Main content

Museum celebrates London’s first legal after-hours dance club

Islington Museum’s new exhibition is a celebration of Trade, the legendary after-hours club that transformed London’s late-night scene when it opened 25 years ago.
 
Trade – often copied, never equalled is at Islington Museum, 245 St John Street, London EC1V 4NB from Friday October 16 until Saturday January 16 2016.  Admission is free and the museum is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10am-5pm (closed Wednesday and Sunday).
 
Trade was launched by Laurence Malice on 29 October 1990 at Turnmills, 63b Clerkenwell Road, Islington. It had the unusual opening time of 3am on Sunday mornings, closing at 1pm.
 
Its hours set it apart from other clubs and it soon became ‘the’ place to be. While the club night was perceived to cater for the LGBT community, Trade also became known for welcoming individuals with the right attitude, regardless of their sexuality, social background or gender.
 
Music at Trade was innovative, with the creativity of DJs including Tony De Vit and Pete Wardman making the club known as the birthplace of Hard House music. Albums and tours outside London took Trade’s sound to a mainstream audience.
 
Trade ended its regular Sunday slot in October 2002, but often returned to Turnmills for one-off events until the venue closed in 2008.  Since then Trade has since continued to hold club nights at other venues in London.
 
Cllr Asima Shaikh, Islington Council’s executive member for economic and community development, said: “When it opened in Islington 25 years ago, Trade became an iconic night out for Londoners whatever their sexuality, background or gender.
 
“This exhibition offers a unique look back at a unique club that became a late-night institution.”
 

 

(JPG - 1196 KB)

(JPG - 849 KB)

(JPG - 837 KB)