'Covid has killed us' - 65-year-old Norwich venue The Talk to close
- Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant
Norwich nightlife staple The Talk has announced it is closing down after Covid fears and restrictions.
The Oak Street club and music venue has been entertaining crowds in the city for 65 years, but announced yesterday that it would be closing in March.
Lease holder, Vicky Newson, said bills were "mounting up" with the venue struggling to attract punters due to worries about catching the virus and slower entrance due to vaccine passports.
She said: "Basically, Covid has killed us, the bills have been mounting up and we can't get the people in.
"People are scared of Covid, and it's just killed us, I think it's a bit of both the Covid passport thing which has meant it takes more time to get people in and it's quite difficult to get staff on the weekends without needing to do that as well.
"We had loads ringing up on New Year's Eve saying I can't come I've got Covid, or I'm not going to come because I don't want to catch Covid, so it's had a snowball effect on us.
"I feel sorry for people, I started work here 15 years ago as a barmaid and I've worked my way up to holding the tenancy.
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"But after 15 years work we've pumped in so much money to try and keep it going during Covid and it's just not giving us the turnover to keep going, there's nothing left."
She said the venue would be put up for sale after The Talk closed.
In a statement, the venue's team said its last night would be an 80s-themed night planned for its final month.
It had been open as The Talk for 15 years after first opening as The Industrial Club on December 20, 1954.
The statement read: "We would like to let you all know as rumours have already started.
"Yes, The Talk will be closing the end of March, so our last night will be March 80s.
"We would like to thank everyone for your continued support, we done our best to keep it going but after 15 years here and trying our hardest to keep it going through the tough times, unfortunately it's coming to an end.
"Hopefully we will see some of you again over the next couple of months before we close the doors."
Former local radio DJ, Chrissie Jackson, used to host evenings at The Talk with her co-host Rob Chandler.
She said: "The Talk is closing? What a shame.
"We used to do a few Radio Broadland station nights back in the day. They were great, fun nights and that’s the feeling you always got from the place.
"People would tell us they were there to have a laugh and dance their socks off, and possibly win a t-shirt - but those were different days.
"My most recent memories though are the Rob and Chrissie 80s nights which the two of us hosted for quite a few years.
"There were plenty of things I loved about those nights, the music for one, the crowd singing along to their favourite tunes but especially the 80s fashion and makeup that would get an airing once a month."
From 1963 to 1974, the club, then called the Melody Rooms, hosted many famous acts including The Who, Cream, Slade, Status Quo and Rod Stewart.
It then became cabaret club Talk of the East, hosting comedians such as Bob Monkhouse, Arthur Askey and Mike and Bernie Winters.