Nottingham

Rock City: 'Why I bought a piece of Nottingham club's floor'

Rock City floor piece Image copyright Rock City
Image caption The original wooden floor at Rock City was known for its stickiness

Memories of moshing at concerts and dancing at one of the UK's best-loved music venues has led to thousands of fans rushing to buy a piece of its dancefloor.

Since Nottingham's Rock City opened in 1980, some of the world's biggest artists have graced the stage, including David Bowie, INXS, The Smiths and Nirvana.

And earlier this year the original floor - renowned for being the city's stickiest - was ripped up and 5,000 pieces were put up for sale.

Years of spilt alcohol, cigarette ash and sweat lining the floor failed to deter people from wanting to get their hands on a block of music history.

Manager AJ Stevenson said the level of interest from people showed "how much the music venue means to people".

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Media captionNirvana performing at Rock City in 1991

Adam Barnard, from Wollaton in Nottingham, met his wife Nancy while head-banging to Faster by the Manic Street Preachers in 1998.

As a student he was a regular at Rock City, going three nights a week for five years.

"We spent so much time on that dancefloor," the 41-year-old said.

"You would come back from a night out and have bits of the floor all around the base of your trainers and trousers, and if you had fallen over, your T-shirt would have to go straight in the bin."

Image copyright Adam Barnard
Image caption Adam and Nancy Barnard tell their children stories of meeting on Rock City's dancefloor

Mr Barnard said he was going to place his piece on a wall with other photos and mementos.

"I think it will be a great talking point having it up," he added.

"I wouldn't have even minded if it [the piece] had the look of the dirty floor because that's certainly how I remembered it."

Image copyright Rock City
Image caption Venue bosses said almost all the pieces had sold out

Chayce Swain's grandfather Tony Webster was one of the people who laid the original dancefloor back in 1980.

He died of cancer four years ago but Mr Swain, 24, thought it would be nice to have a piece as a reminder of him.

"We didn't talk a lot but one time he said 'You go to Rock City a lot don't you' and told me the story," he said.

Mr Swain said the piece would be framed and take pride of place on a wall next to all the gig posters and tickets he had collected.

"It's like a second home for me. So when I saw it was being sold I bought a piece, and my mum did as well," he added.

"She felt the same as me. Knowing granddad was a part of making that floor, we thought it would be nice to have a piece as a memory of him."

Image copyright Rock City
Image caption The venue has built a popular reputation among bands and music fans

Pieces of the floor have been cleaned up and printed with three different logos from the last three decades.

All of the small pieces have sold out with a few of the larger, more expensive ones still available.

Image caption David Bowie played Rock City in 1997 - touring his Earthling LP

Richard Erwin, from West Bridgford in Nottinghamshire, said he chose to study in Nottingham purely because of Rock City's reputation and to see more live music.

"I think it's a good idea selling the pieces," the 48-year-old said. "I've got good memories of that place and the sticky floor.

"I must have been to one gig a year. There hasn't been a year I haven't been to a gig there."

Image copyright Jo Cowling
Image caption Jo Cowling (right) and her brother Steve Robins have spent years dancing on the Rock City floor

Jo Cowling, from Matlock in Derbyshire, bought two pieces for herself and for her brother's 50th birthday having been to hundreds of gigs at Rock City.

"We have both been going there for so many years I thought it would be nice," the 47-year-old said.

"As soon as you mention the name people know about the sticky floor, and now to say I have got a part of that floor is quite funny really."

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