The 49 Club (later the Top Deck)
20 Christmas Steps, central Bristol, BS1. c.1977 – c. 1996/7.
A small upstairs bar on the east side at the bottom of Christmas Steps, just behind the well-known fish and chip shop at the corner of Narrow Lewin’s Mead.
It began as the 49 Club and operated over two or three floors of the building, and was run by Wilf, formerly of the Ship Inn at Lower Park Row. Later the top floor re-opened as the Top Deck Club. There was a narrow staircase leading up to a small bar with bench seating, and at the back a record deck near a tiny square of parquet, known optimistically as the dance floor. More than six people trying to dance at once was inviting injury or death.
I went here for the first time around the end of 1982 with Gaysoc. Unusually for those days it was up a flight of stairs. It was bigger than Chantelle’s but much scruffier . I remember seeing cockroaches in there the first time I went and that the carpet was sticky. However it was the one place you could take your heterosexual workmates/friends. (Jane)