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Jun 18

Due South – Stoke Newington High Street

My memories of Due South are inextricably linked with that area since I lived on Amhurst Road in Dalston for ten years 1996-2005.  Football on the marshes, walking the dog on Millfields, Walthamstow Marsh along the canal, cycling to work in Kings Cross and Hampstead.  Happy days but I digress…

More a bar than a club, I don’t think I ever danced in anger there but I cannot leave this out. This landmark destination for lesbians opened mid-late 90s and closed sometime before 2004. Due South was the name of the actual pub rather than a specific night, and it was women-only a lot of the time as far as I remember, unusual in the decade of mainly mixed gay pubs.

Does anyone remember differently? Maybe I only went on the women-only nights…when the music was good and loud and the pool table full, especially on the popular Tuesday night sessions.

I enthusiastically took a friend of mine there once who was not a regular on the lesbian scene.  She revealed many years later how she had been disturbed by that visit, which reinforced her stereotypes of short-haired butch lesbians.  That was kind of why I went…and why I went to all the clubs back then.  I would love to have taken photos of the gorgeous clientele for posterity but that was in the days before smartphones and ubiquitous photography.

Maybe someone somewhere has some images – if you can help please email admin@onlywhenimdancing.com.

This was also a regular after-match venue for several of the legendary but incestuous local womens football teams in the area. And sad to say one of my only other lasting memories of Due South is not of inspiring conversation but of having an impromptu ankle ‘healing’ by a spiritually-minded club-mate after a strenuous footy match out on Hackney Marshes.

It was the place where over beers in 1997 with some kiwi friends we got an idea, followed it up, and it eventually led to us winning a gold at the Sydney Gay Games 2002.  Due South indeed.

I missed out on the rampant partying there on election night in April 1997 when Tony Blair got in.  I was otherwise engaged in Tokyo but heard about it later from my shame-faced girlfriend.

It was on that part of the main south-north artery road north of not-then trendy Dalston – Kingsland Road where it becomes Stoke Newington Road in the A-Z.  Maybe that section is now full of coffee shops but then it was notable for being near the Post Office and numerous Turkish food shops, and heading towards the junction with Stoke Newington Church Street and Abney Park Cemetery.

 

 

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