The Place now split into two venues
It’s said that ‘The Place’ in Hanley in Stoke on Trent was the UK’s very first discotheque. It was certainly well-known for breaking a lot of the sixties’ R&B stars
The venue, in Bryan Street in Hanley, was one of the country’s most famous nightspots during the 60s and 70s, and remained open until the late nineties, when it underwent a series of refurbishments (becoming variously known as Rosie’s, La Terrazzo, etc) but always returning to its original name.
It seems almost unbelievable now, but breaking pop-heroes (David Bowie, Led Zeppelin) played The Place on its tiny stage, as well as R&B heroes of earlier times, such as Long John Baldry and Chris Farlowe.
But it was also as, basically a new kind of entertainment – dancing to a dj who played well-chosen, popular records – that The Place became really famous. It was that new phenomenon, a discotheque.
In those days of course, there wasn’t such a thing as a ‘corporate chain’ and the management under legendary Martin Donovan ran it as a prestige venue, though they did run a sister ‘Place’ nightclub in Manchester for a while. They also developed an adjacent bar and dancefloor under the name of The Placemate, which would have a different music policy and age-range to the main club.
In fact, the owner and founder of the club Kevin Donovan (no relation to Martin) wrote a book about the club's great days - The Place (Part One) - which is now a collectors' item. However, Part Two never got written....
However the history of The Place is many and varied, and not one man can know it all. So, if you ever went to The Place, or have some facts about the club – can you let us know them by writing your comments on the board below?
last updated: 24/08/2009 at 16:12
Have Your Say
What are your memories of The Place?
Barbara Hudson ( Robertson)
Peter Jones ex. Hartshill now S/Wales
Tracy Cope and Gillian Cope
Peter Gilbert Llandrindod Wells
Bezza, Woking Surrey
Jez (Jeremy Kelsall aka Jazzy Jeremy)
john - newcastle
Mike - Stafford