THE owner of a famed Rayleigh nightclub has issued a heartfelt thank you to his customers as the club prepares to mark 40 years of success with a huge celebration. 

The Pink Toothbrush has been one of the go to spots for clubbers in south Essex since 1984 and is celebrating its 40th birthday in April this year. 

Echo: Celebrating - The Pink Toothbrush teamCelebrating - The Pink Toothbrush team (Image: The Pink Toothbrush)

Owner Charley Horne and his team are gearing up for a “big celebration” to mark the occasion, which will see the Rayleigh High Street venue host a series of big-name bands with connections to the affectionately known “brush” throughout the month. 

A documentary on the club’s history, which saw it initially open as Crocs and house two crocodiles in cages in 1976, is being filmed and will be released in April.

Echo: Nostalgic - original Crocs sign inside The Pink ToothbrushNostalgic - original Crocs sign inside The Pink Toothbrush (Image: The Pink Toothbrush)

Charley, who is confident of another 40 years of success, said: “I’m proud of what the team and I have achieved over the past 40 years.

“There’s been many highs and lows over the years, but we’ve always worked tirelessly to overcome these issues and continue.

“Since opening, our customers have always shown their support by keep coming back to enjoy the entertainment we provide.

“For that, I’m so proud and thankful.

Echo: Proud - Charley HorneProud - Charley Horne (Image: Charley Horne)

“To celebrate, we’re inviting bands that have a connection with The Pink Toothbrush to come down and play to our clubbers.

“We’re also releasing a documentary about the history of the High Street venue.

“Thanks to everyone who has supported us, and here’s to another 40 years.”

Some of well-known stars that have played at the venue include Depeche Mode, who come from Basildon and Culture Club’s Boy George.

Echo: Performing - Boy GeorgePerforming - Boy George (Image: Newsquest)

Echo: Smiles - Depeche Mode at the clubSmiles - Depeche Mode at the club (Image: Newsquest)

Speaking on the key to running a successful nightclub while the industry struggles, Charley added: “We’re always loyal to the customers and admission prices are still cheap, such as £4 tickets.

“We treat them with respect and let them do what they wish, within our rules of course.

“This is the secret to success.”

Charley and his team have always been innovative, and when the Covid-19 pandemic saw the club lose thousands in revenue and battle increased energy bills, they managed to keep their heads afloat through the sale of the iconic “sticky carpet”, that raised £11,000.

Echo: Slice of history - the carpet being pulled up at The Pink ToothbrushSlice of history - the carpet being pulled up at The Pink Toothbrush (Image: The Pink Toothbrush)