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Clubbers are being asked to share their memories of the legendary Quadrant Park

2 weeks ago

Clubbers are being asked to share their memories of the legendary Quadrant Park
The Quad (outside)

The legendary Quadrant Park club is about to get its own digital archive and clubbers are being asked to share their memories to help create it.

The Quad in Bootle was a massive part of the rave scene, not just for Scousers but nationwide.

Queue Up And Dance! is a collaboration between Sefton Libraries and artists Dave Evans and Melissa Kains.

They’re planning to bring together stories, music and any artefacts from the club’s early ‘90s heyday for a unique local history and culture project.

The Quad became the first legal venue for all-nighters, thanks to a licensing loophole dating back to its previous life as a snooker hall, what had been a cheesy tunes disco turned into a club that rivalled Manchester’s Hacienda.

DJs including Mike Knowler, who organised the first house night there, John Kelly, Andy Carroll and James Barton who went on to start Cream, pulled in crowds who travelled from across the country.

The Quad’s all-night raves actually only ran for 44 weeks, from November 1990 to August 1991, but it had a lasting influence on the UK music scene.

The Quad. Credit: Andy Carroll
The Quad. Credit: Andy Carroll

Now Queue Up And Dance! Intends to archive memories and tunes from more than three decades ago so the club’s impact gets the place in social history it deserves.

The project, which has received funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Everyday Heritage, is part of Sefton’s At The Library programme, run in partnership with the Rule of Threes arts organisation. 

It launches officially on Saturday April 20 with an event at Crosby Library when local residents are invited to come along and contribute.

Lesley Davies, senior manager for the library service, says they want to capture as many stories and artefacts as possible.

“We’ve organised a get together at Crosby Library between 11am and 1pm so anybody who has an interest in the project, wants to find out more, or has any ephemera that they’d like to share with us – music, flyers, merchandise, ticket stubs – can come along,” she says.

“We’ll scan or take photos of the items to add to the archive and on the day we’ll also be doing some recordings, so we start to build up an oral history as well. 

“We feel that once people start talking they’ll jog other people’s memories, that’s why we wanted to launch with an in-person event, because whenever you mention the Quad to anyone of a certain age they always say ‘I was there on the first night’ or ‘I used to go’ and it starts to spark those stories. People really come to life once they start talking about their youth.”

Lesley says the idea came after discussions with artist Dave, who will be the project’s lead producer.

The Quad. Credit: Mark McNulty
The Quad. Credit: Mark McNulty

“We were doing a walk around the area and walked past where the Quad was,” she explains. “It’s had several different incarnations over the years, and it’s now a recycling centre. 

“We started talking about how influential it was, and we realised it was a local history project. It’s very different from anything we’ve ever done before, it’s more contemporary culture, but it’s still important to recognise the impact it had on so many people.

“Because the Liverpool music scene was so huge, it’s been overshadowed a bit but if we don’t digitize music now from the DJs who were once stalwarts there, it could be lost forever and in 20 or 30 years’ time we’ll be wondering why we didn’t do more to preserve it.

“Instead we’re hoping to get Melissa involved in DJ workshops with younger people using the material that the original Quad crowd brings in. 

“That lets the younger generation who are interested in music now know that actually things were happening in the Bootle area and there was a real underground scene here that was vibrant.”

Lesley says in addition to the initial event on April 20, there will be other activities and opportunities to get involved through the year as the project works with various partners in the area.

Anyone who can’t get along in person will also be able to send their details to library.service@sefton.gov.uk with subject Quad Queue Up and Dance and the team will follow it up.

What’s your favourite memories of The Quad? For the latest news in Liverpool click here.

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