tons of poster, I had painted three". This summed up my life at Sheffield High School for Girls he he When it first opened the Buc was supposed to be quite a sophisticated pub. I went in the late sixties and yes the jb was brilliant and some great stuff, inc Stones who seem to be sadly neglected on the jbs lately.

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I would just like to add, why is it I can remember this stuff from 40 years ago and I can't remember if I've fed the cats in the last 5 minutes. I can remember that the Buc was one of the first pubs to have Hey Jude on it's playlist though.

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Please help !

I've tried to contact the chap who put together the Buccaneer webpage but unfortunately his email address didn't work ?

If anyone knows this person ask them to contact me !!

Hi, I am the person who ran the Buccaneer website. Thanks for copying the stuff from there. I lost the website a long time ago due to a change of ISP.

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I too have many fond memories of times at the Bucaneer, I was also much too young to be going there ,I even worked behind the bar washing glasses or should I say plastics for a short time until they wanted proof of age.I suppose I would have been about 16 at the time.It was the best place to go at the time,the music was great and so were the people.

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I loved it in there i remember going upstairs to get drinks when it was busy too and then coming back down stairs.i was gutted when i reached 18 and could go in leagally only to find out they was closing it and knocking it down.

I loved it always knew someone great meeting up place and top music.

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I worked there twice as a glass collector years 71 to 73. Brilliant, if I could do it all over again, I'd do it all over again. Even worked there on a Christmas day lunchtime, rather then work the Christmas eve, surprising there were a few in. If I remember right worked 3 nights and at one time did Saturday afternoons. As there saying goes " been there got the Afgan coat".

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Yes, a wide spectrum of musical styles. It's a shame places like this don't appear to exist anymore. I remember being in there one Sunday night with my brother after coming back from an afternoon in Castleton. As a bit of a jazzer, I got really excited when the dj played a track from a band called Chase, a "4 trumpet lead" jazz rock group. Very exciting, I bought the album the following day :-)

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