48. Time at the Bar Please

Exit Strategy

We had an amazing amount of time on our hands, once we got rid of the Trent & realised that we probably should have done it 2 years earlier.

Leaving the Trent gave us the time to create the original WHQ web site, which (in the same way this new one will) has revolutionised the perception of the Club, giving people the chance to know what we are all about in minute detail & pouring petrol, on the flames of word of mouth.

Great Bar, but it was over now & we felt free.

So we let it go & handed the lease back to the Brewery who sold it on to some new people.

We left certain things of ours behind, like the outer ‘Babies’ sign & the globe lights above the bar, for an initial period to allow the new tenants to bed in.

We also left behind the ‘Drink Beer Be Sincere’ on the wall & the lovely mural upstairs.

The new tenants & the Brewery wanted us to leave the epic jukebox behind too, but we were not willing to sell the soundtrack of our lives & all our capers over the years, to new people who weren’t around to share in those experiences.

It’s kinda nice to leave some things behind after so long, especially in a place that came to mean so much to so many people, but to ’sell on’ the music would have felt completely wrong.

No one will ever duplicate or improve on that jukebox.



To even attempt or pretend to, without a real understanding of the years of deep culture behind the music, would just be silly.

Humorously, when the new tenants came to ask us about buying the jukebox from us, we caught them trying to take sly photos of the label, with all the tune titles on… Guess how we responded..?

We thought about it for a moment, cast our minds back to Old Harald, from Surinam, way, way back in the story with his swaying crops & we just laughed out loud..!


It’s A Family Affair

It was the end of an era for sure & the closing weekend was ballistic, as  hundreds of people poured out in their droves, to kiss it goodbye.

We had forgotten just how much it had meant to so many people. It was reminiscent of when we closed the old Club & emotions were running high.

No one could quite understand why we were leaving it all behind & it got a bit ‘Princess Di’ for a little while back then for some people, as the emotion spilt out.

(Editor’s note: click this image for a true Trent classic..!)

We were genuinely shocked by all the attention we got, front page of the Evening Chronicle on a Friday night, quotes from politicians etc.

It was hilarious, totally over the top & honestly took us a bit by surprise…

The Trent House Soul Bar opened many doors for many people & was consistently light years ahead of both the curve & it’s time…

We really appreciated all the good wishes, thanks & positive media we received for what we achieved there, in terms of making the City more friendly over the 25 years we worked there.

Eventually, we will get time to post up all the mad images from behind the scenes & how it looked.

The new tenants took over & changed the Bar – totally.

They removed the pictures of rare & endangered animals & even painted over the beautiful mural (below) that we left for them.

A little over a year later, they were out of business & the Bar had changed hands yet again. Now there’s a moral in there somewhere & a little word beginning with ‘K…’

The Bar changed hands again twice (making us feel like Alex Ferguson…) & now some nice guys, that we like, have it.

We pop in once in a while if we are passing – & that is that.


Over like the jam

What a great place it was to work, it really was a blast.

We grew up in there & we want thank everyone who came & all who worked with us on that fab little, far reaching, Soul Bar from 1984 – 2009.

We held the line, all the way from Thatcher… to Barack Obama, setting up WHQ in the process.

It could never, ever have happened without the Trent.

The last night we played all the top tunes that meant so much, like Hardest Fighter by Little Roy & the last of our tunes played here was Brickhouse by the Commodores.