FOR more than 40 years, many clubbers and big-name musicians have stepped through the doors of the iconic Rayleigh High Street Pink Toothbrush.

In 1976, it first opened under the name Crocs, due to it being home to two live crocodiles that were on display to customers in a cage.

At the front of the nightclub, there was a bar called The Last Post, which served cocktails, beers and wine.

Back in 1981, Basildon electronic band Depeche Mode were far from the international superstars they are today and took to the stage in front of a packed audience. 


Famous face - Gavin & Stacey star Mathew Horne poses for the camera with Pink Toothbrush promoter Stuart Whiffen during a trip to south Essex


The very same night, the then unknown 80s pop sensation Boy George and his band Culture Club performed. 

Known for their string of hits – Karma Chameleon, Church of the Poison Mind and War Song – it was soon after their appearance at the south Essex nightclub when the band rocketed to international fame.

Speaking exclusively to the Echo in 2008, Boy George said the club holds a fond place in his heart.

Two years later, legendary Canvey rockers Dr Feelgood, who formed in 1971, came down one night to entertain revellers.

Bassist Phil Mitchell, 70, from Hockley, told the Echo: “We performed at Crocs in Autumn 1983, and the atmosphere was always electric.



On the mic - former Happy Mondays lead singer Shaun Ryder headed to the Pink Toothbrush in 2008

“It was great singing there, and the crowd were just fantastic.

“As The Pink Toothbrush is celebrating 40 years, it could be fun for us to play there once again for the nostalgia.”

That year, Crocs was no more as Charley Horne decided to rename the nightclub The Pink Toothbrush after the Max Bygraves song, You’re a Pink Toothbrush.

Julie Jackson, 60, recalls going to Crocs when she was younger.

She said: “I remember the live crocodiles that were on display behind glass, which were cool.

“Crocs, as it was known then, was always great fun.”

Scroll down to see more eye-catching snaps of high-profile entertainers at the Pink Toothbrush through the years.


Headed to south Essex from the United States - American rapper Ice-T has gone on to star on the big screen since performing at the Pink Toothbrush


Strike a pose - KRS-One of Boogie Town Productions, the American hip hop band which enjoyed success in the late 1980s and early 1990s


Focused ahead of going onto the stage - rock band EMF posed for the camera as they headed to the Pink Toothbrush for a gig


Making it a night to remember for revellers - Culture Club lead vocalist Boy George during a gig at the Pink Toothbrush


Local lad - actor and podcaster Scroobius Pip visited the Pink Toothbrush having been born in Stanford-le-Hope


Got fans moving - Basildon’s Depeche Mode, who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last month, performed at the Pink Toothbrush in the 1980s


Showing off - James Buckley, who played Jay Cartwright in the BAFTAwinning E4 sitcom The Inbetweeners, became a disc jockey for the night during a visit to Rayleigh Picture: KAREN CLIFFORD PHOTOGRAPHY


Usually found on the decks - American disc jockey Afrika Bambaataa got south Essex moving when he made the trip across the pond