IN PHOTOS: Exploring Leeds's old Foxes nightclub at the Three Hulats Wetherspoons

It's a name that will conjure up plenty of bleary-eyed memories for Leeds folk of a certain age.

Tuesday, 21st August 2018, 4:40 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st August 2018, 6:10 pm
Andy Bennett back at the Foxes. Pictures: Steve Riding.

Foxes nightclub, behind what is now the Three Hulats pub on Harrogate Road in Chapel Allerton, was a popular after-dark destination for the city’s revellers during the 1980s.

It has remained virtually untouched since its closure in the early 1990s brought an end to more than a decade of big nights out and even bigger hangovers the following day.

And, with plans approved for its redevelopment as an extension to the Hulats, the Yorkshire Evening Post joined a band of former Foxes regulars as they took one final tour of their old haunt.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

l

They found a time capsule-style treasure trove of clubbing delights from yesteryear, from Tetley Bitter ashtrays and Labatt Ice bar paraphernalia to a battered copy of Leeds pop star Marc Almond’s 1981 single Tainted Love.

Promotional posters discarded on the dancefloor, meanwhile, urge people to head to Foxes for “the best in sound and light, and a fantastic atmosphere for fun and frivolity”.

The former regulars enjoying a trip down memory lane included Andy Bennett, 51, from Moortown.

Andy, a frequent visitor to Foxes during its 1980s heyday, told the YEP: “You would go to the Chained Bull [in Moortown] until 11 or half 11 then everyone would pile down to Foxes.

l

“It was sadly missed when it closed. I remember realising we would have to go into town for late night drinks – we didn’t know how lucky we were to have it on our doorsteps.

“It was a bit surreal going back in, it seemed a lot smaller than I remember it. It still brought back plenty of great memories, though.”

Foxes first opened its doors in 1978, when the Hulats was known as the Mexborough.

An article on the opening in the YEP waxed lyrical about its “sunken dancefloor”, “chrome pedestal tables” and “comfortable stools”, with an appearance by Radio 1’s Mike Read listed as a forthcoming attraction.

l

Other notable moments over the years included a darts exhibition featuring Jocky Wilson and John Lowe while Vinnie Jones popped in more than once during his days with Leeds United.

In another sign of the times, the club played host in 1983 to the YEP’s Miss Tetley contest, which was won by 18-year-old Wendy Pratt, representing the Old Halfway House pub in Horbury, near Wakefield.

The Hulats was purchased by JD Wetherspoon in 1999, with the pub giant recently securing planning permission to convert the site’s long-vacant nightclub into an extension of its customer area and kitchen.

Wendy Pratt is crowned winner of the Yorkshire Evening Post's Miss Tetley contest at Foxes in 1983.