How the good old clubbing days of the nineties will create a lifetime of memories

Hayley Kay in her clubbing days
Hayley Kay in her clubbing days

Recently I attended a fabulous 50th birthday party - on a Blackpool tram no less - and bumped into an old friend I hadn’t seen in years, in fact, since my night clubbing days.

Recently I attended a fabulous 50th birthday party -on a Blackpool tram no less - and bumped into an old friend I hadn’t seen in years, in fact, since my night clubbing days.

Now, I know that sounds like I was an epic raver but, in actual fact, I worked in the night club industry for over a decade. Anyway, we started to reminisce about the good old days and how much has changed.

In fact I’m a bit embarrassed to say I haven’t set foot in a club for a good five years and don’t intend to go rushing back any time soon.

Now, I’m probably not the only one who started going clubbing while they were still at school. I’m pretty sure I was 15 and remember being a mixture of terrified and thrilled to be finally inside one. It was loud, smokey and brilliant.

I’d gone with my school friend Louise after we’d spent hours getting ready, changing outfits, swapping clothes and shoes, until we were finally heading out of the door.

I’m pretty sure we got the bus into town, but can’t be certain if we were cheeky enough to pay half. What under-age me couldn’t have imagined was the amount of hours I’d spend in clubs over the next ten years.

I started working in a nightclub when I was 16, handing out flyers to passers-by, hoping to entice them into visiting.

Back in the 90s, people went out early in the evening, usually to a pub and then, anywhere between 9.30pm and midnight, they’d make their way to a nightclub. And it was my job to make them choose The Palace or The World Famous Palace Discotheque as it was in the late 90s.

It was a great job. I loved being in that environment. The club seemed busy every night. It was always full of weird and wonderful people.

The queues in the height of the summer were monumental. I finished my shift at midnight most nights and then would help out collecting glasses or working on the cloakroom, but my favourite nights were spent watching the DJs work.

They always looked like they were having the most fun out of everyone. I knew it was what I wanted to do. Just after my 18th birthday I got my chance. It was pretty daunting at the time, but I threw myself into it, and never looked back. I worked full time as a DJ for the next ten years, making a lifetime of happy memories. So night clubs are pretty special places to me.

Now it seems mobiles, Facebook and longer opening hours have changed the industry I knew beyond all recognition. I can’t help but be delighted that “back in my day” there was no such thing as social media. And nights out with a camera in tow were thankfully few and far between so all the evidence from those days are safely tucked away in photo albums in my loft.