When we all went to Jumpin' Jaks in The Kingsway for cheap drinks and the 'sex positions' game

25 08月
作者:admin|分类:重庆11选5|标签:Swansea

When people reminisce about nightlife on Swansea's The Kingsway, everybody has their own stories to tell and their favourite haunts during their clubbing days.

Far flung from the street we now know, which is being transformed by Swansea Council into a new public area, with landscaped parkland, two-way single lane traffic and wider pedestrian walkways, it was once the party capital of the city.

It was renowned for its big pubs and clubs like Ritzys, which became Time and Envy then Oceana, Escape, Quidz Inn and Rasputins, which all had an identity as places where you could party the night away to the latest dance music hits.

But on March 31, 1999, a nightclub moved in to become part of that scene which stood out like a sore thumb.

Jumpin' Jaks opened its doors selling itself as 'The best party in town' with cheap drinks and playing cheesy music. And people loved it.

The vibe was completely relaxed where people could wear what they wanted, unlike many other venues in the city centre at that point, where you would get turned away for wearing the wrong shoes.

It meant it attracted a big cross section of people from all walks of life, whether that be rugby players, students, couples or hen and stag parties.

When we all went to Jumpin' Jaks in The Kingsway for cheap drinks and the 'sex positions' game 重庆11选5 第1张People pictured enjoying a night out at the old Jumpin' Jaks nightclub, which was located along The Kingsway in Swansea from 1999 to 2009 (Image: Steve Saunders / Jumpin' Jaks ents team) When we all went to Jumpin' Jaks in The Kingsway for cheap drinks and the 'sex positions' game 重庆11选5 第2张Jumpin' Jaks held regular charity nights. This one here was for the British Heart Foundation (Image: Steve Saunders / Jumpin' Jaks ents team)

Inside was a completely different and spacious look than you'd usually expect to see inside a nightclub.

The design made great use of the space with bars, which were located on a raised area to the back of the building, whilst dance floors and eating areas were strategically positioned around the main entertainment stage, used by the club's staff to perform dance routines, for competitions and games to take place, for special guests to perform or for people to dance.

It had a unique cowboy like theme, with appropriate materials on display on timber walls, which were energised by loads of neon signs and simple signage.

The nightclub was renowned for its random selection of music, mainly cheesy pop tracks. It would not be uncommon to hear some rock or Ibiza soundtracks transition straight into the likes of Rednex's Cotton Eye Joe, but that was the fun of it.

When we all went to Jumpin' Jaks in The Kingsway for cheap drinks and the 'sex positions' game 重庆11选5 第3张Staff would regularly perform dance routines on the stage and on the bar (Image: Steve Saunders / Jumpin' Jaks ents team) When we all went to Jumpin' Jaks in The Kingsway for cheap drinks and the 'sex positions' game 重庆11选5 第4张The crowd gets into one of the dance routines on stage (Image: Steve Saunders / Jumpin' Jaks ents team) When we all went to Jumpin' Jaks in The Kingsway for cheap drinks and the 'sex positions' game 重庆11选5 第5张The party in full flow at Swansea's old Jumpin' Jaks nightclub (Image: Steve Saunders / Jumpin' Jaks ents team)

The man behind Jumpin' Jaks was Steve Saunders, who became general manager.

He admitted in the beginning he had his apprehensions about leading the new project, as he had a passion for a different genre of music - not what he described as a 'party bar'.

But it didn't take long for his mind to be completely changed.

"Although it was a promotion I could not imagine being in charge of a cheesy club with Abba music and things like that," Mr Saunders admitted.

"There was a DJ called Nick Madge around at the time who was my idol.

"But within three days after a meeting with Luminar, which owned Jumpin' Jaks I completely changed my opinion straight away about what it was going to be.

"It wasn't the first Jumpin' Jaks but it was their flagship club. It was owned by Steven Thomas of Luminar, who had met his wife in Ritzys nightclub, so Swansea was really important to him and a lot of money was spent to make sure it was perfect."

When we all went to Jumpin' Jaks in The Kingsway for cheap drinks and the 'sex positions' game 重庆11选5 第6张The infamous 'sex position game' which would regularly be played on the stage of Jumpin' Jaks (Image: Steve Saunders / Jumpin' Jaks ents team) When we all went to Jumpin' Jaks in The Kingsway for cheap drinks and the 'sex positions' game 重庆11选5 第7张It was always packed (Image: Steve Saunders / Jumpin' Jaks ents team) When we all went to Jumpin' Jaks in The Kingsway for cheap drinks and the 'sex positions' game 重庆11选5 第8张X-Factor star Chico performing at the old nightclub (Image: Steve Saunders / Jumpin' Jaks ents team)

Mr Saunders described how the vibe of the club was completely different to the rest of the nightlife scene in Swansea at the time.

"Swansea could be quite troublesome, but there were no rules in Jaks, people were able to come in and dance on tables and dress the way they wanted," he recalled.

"It was a really mixed crowd, you'd see seven rugby teams, two million hen parties, husbands and wives - you could never get in your head that working, but it did.

"We didn't have bouncers, we had customer safety staff, who would go over and say something like 'Come on, you can't spray bottles' and they'd just conform. It really was quite unique."

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The atmosphere was such that even the likes of Shane Williams, Gavin Henson, Bonnie Tyler and the Swansea City Football Club and Ospreys Rugby stars were regularly seen there mixing with the punters enjoying a night out like everyone else.

"They would get pestered a bit but it was a bit before the selfie and Facebook time so it wasn't too bad. Bonnie Tyler regularly came in," Mr Saunders recalled.

When we all went to Jumpin' Jaks in The Kingsway for cheap drinks and the 'sex positions' game 重庆11选5 第11张People loved it there (Image: Steve Saunders / Jumpin' Jaks ents team) When we all went to Jumpin' Jaks in The Kingsway for cheap drinks and the 'sex positions' game 重庆11选5 第12张People dancing along to some of the cheesy music being played at the club (Image: Steve Saunders / Jumpin' Jaks ents team)

One of the most memorable things about a night out at Jumpin' Jaks came right at the end, where the night would finish with either Take That's Never Forget or a rude version of the Yogi Bear song.

It put a smile on the face of many to end the night, but there was more thought put into it than anyone who went to the club imagined.

"When people were leaving at 2am pouring out onto The Kingsway we wanted them all to be chilled, and for that it needed to be a song to take you back to your childhood," Mr Saunders explained.

"A lot of science went into the music playlist and someone was employed to come up with the music policy, nothing was done by accident."

The management behind the club, including entertainments manager Martin Harvey, had the luxury of spending £10,000 a week on entertainment, and brought some star names to the club through the years, ranging from X-Factor stars to the likes of Timmy Mallett, Tony Hadley, Ray Lewis and The Drifters, Keith Chegwin, Abi Titmuss and Keith Harris and Orville among others.

For many years, they also had Duelling Piano players who would play whatever requests people would ask for in the club that night, even television advert theme tunes.

When we all went to Jumpin' Jaks in The Kingsway for cheap drinks and the 'sex positions' game 重庆11选5 第13张Former Boyzone star Keith Duffy making a special appearance at Jumpin' Jaks (Image: Steve Saunders / Jumpin' Jaks ents team) When we all went to Jumpin' Jaks in The Kingsway for cheap drinks and the 'sex positions' game 重庆11选5 第14张Timmy Mallett was a popular act at Jumpin' Jaks (Image: Steve Saunders / Jumpin' Jaks ents team) When we all went to Jumpin' Jaks in The Kingsway for cheap drinks and the 'sex positions' game 重庆11选5 第15张 (Image: Steve Saunders / Jumpin' Jaks ents team) When we all went to Jumpin' Jaks in The Kingsway for cheap drinks and the 'sex positions' game 重庆11选5 第16张 (Image: Steve Saunders / Jumpin' Jaks ents team) When we all went to Jumpin' Jaks in The Kingsway for cheap drinks and the 'sex positions' game 重庆11选5 第17张The duelling piano players were very popular (Image: Steve Saunders / Jumpin' Jaks ents team) When we all went to Jumpin' Jaks in The Kingsway for cheap drinks and the 'sex positions' game 重庆11选5 第18张Danny Young, who once played Warren Baldwin on Coronation Street, appearing at Jumpin' Jaks (Image: Steve Saunders / Jumpin' Jaks ents team)

For Nicola Lawrence, one fateful night at the club on September 18, 2002, would change her life forever, as it was there that she met her future husband.

"I was out with my friend Denise and HMS Brecon was in Swansea and they had been doing a decommissioning march in Brecon," she recalled.

"On their way back they were dropped off in The Kingsway.

"I always ended up in Jaks every weekend and after about an hour of being there I met my now husband Ian (Lawrence) on the dance floor in front of the stage where they had their own staff dancing that night.

"We stayed there all night until closing, and we then met again the next night.

"He went to France for five weeks with the Navy, then texted saying he was on his way back to Swansea."

Ian decided to move to Swansea from his home in Leicester, and the pair went on to get married, and have been for the last 11 years. They now have two little boys, Harvey, aged 10 and Hadley, aged 10-months-old.

When we all went to Jumpin' Jaks in The Kingsway for cheap drinks and the 'sex positions' game 重庆11选5 第19张Nicola and Ian Lawrence pictured with their children Harvey, aged 10 and Hadley, aged 10-months-old (Image: Nicola Lawrence)

"We did move to Plymouth by his base for a while but I had fertility issues so moved back for support from my family," said 37-year-old Nicola, of Morriston.

"My oldest is Harvey, he’s ten and we have a ten month miracle called Hadley.

"I have had fertility treatment for around 15 to 16 years and none ever worked. I lost a bit of weight but had a bad stomach, and it turns out I was pregnant naturally. Hadley is now 10 months old.

"Jaks mapped out my life, I wouldn’t have my beautiful family if I never went there that night."

Another woman with special memories of Jaks is Fran Edwards, who spent her hen night there in August, 2005.

She married her husband Stuart Edwards a month later and they have since been together for 15 years.

When we all went to Jumpin' Jaks in The Kingsway for cheap drinks and the 'sex positions' game 重庆11选5 第20张Fran Edwards pictured on her hen night at Jumpin' Jaks in Swansea in August 2005 (Image: Fran Edwards)

The 51-year-old recalled: "Jumpin' Jaks had a kind of cowboys theme and that's why we had my hen night there, we had a cowboys and Indians fancy dress theme that evening. There was 20 of us.

"We ended up having a party bus and had a deal with Jaks where we had bubbly to go in with and had an area cordoned off for ourselves.

"There was nothing else like Jumpin' Jaks, its decor was completely different to anywhere else in Swansea at the time and it had a real party atmosphere, the music was mixed with old classics and up to date music.

"I was coming out of that era in my life when it closed and was no longer going into town, but it was really disappointing to see it go."

Sarah Jayne Howe loved the old club so much that she and her friends would go every Thursday, Friday and Sunday when they were aged around 18.

When we all went to Jumpin' Jaks in The Kingsway for cheap drinks and the 'sex positions' game 重庆11选5 第21张Kimberley Hartill, Sarah Jayne Howe, Danielle Charles and Ceri Thomas in Jumpin' Jaks (Image: Sarah Jayne Howe) When we all went to Jumpin' Jaks in The Kingsway for cheap drinks and the 'sex positions' game 重庆11选5 第22张Kimberley Hartill, Barry Williams and Sarah Jayne Howe. Pictured behind them are the men's toilets (Image: Sarah Jayne Howe) When we all went to Jumpin' Jaks in The Kingsway for cheap drinks and the 'sex positions' game 重庆11选5 第23张Sarah Jayne Howe (right) with her friend Kimberley Hartill (Image: Sarah Jayne Howe)

The now 33-year-old, of Morriston, said: "We used to love the cheesy music they used to play there, it was really good fun, and it never used to be pretentious inside. Everyone used to just go there for a good time.

"The drinks were really cheap and on certain nights it would be £10 all inclusive.

"At Christmas they used to do a massive raffle and my friend won a microwave on Christmas Eve. But she could not get it home because it was too heavy and her mum was cursing her as she needed a new one!

"We were absolutely gutted when it closed. I used to go to town every single weekend religiously and nothing ever compared to that."

Jamie 'Chip' Williams worked as a photographer at the nightclub for a year and a half until the day it closed its doors.

When we all went to Jumpin' Jaks in The Kingsway for cheap drinks and the 'sex positions' game 重庆11选5 第24张Jamie 'Chip' Williams, right, pictured with his friends Kyle, Alex and Thommy (Image: Jamie 'Chip' Williams)

"When I had days off I went on nights out there too!" he said.

"It was probably down to the music. You could go from Pendulum straight into Cotton Eye Joe. All my friends were from the Penclawdd area and we would come into town together and would split up, some would go to Play and others would go to Jumpin' Jaks. I'd always want to go to Jaks.

"The staff were all great and you always had the same regulars who would come and you would get to know. The £10 all you can drink offer was really popular too.

"I used to go around taking photos and print them off on the night, it would by £4 for a keyring.

"I remember on Wednesdays they tried doing this thing called 'Naked Wednesdays' where people would get naked on stage, basically, but that never took off."

Sarah-Louise Jones worked there as an entertainer for a number of years.

When we all went to Jumpin' Jaks in The Kingsway for cheap drinks and the 'sex positions' game 重庆11选5 第25张Sarah-Louise Jones pictured behind the bar at Jumpin' Jaks (Image: Sarah-Louise Jones)

The 31-year-old, from Dunvant, recalled: "We all did a bit of everything. I was behind the bar or entertainment when all the staff did some dance routines.

"It was the best job I ever had. I never dreaded going into work, all the staff were amazing.

"The £10 all inclusive offer on a Friday was very popular - you'd never get that now!

"Christmas time used to be amazing, and we'd also go all out on Halloween nights. We'd have to go in earlier in the day and learn new dance routines.

"The vibe of the place was completely different - the music that was played was completely different to what was around at that time.

"You had Quids Inn on one side of the road and then you had Jumpin' Jaks which played cheesy pop. But everybody loved a bit of that."

When we all went to Jumpin' Jaks in The Kingsway for cheap drinks and the 'sex positions' game 重庆11选5 第26张Sarah-Louise Jones dressed up as Santa for one of the dance routines at Christmas (Image: Sarah-Louise Jones)

Recalling the interior decor, Miss Jones said there was "wood everywhere."

"If we had a foam party on an adult night or one of the blue light discos it would stick to the floor and be horrible afterwards," she said.

"It was a very cowboyish feel itself, and we would wear checked shirts to fit that theme.

"When I go past it it still brings back all these nice memories."

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Laura Thomas also worked as an entertainer at the club from 2004 to 2005.

"I loved the camaraderie to be honest," the 35-year-old said.

"It felt like I was getting paid to have fun. We used to do dance routines on the bar and on stage.

"When my mother first found out I would be dancing on a bar she was like 'Oh my God, what will you be wearing' and I told her it was some jeans and a checked shirt, not what she was thinking!

"It was just really, really fun. I started off working at Nottingham Jumpin' Jaks when I was in university and then I moved back to Swansea.

"I soon found out the songs are a little bit different and the routines are a little bit different between clubs. I got on the bar with the others to do the routine to Christina Aguilera's Dirrty, and everybody was looking at me thinking 'what is she doing?'

"I didn't know there were different routines in different places! That was a little bit embarrasing.

"There was also a time when I was walking along the bar and stood in a big puddle and fell on my face. I nearly broke my hand!"

When we all went to Jumpin' Jaks in The Kingsway for cheap drinks and the 'sex positions' game 重庆11选5 第29张Laura Thomas, who worked as an entertainer at Jumpin' Jaks, Swansea, in 2004 to 2005 pictured on a Halloween night (Image: Laura Thomas)

Mrs Thomas spoke about the positive vibe at the club and described how everybody was "game for a laugh".

"We had regulars and everyone was really nice, you rarely had any fights," she said.

"There was no nastiness and the bouncers always got involved and had a bit of a dance. It was just really fun."

Jumpin' Jaks experienced a decline in fortunes after Oceana opened up next door in 2008.

The club which promised 'The world in one night', opened up after a £6m refurbishment with an extra five theme bars making it the biggest Oceana in Wales and one of the largest in the UK.

And people flocked there in their numbers, as Swansea's newest club was a huge success.

It meant Jaks began to struggle, and closed its doors in 2009. Escape nightclub moved in afterwards for a short period of time, but itself did not last long.

The building has since been knocked down, with plans lodged by Swansea Council to build a new high-tech facility in its place to allow tech and creative businesses to grow.

Mr Saunders ran the club for three years, before being offered the chance to open an Oceana outside of Swansea, before returning to run the new club in Swansea.

He recalled: "Jumpin' Jaks was sold as a viable business and when I left it had a seven year, year on year gross profit.

"I came back home to open Oceana in Swansea which was a massive success, and the queue that could not get in would often go into Jumpin' Jaks, but it was a recession and it closed in 2009.

"Jumpin' Jaks is my favourite job I have ever had in my life and the sort of job you would do it for free.

"Within the first week I knew I didn't want to do anything else but that for the rest of my life."

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Jumpin' Jaks may have only lasted ten years, but the memories it created have lasted far longer than that.

It was a club which didn't fit the mould on The Kingsway at the time, completely different to the dance music scene that surrounded it, but for many, that's what made it so special.

Many met their future husband or wife there, many danced on its bars and tables, and others created priceless memories with their friends.

The combination of its laid back atmosphere, cheap drinks, cheesy music and entertainment made it one of the most fun nights out in Swansea at the time, and it'll be remembered as that for many years to come.

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