Soap stars paid a visit. So did Santa. But what did you think of this Hartlepool venue?

The Venue in 1994.
The Venue in 1994.

For some people, it really was THE Venue to be seen at.

We shared a photograph of a Hartlepool nightclub which was originally taken in 1994. We asked you what you remembered of the Venue and almost 20,000 people took a look.

The Central Stores, photographed in 1983.

The Central Stores, photographed in 1983.

And yet, it wasn’t just the nightclub that many of you wanted to pass comment on. There were others who wanted to reminisce on the building’s days as the Co-op’s Central Stores in Park Road.

Built at the junction of Park Road and Stockton Street, the Edwardian-designed building took contractors Lionel G. Ekins four years to complete. It opened in October 1915.

It later spent many years in various guises as night spots including The Venue.

It is now Park Tower and some of those to comment said they lived there, including Max C Wrigley who told us: “I now live in it. I love saying ‘the old co op’ when people ask me what Park Tower is.”

Remember Brookside stars coming in to try and boost it, was chatting to Suzanne Farnham at the bar. Good memories

Greg Hildreth

Nicola Calvert added: “One of my nephews live there also.” She described it as “lovely.”

Then there were those who remembered when it was the Co-op department store. Karen Harvey said: “Used to go in with mam shopping. Remember the lifts in it too.”

Claire Robinson said: “I remember it having the best Santa’s grotto that I ever visited.”

And Julie Bartlett commented: “Remember going in to pay me mams stores account (savings for Xmas and buying furniture). The big deal was going up the lift in the middle as it was on the top floor!”

But most of you recalled its days as The Venue including Greg Hildreth who said: “Great days, it was the meeting place on a Friday for me and my mates, used to be chocca, spent a couple of NYE’s there. Wicked Wednesday’s too. When it turned into a nightclub, it seemed to die a death. Also remember Brookside stars coming in to try and boost it, was chatting to Suzanne Farnham at the bar. Good memories.”

Rachael Robinson said: “Totally! Had some of the best nights in there x.”

Paul O’Donovan chipped in with: “I remember it as club POW in my student days. 70s night on a Thursdays and club nights on Fridays and Saturdays followed by Rileys, above for supper and pool at 2 in the morning, happy days.”

Nicola Ryan said: “Aww, I loved it in there” and added: “Park Road was an ace pub crawl in those days x.”

Michael Oxley recalled “watching the very first national lottery draw on the big screen.”

And Tom le Bon said: “It was always heaving and also quite strange as a lot of people remember it from the co-op days.”

Thanks to everyone who responded.