The British Queen

Wilson Street, St Paul’s. 1970s?

A short-lived Thursday night spot for women called the BQ Bar Club.


The BQ was very popular until it burned down, it was run by the Gay Women’s Group.


The landlady looked just like Shirley Bassey but her husband was a dirty letch who liked to unzip his pants and get his entire tackle out to warm his nuts by a mobile gas fire (his words not mine). The discos were held in a converted garage reached by a side door, many a night it was freezing. It lasted a few years until one of the working girls who had been a few times was murdered and trade fell off. Then it closed and we were left for a few months with nowhere to go … nowadays there are so many to choose from.

  5 Responses to “British Queen”

  1. The BQ on the edge of St Pauls, had a regular Lesbian and friends night, run by the Gay Womens Group for well over a year, cannot remember for how long. It made a profit at any rate, which was ploughed back into a grand party on festive occasions like the Solstice. There were sometimes entertainment, all impromptu, some gay men did turns (cannot remember the name of the one with the snake).

  2. BQ was shorthand for The British Queen ….. it was a club, when we did really well the bar was opened up as well. The bar was separate from the club which had its own bar of course.

  3. Oh I forgot to say it ended not because of the fire, which happened a few months later, but because the Landlord got greedy and wanted rent. Until then he was pleased to have a full club house and accompanying sales. A mixed couple used to come in who I think were Fred and Rosemary West. They regularly visited gay venues in Bristol – I do hope that they were unsuccessful. I do not remember the Landlord ‘getting his tackle out to warm his nuts’ …. if I had been aware of that I would have done something about it …. as to ‘trade falling off’ someone else must have continued running it after the Gay Womens Group opted out, as I don’t remember that ….

  4. Hi my name is jeffrey webb, my great grandad and his wife were the landlord up until at least the ww2, my grandad handel webb the youngest of ten children who were on the whole musicians, my grandad became a virtuoso violinist as did Brindley and Mozart his brothers, my great grandad and my great grandma were also musicians, these few were to live extraordinary lives but I am looking for any stories regarding the british queen in St Paul’s Bristol, my email is jeffnwebb, any comments will be gratefully received, thankyou for reading jwx

  5. My mum and dad was the owners of this place. It started as a pub called the British queen then my dad bought the factory next door, got a license and refurbished it into a nightclub and called it the BQ.
    He would have different nights of the week like punk rock, rock and roll, reggae and much more. As a child I remember the comings and goings as this was my home.
    By day I would play football outside as the pub was open and by night the club would draw in big crowds until allegedly the NF burned the place down I was in my bed along with my family, me my mum and dad and my brother as the place was set alight. We all escaped unharmed but it obviously had a loss in affect on us all.
    Some people comment on what they don’t even understand but me I lived it so I say no more.

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