Rackets at The Pied Bull

Rackets has very happy memories for me. It was the very first lesbian club I went to.

My first visit was the Friday I got my A level results in 1985, I travelled up by train to Waterloo from my Surrey hometown and took the tube to the Angel.  I can still remember waiting in the old ticket hall for the woman who had offered to meet me. In those days the lifts from the tube opened onto City Road (no steel and glass – I’m imagining the walls were yellow and maroon tiling) and I had no idea of the geography of the area.

The Pied Bull pub was two minutes just across the road, past the turning for Chapel St market, at the junction where Essex Road heads off Upper St towards Barnsbury.  What kind of pub it was during the day I’ve no idea, but on Thursday and Friday evenings it was strictly women-only.  Dark, smoky, always crowded but felt like a sanctuary.

You walked through the narrower bar area to a wider dancefloor at the back.  It seemed to me that the older women were at the bar and the younger ones congregated nearer the dancing.

I have no idea who ran this club or who the DJ was but it was a large part of my life for a few years.  I don’t even remember hearing when it folded or why.  Were you involved?  Can you fill us in?

Rackets favourites of the time:


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