THE coronavirus pandemic has been felt by nightclubs up and down the country, so the Echo has delved into the archives to find some spectacular snaps of packed dancefloors from the 1980s and 1990s.

Nightclubs, like all businesses other than essential stores, were forced to close their doors when the deadly Covid-19 virus took hold of the country in March.

Lockdown restrictions remain in place, making it difficult for businesses such as nightclubs to welcome returning partygoers.

Although times are tough now, south Essex was widely regarded as the place to be when it came to clubbing in the run-up to the turn of the century.


All smiles - a New Year’s Eve party held at the Southend-based Zero Six proved to be a hit in 1986

Clubbers travelled from far and wide to take in the south Essex night scene, with clubbing and disco venues thriving.

While fashion choices may, in hindsight, be questionable, there is no doubt about how much fun was had at well-loved venues such as Rains, Tops and Raquel’s.


Packed out - revellers at a bustling Raquel’s in Basildon

From a foam party at the Kings Club on Canvey to a New Year’s Eve disco at Zero Six, we were there to capture the party atmosphere.



Cheers - Sam Elgawad, the owner of Hats Disco in Basildon, celebrates the club’s opening with staff in 1990

Sadly, a number of the clubs have long since disappeared for a variety of reasons.

But the memories remain for all those who savoured a night out in south Essex and in the form of these photographs.


Having a whale of a time - fresh-faced music fans enjoy a foam party held at Canvey’s Kings Club in 1995

You may even be able to spot yourself dancing the night away in one of these snaps taken in Southend, Basildon and Canvey.

Scroll down to see more photos in the south Essex nightclubs.


Familiar faces - George Michael, Cher, Madonna and Michael Jackson lookalikes at Raquel’s, in Basildon


Open the bubbly - it’s celebration time at Southend’s Rains