Memories of Goldiggers from 1980s rockers to the rave scene

THE years fell away for one time for former fans of iconic Chippenham nightclub Goldiggers on Saturday when an exhibition opened at the town’s museum.

Among those taking a trip down memory lane was former manager Nigel Ross who was delighted by the memorabilia collected as part of a two year project in collaboration with Wiltshire College and University Centre.

Media productions students interviewed former staff and club goers to produce short documentary film, excerpts of which feature in the exhibition.

Among those who has memories of its heyday is town councillor Teresa Hutton who said: “I have great memories of Goldiggers and saw a lot of groups during the 80’s. I even had my hen party there.”

Goldiggers night club opened in the former Gaumont cinema building on the corner of Gladstone Road and Timber Street in 1981.

It was owned by the Ross family and managed by Nigel Ross, who, at was just 19 when it opened.

The club attracted big name bands and entertainers of the 80s including Iron Maiden, Bad Manners, The Shadows, Stranglers, many Radio One DJ’S, Lenny Henry and Little & Large.

In 1984 the club was acquired by Richard Branson, becoming part of the Virgin Entertainment Group . The club was used as a venue for the BBC Sight and Sound programmes and the Style Council and the Boomtown Rats both appeared.

Virgin Group sold the club in late 1980s and by the 1990s Goldiggers was part of the rave scene.

But the club started to go into decline and finally closed in August 2000

The future of the site was uncertain with various plans falling through and the building was earmarked for demolition.

A campaign group was set up to save the building but they were unsuccessful and the building was demolished in 2004 to make way for retirement flats.

Exhibition organiser Elaine Davis said: “Goldiggers is remembered with great fondness by club goers and staff and Chippenham Museum’s exhibition evokes memories of the club which is gone but definitely not forgotten.”

The exhibition is free to view by museum visitors until April 25 opening 10am to 4pm every day except Sundays.

This is Wiltshire

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