There had been lots of gay clubs before La Chic, but this was the first club in the UK that actually said "We are a club for gay men and lesbians" - this was part of their licence. No wonder it made headlines in the Nottingham Evening Post and produced much correspondence in the letters column predicting the end of civilisation as we know it. To read some of those letters click HERE
The world did not end.
Did we really look like that in 1973?
In 1977 La Chic held a benefit to support Gay News, which was being prosecuted by Mary Whitehouse. The following day La Chic closed, Gay News never received the benefit money.
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To see a slide show of pictures from inside La Chic and Part Two, click HERE
The Evening Post got it wrong. Geoff Vickers was a "front man", but not the owner. People with a financial stake in La Chic included John Glover, John Greenaway and Brian Mowbray.
For many, the highlight of 1981 was the opening of Part Two club. The name originates in the fact that it took over the building previously occupied by La Chic club. The new club was large, with three bars, dance floor, restaurant and “quiet” area and was fitted out to a high standard.
Amongst the memorable events there was a mud wrestling night and an Easter Hot Cross Buns competition. The contestants - hidden on the far side of a screen - pulled their pants down and had their assets graded as they poked through the screen. Over a 4 year period 42 loo seats were stolen - all from the Ladies loos. Apparently, they were passed through the toilet windows and treasured as souvenirs.
Part Two had many famous guests - some were there as performers and some simply came along to have a good night out. They included:
Olympic gold medallist John Curry and footballer Justin Fashanu, who was reprimanded by Brian Clough for going to “that bloody poofs club”. There was Eartha Kitt who arrived at Nottingham Station (extremely drunk) dragging a mink coat across the platform. She insisted on being driven around Nottingham in a Rolls Royce.
Unlike previous Nottingham clubs, Part Two had a very visible front man in the entertaining form of Ross Smith. For its first two years a good argument could be made for saying that Part Two was the best gay club in the UK. Click HERE to hear Ross Smith talking on Radio Trent about why Part Two should be "all gay".
Nottingham Switchboard was assisted by involvement with Part Two. They understood that the information that Switchboard gave out would inevitably lead many of their callers to visit the club. Mutual self interest was therefore served by them helping Switchboard to maintain its service by selling copies of Gay News and giving the money to Switchboard, though this notion was not recognised by some other venues.
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