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Information - Crewe: Limelight nightclub


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Growing up in Crewe I've always been fascinated by one particular place. On the corner of hightown and St Mary's street stands once a thrilling nightclub that has bit the abandoned bug. The limelight is yet another abandoned place within Crewe that has gained quite a bad reputation due to acts of vandalism and several unfortunate tragedies. Stuck in time, the limelight closed in December in 2009 and ever since has left a permanent mark on crewe.

Built in 1869, Crewe limelight didn't start off as a local club, but as a church. The church was built next to several a-joining houses and a small, triangular school room. The church hasn't been well documented but there are some very old pictures on the place back in the early 1900's. In the 1960's the church was closed so that a brand new church would open on St Mary's street (just down the road). Until the late 1970's or early 1980's the church building was bought and converted into a snooker club. For some reason, the snooker club closed in 1991 and until 3 years later the limelight was born.
In April of 1994, Ray Bispham bought the once snooker club and converted into a 3 floor nightclub. The limelight houses a main floor, second floor and a basement. The main floor was the known as the "pub" mainly due to having a large oak wood bar, and contained snooker tables, games machines and red setae's. Back in the day the walls were painted orange with wooden skirting boards but later would painted pink with purple skirting boards. Leading up into the second floor, visitors were greeted with an enormous room. the second floor was known at the time as "rafters" which was coined by Ray. This was because of the large steel rafts that held up the ceiling. rafters held a dance floor, more snooker tables, two toilets and additional seating. Rafters was iconic for the limelight due to having the four enormous windows that could be seen from the front of the building. And finally , the basement contained the stage in which would allow tribute bands to perform, a DJ booth and a large dance floor. All this made up the limelight. In 2007, the BBC filmed a documentary for BBC arena called into the limelight which showed tribute bands ABCD, stairway to zeppelin, are you experienced ? And limehouse Lizzy. even ray made an appearance.

In 2007 as well, shortly after filming Ray sold the limelight after wanting to get away from work as well as a lot of stress that loomed over him as he ran the joint. a buyer was selected and the limelight was re-opened. The limelight was given a brand new look with pink and purple walls and a electric black sign. The club did even better than before and even brought new visitors to crewe to see the tribute bands. However, this came to a sudden holt as the club fell into financial difficulties and closed in December of 2009.

Today (2018)
now we are in 2018, and its been 9 years since the iconic club has closed. Since its closure the limelight has been destroyed by local kids and scrappers who managed to destroy many windows and entrances. Today, there is only one entrance that I have personally seen but I cannot tell where it is. ( personally I hate it when kids break in and destroy such amazing places) in 2014 the main entrance was replaced with two wooden cabinet's that today is a wooden board. Sadly in 2015 a fire started in main floor, completely destroying the main bar and games room, as well that year a body of a man was discovered hanging in stage area of the nightclub. The police reveal this as a suicide. Today there is not much left of the poor place and its still stands vacant and abandoned.

crewe limelight .png
2015 limelight.png
rafters 2.jpg
stage area.jpg
tribute throwback.jpg
Last edited by a moderator:


Super Moderator
Staff member
I don't see any pictures? You can edit your report for 24hrs to attach these.


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I drive past the Limelight quite often as I also live in Crewe, and used to be part of their pool team from 1999-2001, but sad to see it slowly decay into where it is now, sadly the way Crewe is it'll probably be left until it's a beyond repair ruin like most disused buildings around Crewe at the moment.

As for Ray, after the Limelight he went on to manage the Jolly Tar pub just outside Nantwich, of which he got some tribute bands going, but was never the same as the Limelight, Ray left the Jolly Tar a few years ago now, the pub closed some time after and subsequently also burnt to the ground in a fire a couple of years ago as it was mostly a wooden construction, you wouldn't think there had ever been a pub there now...

No idea where Ray is now though...


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I actually forgot to mention, but I have Picture of the café that I took on Friday the 6th of April when me and my friend looked into the mail flap. No joke you can see the old doors and the pink walls. Luckily the doors window wasn't broken


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Such a shame we spent many a good night in there, we looked round tonight its pretty destroyed inside, small mercy the concert halls intact smelly damp and very messy but the posters are still on the wall!


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
@Lindylou , it’s such a shame how such a brilliant place went to crap. I loved the pictures and it’s nice to see new pictures of the place before it eventually gets destroyed even more


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
@TacticalDuck thanks, yea I spent so many good nights in there! It was only a quick visit as access was very ominous and we expected to be reported, but worth it! All the bars upstairs have gone but apart from a lot of mess the concert rooms not too bad! Still accessible too if you don't mind crawling and stealthing over the roof lol


28DL Member
28DL Member
Such a shame we spent many a good night in there, we looked round tonight its pretty destroyed inside, small mercy the concert halls intact smelly damp and very messy but the posters are still on the wall!
And how would one be able to go inside to take pictures? It's all boarded up... I dont know who the owner is so dont know who to get permission from.


28DL Full Member
It was boarded up after this thread I think, we discussed it on one of the other threads. I went and it had the wooden wall freshly put up.

Its highly unlikely you will get permission to visit this place. You will have to hop the wooden wall and find a way in.
I'm under the impression most of us are leaving it alone for a bit. When I went there two goons were sat in the car park behind taking pictures of anyone showing too much interest but I doubt they are still playing that game.

Good luck.

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