The Kitsch Silver Web
“Wolverhampton was fairly unique in having an openly gay nightclub before Birmingham, the Silver Web, since the 60s. It was run by a flamboyant gay brother and sister, Norman and Betty Webb, who’d previously run the staff bar on the Canberra. Norman retired in the late 60s at a young age, and bought the Silver Web with funding from a string of chip shops. It was directly opposite the Poly, and I was introduced to the surrounding area, as ‘There’s the Polish club, the queer club, and the brothel’”.
“The Silver Web was an amazing melange of stuff they’d picked up over time, seats from a disused cinema, odd tables, an accretion of last year’s decorations that had never been taken down, just added to from different theme nights, the absolute opposite to high tech gay club, very kitsch. You went up some precarious steps, it was split into a large dance floor, and an area at the back with seating. There was seating around the dance floor, which was also very precarious, people would frequently bump into the DJ console and the record would go flying across the room. They had a web that span round with fairy lights on it, and some of those portable disco lights at the front, and after a year and a half of build up they put a rope light on the ceiling! At the start they used to throw a thunder flash on the floor and say ‘The disco is now open’, and end it with ‘The show is now over’, at 2.00 a.m. It opened Friday and Saturday and later, also Tuesday and Thursday and it was always packed solid. It was the largest club in the Midlands, and people came from Birmingham, Telford, Nottingham, all over.”
Contributed by: Lyn David Thomas, 47