End of an era as once popular club is Pem-olished

Pemps nightclub, Dorning Street, Wigan, is reduced to rubble
Pemps nightclub, Dorning Street, Wigan, is reduced to rubble

TO the uninitiated it’s just a pile of bricks in a forgotten corner of Wigan.

But to those in the know it’s one of the saddest sights they’ll ever see.

Pemps - one of Wigan’s most popular (if not the most popular) nightclubs in Wigan has gone forever.

Bulldozers moved in on the former Pemps building in Dorning Street almost three weeks ago, after safety experts condemned it.

The club, which was bought by InnTheBar pub chain owner Tony Callaghan at the end of last year, was owned by the late Barbara Calderbank, and was known for her strict entry rules.

It shut its doors seven years ago for “a full refurbishment” and never reopened.

But Tony had no choice but to knock it down after it was deemed unsafe.

He said: “The building has been condemned as structurally unsafe and had to be demolished.

“It is sad obviously, but it is safe now, which was my priority.

“I have had a lot of people asking for memorabilia, such as bricks and old signs because it was such an institution.”

Tony now intends to remove the rubble and submit a planning application for a beer garden at the back of the Indiependence Bar.

He added: “I hope the application is successful so we can get a nice beer garden for people to enjoy themselves in the summer evenings.

“It is a massive plot and when all the rubble has gone, it will be even bigger.”

Pemps was voted in the top 10 top nightclubs of all time in Loaded magazine back in 1998, as revellers would travel from out of town to attend its iconic club nights.

There are very few pictures of Pemps in circulation, even less of Barbara. Its heyday was before the advent of mobile phones and instant pictures and messaging.

Maybe that is better. All we are left with are memories.

But what memories they are...