Sunderland bars to recreate Annabel’s festive fancy dress night

A fancy dress night and tin collection at the original Annabel's
A fancy dress night and tin collection at the original Annabel's
5
Have your say

Dig out your Village People and Ninja Turtle costumes - Annabel’s fancy dress is back for the festivities.

Thousands used to flock to the annual fancy dress party at the long-gone city nightspot, which always took place between Christmas and New Year.

Annabel's Nightclub - tin food collection January 1985. Pictured is Nightclub DJ Paul Davison

Annabel's Nightclub - tin food collection January 1985. Pictured is Nightclub DJ Paul Davison

Now a group of bars are bringing a flavour of the High Street West favourite to Sunniside.

Bar Justice, Gin & Bear It, Sam’s Bar and Sloanes will be hosting a fancy dress party bar crawl from 7pm on December 28.

Entry will be either £1 or, as was tradition at Annabel’s, a can of tinned food, which will be donated to Centrepoint homeless charity.

Helen Davies, from Bar Justice and Gin & Bear It, is a former Annabel’s punter who has fond memories of its lively fancy dress nights.

She said: “It was actually a customer who suggested it and we thought it was a great idea. People are always looking for something to do in between Christmas and New Year and this is a way for adults to have some fun once they’ve had their Christmas with the kids.

“I remember going to the original nights in Annabel’s and it was always great fun. Everyone used to come along with their tins of food so we decided to do that too and have teamed up with Centrepoint.

“It’s a good excuse to get dressed up and we’re hoping people will get into the spirit of things and make an effort with their costumes,”

In keeping with the throwback theme, the bars will be serving retro drinks including Babycham, Snowballs and Blastaways (a mix of Castaway and Diamond White).

Annabel’s hung up its flares as a club a decade ago. It began life at its original base in Walworth Way in November 1968 as Club Annabel before moving to High Street West.

Through the changing fashions of mini dresses, flares, mullets and grunge, the club kept going, attracting visitors including Jimmy Nail, Dave Stewart and Free guitarist Paul Kossoff - even Pink Floyd, The Who and David Bowie all enjoyed a drink at Annabel’s over the years.