Zeigfields, Blantyre

 

Zeigfield’s nightclub – A little bit more about the creation of Zeigfields.

   During early 1985, the new owners of former Hasties Farm, Lanark Holdings Ltd wanted to increase the disco and bar area and formerly reduce the restaurant. By Springtime 1985, they had already crossed the first hurdle with planning approving their new venture.

However, Blantyre Councillor James Swinburne expressed concern that the redevelopment of Hastie’s Farm would lead to an increase noise nuisance for nearby neighbours. James was worried that the council had appeared to dismiss complaints from objectors. The council argued that a certain amount of noise, permitted by environmental health was already coming from the nightclub and that an extension would not affect very significantly. Councillor Peter Grenfell added, “The large function hall already caters for 200 people with a certain permitted noise. The disco planned cannot be any louder than the live music acts already being allowed to play.”

   Nightclub owner James Mortimer bought the Hastie’s Farm development at 16 Victoria Street in 1985 as part of his Lanarkshire Holdings. He then changed the rear Hasties Restaurant into Zeigfields Nightclub (spelling ‘Zei’ not ‘Zie’) and the front part of the building, formerly Bananas Disco, into Barnums. Opening in April 1985, the disco proved a big hit and was immediately popular in Blantyre.

   Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights were Disco nights initially from 10am until 2am. Admission was £2.50 on a Friday, £3 on a Saturday and £1 on a Sunday. Ziegfields 50/50 Thursday night was also incredibly popular.

   On Thursdays, it was 50p to get in, and then 50p for a drink. People may remember buying a pint of diesel (snakebite and blackcurrent) or Pink Panthers. Amongst the workers was Gus Sillars. The phone number was 826060.

   On Wednesday 5th February 1986, a local talent competition took place with the winner receiving £1,000. Tuesday 25th February 1986 was Ladies only night with a male stripper on show, including a basket meal for the £4 ticket price. The venue was also host to many birthday and private functions, but will forever be remembered for people in their teens, 20’s and into their 30’s that enjoyed the weekend discos.

   Zeigfields was short lived. Blantyre people are always astonished when I tell them the club only existed under that name for 4.5 years. It closed at end of 1989, a casualty of dropping trade from nearby competitors like Caspers and the growing popularity of trendy clubs and a larger choice of bars in Hamilton. The building lay derelict for almost a year when on Hogmanay 1990, the roof caught fire and the building was subsequently condemned, scheduled for demoition a few years later.

   Zeigfields, (or Ziggy’s as it was nicknamed locally) remains a popular memory for many people whom, for their entertainment would often jump between Caspers Nightclub across Victoria Street and Ziggys, sometimes even on the same night!!

I remain astonished there’s not a nightclub in Blantyre in this era.

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