Destiny & Elite nightclub celebrates its 10th birthday on Saturday. GARY PORTER takes a look back at a decade of highs and lows for the Coliseum nightspot.
A HOST of famous pop singers, soap stars and DJs have appeared at Destiny & Elite during an eventful and sometimes controversial ten years.
On the opening night in 2000, TV presenters Jenny Powell and John Leslie were the special guests along with Geoff Capes, twice winner of the World’s Strongest Man title, whose firm was providing security.
A year later, the then Eastenders actor and former Spandau Ballet bassist Martin Kemp visited the club to celebrate its first birthday.
In 2002 his old soap colleague June Brown, who plays Dot Cotton, stunned clubbers by taking to the turntables for an hour-long set, aged 75!
Twelve months later the nightclub hosted its most famous guests to date.
Pop star Dannii Minogue put on a sizzling performance during a recording for ITV music show CD:UK, which was hosted by Kat Deeley.
She was joined by popular girlbands Atomic Kitten and Girls Aloud, who were just beginning their journey to pop stardom.
During the past decade the nightspot has also seen performances from some of the biggest dance acts, including Ian Van Dahl, The Shapeshifters and more recently Basshunter.
And while for most clubbers a visit to Destiny & Elite is all about the music, for one couple the club was the perfect place to celebrate their love.
Regulars Peter Ashbrook and Janet Williams loved the nightspot so much, that in 2003 they returned for a blessing after their registry office wedding earlier in the day.
Seventy guests looked on as Captain Dave O’Brien, of St Thomas’ Church in Ellesmere Port, gave the blessing.
Peter, Janet, friends and family then enjoyed a champagne reception and finger buffet.
Despite a series of star guests and huge clubbing events, the nightspot has, on occasions, found itself at the centre of controversy.
In 2004, it was forced to review its security after a 15-year-old girl’s hair was set alight by a yob as she was leaving one of the popular children’s discos.
As she was walking by the staircase, a young teenage boy used a cigarette lighter to torch her long hair.
The terrified girl screamed and patted out the flames with her hands, leaving her with a burned clump of hair and reddened and sore hands and shoulders.
A year later, residents living close to the nightclub turned up in force at a public meeting to demand action against the yobs who were vandalising properties as they left the club in the early hours of the morning.
In response, former boss Nigel Gowland warned drunken revellers they would be barred if they were caught, and even started patrolling the area himself to try and catch the culprits.
Last year, Destiny and Elite’s decision to slash its booze prices to just 90p in a bid to attract recession-hit revellers sparked fears of binge drinking.
The club argued that the new weekend offers made it affordable for clubgoers affected by the credit crunch and that measures were in place to prevent irresponsible drinking.
But PC Pete Goring, licensing officer for the area, was firmly opposed to the move, while borough MP Andrew Miller was sceptical that the club would be able to prevent excessive drinking.