Monday, 9 August 2010

The PJs problem. Pydar Street then and now...

PJ's is part of the legend of Queen. In 1970 it hosted their first billed gig (ie the first time they appeared in an advert as Queen). In addition their forerunner, Smile played there 13 times. The problem is that there are no pictures of it from the outside though Tony Coxon, previously of Marvelous Kid, says he has some images of his band performing inside it...

The image below almost certainly includes PJs. It's looking up Moresk Road (now St Clements Street - as if standing outside Hardy Carpets or Courts the furniture place looking towards Pydar St). The problem is that all the buildings on the right marked D had  - almost certainly  - been demolished by the late sixties hence why many that I have spoken to have said that going to PJs was like visiting a bomb site.

Up until a few days ago the most likely candidate for the club is the white building in the centre (marked C), though the main entrance in this picture is out of view.  Others who remember visiting PJ's think it may have been the building on the far left of the picture (marked A) - but there is no entrance from this side so this seems unlikely but it can't be ruled out.

However when you do a then and now comparison building B seems highly probable to have been PJs...

The building visible on Pydar Street in the 60's photograph is the one that is now Easy Bet - the betting shop (previously Opus Music). Theres no doubt about that. If you look at the picture below the drains are the same and the windows and roof all seem unchanged. In the sixties the shop was a grocers and the sign says ........ater & Sons PROVISIONS. Perhaps it was Drinkwater and Sons, or Linklater and Sons or something like that.

The white building (marked C) had to be demolished for the new road to be built, and this road would have been built whilst PJs was in operation...

So, for those that remember visiting, the question is was the entrance to PJs level with the entrance to this Grocers or was it lower down Pydar Street???? Also was the entrance to the grocers 10 or 12 paces away from PJs, or more like 70 or 80 paces away? Had this white building been demolished and possibly the one next to it when PJs was there?

It may be significant that behind the car is what looks like a little covered alley way: so its possible that the white building was demolished and the entrance to PJs was actually up that little alley way.

And lastly here is an aerial view of the junction as it was in the sixties before the demolition took place. Key:
A Cornwall Light Infantry Building    B Entrance to Moresk Rd from Pydar St   C Now a solicitors (unchanged)  D  Now EasyBet (then a Grocers)   E Building attaching to Cornwall Light Infantry. Could have been PJs but a) there is no entrance b) it may only be one storey   F The building most likely to be PJs with an entrance level with Easybet (the grocers)    G Some old Alms Houses much higher up on Pydar St

UPDATE 19/8/10 Not Drinkwater but the much more obvious Slater


  1. Problem with PJ's
    The question of which building, A B C or D in your photograph....I'd say it was building A as there was considerable waste ground in front of the entrance, ( where B and C had been) but had already even demolished. This waste ground was used as a car/bike park for those in PJ's

    1. Thanks. I'm sure you're right. There is another photo thats come to light recently shows it better after the demolition...