Opinion

Was the Medway Clubbing Scene in the 1990s any good?

A Look Back at How It’s Changed

Written by our greying forty-something writer who still holds the 90’s dear in his party memories.

The Medway Towns can be defined by its Cathedral, Castle and also somewhat infamous areas like Chatham (home to the ‘chav’). Its a hotchpotch of a proposition that is somewhat antagonist and polarised, from the beautiful Rochester to quaint villages like High Halstow to Cliffe Woods and then you have on the other end of the spectrum places like Chatham High Street. With such a mixture of offerings it was hardly surprising the clubs scenes differed greatly too – if you wanted to end the night with a punch on the nose then Gillinghanm clubs were a good bet!

Gillingham did offer a few good choices

Gillingham was in the nineties a hot location for a night out from places like Excaliburs or the Avenue Nightclubs. The later is now a housing estate but back in the day it’s ‘pub style’ feel made it popular even on a Sunday.

The Avenue was great for special offers

In the heart of Gillingham another popular club – sorry the original name escapes me – was set over two floors. It was a slightly rougher affair with a few fights part and parcel for a ‘good old night out’. With its kebab shop just a short stroll to finish the evening, this club still exists today under the name of ‘MooMoos’ (and before that ‘Bliss’).

Medway Valley Park

The Medway Valley Park arrived in Strood in the late 1980s and that saw the birth of the nightclub ‘Amadeus’, it was huge and became the number one club to go to. It was modern clubbing at it’s finest back then, it even had arcade machines and a burger bar area – and let’s not forget the VIP section at the top of the club that we all tried our best to get into. You know it was very cool to get into the VIP area (haha how things have changed!).

Rochester

Rochester still today remains the favourite location for most when it comes to wanting to have a night on the drink. The ‘Casino’ nightclub is still central to it all if you want to party into the early (-ish) hours and then the pub was formerly known as the ‘Norman Conquest’ – now the ‘Crown’ – was a good starting point to the start the evening.

Where to party in Medway back in the early 1990s…we were spoiled for choice!

If you wanted a ‘quick pull’ then you would visit the ‘Eagle Tavern’ located just by the Casino nightclub. It always had a DJ and so many stayed here until last orders. The one thing the ‘Eagle’ was not was classy, but it was, as we said, the place to go if you wanted a quick and easy, no strings attached ‘snog’!

Maidstone

When you had enough money to cover the expensive taxi trip, or you had a mate that didn’t mind driving, then Maidstone always made for a special night out. ‘Strawberry Moons’ was the top pub then, split over many two floors it was a fun place to be.

So in answer to the original question was the nightlife any good, well my answer is ‘hell yeah’. As a teenager and in my twenties I craved not only my weekends but Thursday and Fridays to get out into a Medway club. Memories I will long cherish.

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Dan

Dan is Managing Director for Inspire Kent and Choice Group Asia Media Group, which includes some of the biggest media for foreigners in Thailand.

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