We just wanted a place to dance

Hanbury Arms, Kemp Town

“Lots of Brighton dykes have happy memories of the weekly discos we held here in the late 1970s and early ’80s. We left the Hanbury after five men beat up two of our customers. ‘If you want to be a man you can fight like a man,’ they said. None of us wanted to be men – we wanted a place to dance.”

Comments about this page

  • I remember it as the Mausoleum. It was an incredibly different sort of pub – it always felt a bit adventurous going there! I was sorry to read about Linda’s experiences there; Brighton always seems such a tolerant place.

    By Lesley (03/08/2006)
  • The building had been a mausoleum in its earlier life. I was a student at Brighton Training College in Eastern Terrace during the early 1960’s. There used to be a wonderful Indian mural on the wall, featuring elephants, etc. There was often a piano being played, and the landlord, Mr Cliff Poole, always finished the evening by singing “Around The World” at the top of his voice. I and other fellow students had some great times in the Bombay Bar.

    By John B lackburn (04/02/2008)
  • Re Linda’s comment: We may be gay females but that does not mean we want to be men. Uh um quite the contrary and those chaps are living proof as to why we certainly wouldn’t want to be men!

    By Byker Byrd (13/11/2008)
  • I worked as a part time barman at The Hanbury Arms in the 1970’s. Downstairs was known as the Bombay Bar. It was here that the first male strip show was held following the success of the staging of topless go-go dancers and stag nights.

    By Graham Robinson (18/01/2010)
  • In the fifties and early sixties my mum and dad used to use The Bombay Bar as their local on Sunday lunchtime, I would be outside with a Coke

    By Kim Orzynski (28/09/2011)
  • Sad to say that our happy memories of the Bombay Bar which I used to visit in the very early 1950s, where the landlord had a wonderful collection of metal toy armies of the Napeolonic wars in display cases and it was a very welcome and friendly pub. On a visit with my wife sometime in the 80s on entering and going up to the bar we were very much almost physically challenged by the drinkers in the bar and made to feel very very uncomfortable, as if what did we think we were doing coming in. So much was the frightening feeling that we left very much in a hurry and shaking.

    By Ken Ross (29/09/2011)
  • The best student disco in town in the early to mid seventies with the Get Dancin’ Disco sounds of Phil and Tim. Ray was the most genial of licensees with Malcolm as his bar manager and Dave Day the most affable of bouncers! Ray frequently dragged along the odd minor celeb or sports personality (Lennie Bennett, Johnny Wakelin, Malcolm Allison, John Snow). I LOVED it!

    By Stella Neves (13/03/2020)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.