I was reminded about a pub I used to frequent in the city of Sheffield earlier today.
The Cossack on Howard street was the first gay pub I ever went into, Followed by The Albert, Which is where I saw my first ever male stripper and drag artist… Never did like strippers, the baby oil would stain your shirt if you got too close!
So it got me thinking about Rockies, the nightclub that I was introduced to around the same time in November 1989.
Rockies was a Gay club and at the time you didn’t dare mention being Gay for fear of being beaten up by some homophobic arsehole.
The late 1980s & early 1990s were a bad time to be growing up as a gay man. So much rampant homophobia from people I never really expected to get it from…
Rockies Sheffield was the sister club to Rockies/Rockshots in Manchester owned by a guy called Michael Snailham.
I visited Rockies Sheffield at least once a month for a night out back in the early 1990s.
It was where I first saw acts such as Take That, Hazel Dean and Lilly Savage. The club was amazing, really friendly, the beer was cheap the men were even cheaper! The DJ’s spun some great High energy (Hi-Nrg) tunes. I never had a bad night out in the place.
I became good friends with Terry one of the door staff which resulted in me getting to stay after hours on few occasions. One of the bar staff was decent enough to give me a bed for the night on a few occasions (It’s always been a thing I’ve done: Get to know the door/bar staff at a bar or a nightclub because you never know when some drunken idiot is likely to try and spoil your nights enjoyment).
Rockies Sheffield still sticks out in my memory because it was so much better than clubs I visited when I lived in London. London’s gay scene was just too sporadic.
I think it’s great that a few people still remember Rockies and speak fondly of the place, but what’s even more amazing is how easily people forget about a Gay club that stood for much more than just having a night out.
Rockies was a game changer for the gay scene in Yorkshire when it first opened. It enabled people who weren’t out at the time to go somewhere safe for a decent night out. Entry was strictly controlled so there wasn’t any trouble.
Sadly Michael Snailham suddenly sold it & it became a club called “The Planet” and the place just lost its amazing atmosphere overnight.
As far as I’m aware that shut in the late 1990s and then after that the building housed a strip club.
IF anyone has any flyers/posters/photos from Rockies Sheffield, PLEASE scan them in and tweet me @djgarybaldy I’d love to see them, I lost everything I had about the place after someone threw a box out.
P.S. Yes, it was Rockies, not Rockys