DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Sort file:- Folkestone, March, 2021.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 31 March, 2021.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton

Earliest 2005-

Onyx Nightclub

Oct 2015

Marine Gardens Pavilion

Folkestone

01303 252200

Onyx Nightclub

Above showing what is now the Onyx nightclub, taken from Google maps, May 2009.

 

Traced back to 2005 so far, but unfortunately no other information regarding the history of this venue has yet been found.

It is apparently housed inside the Club Indigo, unless the name has changed since the photograph was taken.

Advertised as Folkestone's newest clubbing experience and open every Wed, Fri and Sat.

Certainly at the time I found the information (August 2013) they supplied cheap drinks, offering every Wednesday "Ministry of Pound.":- 4 entry and drinks 1 all night long! Friday Feeling, classic house and modern dance anthems in the main room and Urban only in room 2, plus not to forget 2 bottles, shots and vodka mix all night.

Sounds like a place that is likely to attract trouble to me.

Local knowledge certainly needed here.

 

From an email received 21 May 2016.

Hi,

Regards the "Onyx" nightclub, once the Marine Pavilion, it was a roller skating rink most of the time late forties early fifties. I went there many times skating and also to watch roller hockey matches. In the Summer, when the town was flooded with holiday makers, there would be stage shows. I remember very well a brilliant puppet show that would present each year in an annexed room.

Mike Dale.

 

From the on-line Hawkings Gazette, 6 July, 2011

KENT POLICE APPEAL OVER WOMAN INJURED NEAR ONYX CLUB IN FOLKESTONE.

Police are appealing for anyone who was outside or near the "Onyx" club in Folkestone between 2.30am and 3am on Thursday (23 June 2011) to come forward.

Officers believe they may have spotted an 18-year-old woman from the Deal area involved in an altercation with a man and could help police who are investigating how she came to be injured.

The woman, who is now recovering, received back and arm injuries and had to undergo an operation at the QEQM Hospital in Margate.

She is described as tall, with dark hair and was wearing a blouse with a large collar, short black skirt and dark high-heeled shoes.

The woman remembers that there were a number of people near the club at a bus stop in Marine Gardens and they or any other witnesses are urged to contact the investigating officer Det Con Jacqui Mennie on 01303 289404.

 

From kentonline, 6 September 2012. By Paul Hooper

Student Connor Leizert, 19, jailed for six years after bottle attack on Folkestone clubber

Connor Leizert, 19, has been jailed for six years for a brutal nightclub attack.

Conner LeizertA 19-year-old Folkestone university student's dreams of a career in film and TV are in tatters because of drink.

Connor Leizert – who left school with good GCSEs and A levels to study TV and video technology – is now behind bars serving a six-year jail sentence.

The drunken teenager, of Penfold Road, had launched an unprovoked attack in the town's "Onyx" nightclub - smashing a bottle over a man's head and then using it to slash him across the chest.

Victim Mark Chittenden later told police: "If this had been a normal fight I could have accepted what happened. But to do what has caused these injuries is clearly not right."

The customs officer – who was almost blinded by one of the blows – needed 10 stitches to a chest wound, which one witness said had "poured blood like a shower".

Judge James O'Mahony criticised the authorities for tolerating drunken behaviour.

He said: "This young man's life is going to be ruined and the victim will never be the same again.

"These courts see day after day extreme levels of drinking of young people, which leads to lives being ruined."

The judge then quoted from Shakespeare's Othello that "good wine is a good familiar creature if it be well used", adding: "But this is extreme drinking that's going on and look what happens.

"This seems only to happened on the streets of cities and towns and there seems nothing to prevent it coming from the authorities.

"There was a time when if you were drunk in the streets you would be arrested."

Jim Harvey, prosecuting, said Mr Chittenden's recollection of the incident, which took place three days before Christmas last year "wasn't substantial".

"He had consumed about six beers and a couple of vodka Red Bulls. He said he was fairly drunk but still able to work out what was going on."

Mr Chittenden went into the nightclub's smoking area and "all of a sudden" was hit by a drunken man in an unprovoked attack.

"He recalls blows raining down all over him and then realised his face and body was covered in blood. It was all a blur to him and over in a flash."

He was later taken to hospital and treated for scratches and gashes to his chest and eyes and back.

Witness Amelia Ball heard "raised voices" between 1am and 1.30am and saw Leizert smash a bottle over Mr Chittenden.

"She said he was pouring blood like a shower. She said blood was also gushing out of the victim's head and nose and she saw his shirt was ripped.

"She very bravely became involved and tried to tie the shirt around his head to stem the bleeding," Mr Harvey added.

The prosecutor said other people had described the injuries as "skin and flesh flapping from the chest wound and the victim having a nipple hanging off".

Judge James O'Mahony:- Another nightclubber, Katie Martin, who saw the attack, said she recognised the victim from earlier in the evening in the club and told police officers that he had been "arrogant and a bit of a jack-the-lad and appeared to be on his own."

Doctors were able to glue some of his facial wounds, but the chest wound needed stitches.

Mr Chittenden later told officers: "I will no doubt be left with a scar and my injuries could have been far more serious. No one deserves to be injured the way that I have."

Peter Alcock, defending Leizert, who admitted wounding with intent, said: "He could not be more sorry for what he has done.

"He feels ashamed and disgusted and now wants to write to the victim."

Judge O'MahonyJudge O'Mahony, pictured left, told the student the offence he had admitted was so serious it carried a maximum sentence of life in prison.

He added: "You could easily have blinded your victim. There was a time when young men who fell out would fight with fists – although that's not to be condoned.

"All too often now weapons are used, which lead to disastrous results and all because you were drunk.

"What makes this case so appalling and tragic is that this was totally out of character. You are intelligent and at university and have your whole life before you."

 

From thisiskent.co.uk Friday 19 October, 2012

FOLKESTONE FENCE-BUILDER ADMITS PUNCHING MAN ON ONYX NIGHTCLUB DANCE FLOOR

A MAN has been ordered to pay 200 compensation to a man he repeatedly punched in the face on the dance floor of "Onyx" nightclub in Folkestone.

Fence-builder Steven Gregson, 21, of Eastfields, Folkestone, was due to go on trial last Thursday charged with the assault on Craig Nicoll at the nightclub on July 15.

But after legal advice Gregson changed his plea to guilty a few days before and he appeared before Folkestone magistrates to be sentenced.

Neil Sweeney, prosecuting, told the court how Gregson was with a pal in "Onyx" at 1.30am when he turned and attacked Mr Nicoll who was dancing with friends. "He randomly punched the victim at least five times, some witnesses claimed it was 10 and the defendant himself admitted to police he had punched six or seven times," said Mr Sweeney.

"The club DJ stopped the music and called for security and at that point Gregson stopped his onslaught and walked away.

"He was detained by security and arrested outside the club."

Mr Sweeney handed pictures to magistrates showing the facial injuries received by Mr Nicoll that night.

He read statements from three people who were on the dance-floor and each recounted an unprovoked attack, which Nicholl did not defend.

Gregson told police that he felt he had been hit and turned to Mr Nicholl and his friends.

In his statement to police Gregson said: "I'll be honest with you, I was punched and turned around and punched him."

But he admitted he could not be sure he had attacked the right man but said he had seen Nicholl in the past and felt intimidated by him.

The court was told Gregson told police: "I did not stop punching because I did not want to get punched back. I must have been acting like an a****** but I'd been drinking and misinterpreted events."

Defence solicitor Alan Land told the court his client, who had no previous criminal convictions, had felt a punch to the side of his face before the attack and had intended to contest the charge as self defence.

He said his client had not been out drinking since that night and, at the request of magistrates, a stand down report prepared on the day confirmed Gregson did not have a drink problem but did become troublesome when binge drinking – before the attack he had downed 12 pints and three shots.

He was fined 270 for the attack with costs totalling 415 alongside the compensation of 200. He agreed to pay the 885 at 100 a month from his wages.

 

From the Dover Express, Thursday, 13 December, 2012. 65p. Report by Mike Sims

VICKY WARNS OF DRINK-SPIKING PARTY MENACE

A REVELLER who believes her cocktail was spiked has accused the nightclub concerned of crushing her attempts to raise awareness about drinking safely.

Clubber Vicky Mills blacked out soon after she tucked into the drink, which she had left unattended in Onyx in Folkestone.Vicky Mills

The 22-year-old, who lives in Temple Ewell, drank a bottle of rose wine at her sister's house before she headed into town with her friends a week last Saturday.

She and a pal ordered a shot and cocktail each shortly after they arrived at the Marine Gardens club, at about 11pm.

The pair downed their apple Sourz and headed outside for a cigarette, leaving the other drinks inside.

Cocktail

But when she returned and drank her cocktail, former Brockhill Park student Miss Mills soon felt unwell. She remembers little other than trying to be sick in the toilets and being bundled into a van by her boyfriend, who arrived to take her home.

Miss Mills, who works in administration for the NHS in Westgate-on-Sea, still felt ill two days later and had to take time off work. She tried to raise awareness of drink safety on the club's Face-book page, but says her message was deleted and she was removed from the group.

Miss Mills, who described her state as “very merry but very under control, like I always am down there”, said she was “shocked” when her concerns were apparently dismissed.

Since then she has been offered a meeting with management at the club, which she has been visiting since she was 18.

She said: “I was angry to be treated like that, it's a very serious issue. I just want to warn people, girls and guys, that this can happen and that they should get a new drink rather than be stupid and go back to an unattended one. I think they need better security checking that people are not taking drugs and pills into the club, and more CCTV. But I'm glad they've now agreed to meet us.”

The manager of the club, who refused to identify himself to the Herald, claimed Miss Mills may have been spiked in another pub or bar in Folkestone. She strenuously denies going to any other venue between her sister's house and Onyx.

When asked why Miss Mills' comments about raising awareness had been removed from Facebook, the manager repeatedly said they had “responded to her boyfriend about that”, but refused to give any further explanation.

Asked if spiking was a problem at Onyx, he said: “It's very, very rare."

WARNING: Vicky Mills wants to raise awareness about the dangers of leaving drinks unattended

 

From kentnews.co.uk 7 February 2013

FOLKESTONE NIGHTCLUB OFFERS FREE ENTRY WITH PAYSLIP

Discrimination against jobless claim.

A nightclub has come under attack for offering a “Workers Night” which gives free entry and cheap drinks to anyone with a payslip on a Monday.

"Onyx" on Folkestone seafront – which says the policy is just a promotional idea which is “tongue in cheek and harmless” – has been criticised for acting in a discriminatory fashion towards the jobless.

On Mondays drinks, including lager and alcopops, are priced at 2 and the evening is billed as “Onyx presents S.I.N. The Workers Party. Opening Times 10pm – 2AM. Free entry with a payslip”.

Club-goers in favour of the idea say it helps to bring in customers on a traditionally slow night, so protecting staff jobs by increasing revenue.

But critics of the plan have said that it makes the unemployed feel second class citizens – especially as the area around the club has a high rate of residents receiving benefits.

Others against the idea say that Monday is the wrong night for it, as club-goers would be going to work with a hangover the following morning.

 

From the http://www.kentonline.co.uk by Matt Leclere, 14 October 2015.

Onyx Nightclub in Folkestone confirms it is closing on its Facebook page.

Onyx 2015

Onyx nightclub on Folkestone seafront is closing with immediate effect, it has been confirmed.

Reports on social media this week suggested that the club – still known as The Priz from its previous life when it was called the Parisienne – had closed.

But the club confirmed on its own page last night it had opened its doors for the final time to Folkestone revellers.

It has welcomed more than 420,000 customers over the last five years and saying "all good things must come to an end".

A statement read: "To the 420,647 customers we have had through our doors since "Onyx" was born in 2010 we salute you.

"Many memories made, times shared with friends and great people met.

"All good things must come to an end."

The club, which underwent a major refurbishment in 2010, sits on land that forms the Folkestone Harbour Estate and is part of the seafront redevelopment masterplan.

An extension to the lease was on the table for the club and “was not withdrawn” by the Folkestone Harbour Company, the company told KentOnline.

It is still not yet clear what the short term future is for the club building until the seafront redevelopment building begins.

But Folkestone Harbour Company spokesman Peter Bettley said Onyx is “not a factor” in the progress of the seafront development at the moment adding it will be some time before building on that land starts.

He said: “The building has a finite life but we don’t have a timeline for this. The lease extension was on offer.

“The pressure isn’t there imminently to start building on that part. It’s not holding things up.

“That’s how it’s been going on for years – short extension, short extension so it didn’t tie anyone down.”

 

From the http://www.kentonline.co.uk by Sam Lennon, 9 March 2016.

Fire at former Onyx nightclub in Folkestone.

Onyx fire 2016

An investigation has been launched into the cause of a major blaze on the site of the former "Onyx" nightclub in Folkestone.

The fire at the seafront site started just after 9pm last night. Crews were still there this morning, damping down.

The club, affectionately known as the Priz, closed last year as plans proceed to develop Folkestone's harbour. Demolition work started at the site in February.

A Kent Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said crews were faced with thick smoke coming from the main entrance of the former nightclub.

They warned people living near Marine Terrace to close windows and doors while they tackled the blaze. Motorists were advised to avoid the area.

Firefighters used breathing apparatus, six main jets and two water hydrants to tackle the blaze. The roof of the property was well alight.

No one has been injured and the cause of the fire is not yet known.

Onyx fire damage 2016

An investigation is being carried out today, and teams including forensics officers were at the scene this morning.

The road outside the building has been closed all day while investigations are carried out, Kent Highways said. It reopened at 2.30pm.

A spokesman for Kent Fire and Rescue said: "There is no indication yet as to the potential cause of the fire as an investigation is yet to commence."

Reporter Sam Lennon, who was at the scene, said police sealed off a section of the area.

He said: "The roof was totally ablaze and the wind was blowing the smoke towards the harbour, causing passers-by to cough. The smoke totally blocked everybody's view.

"Firefighters were at the scene quickly and started putting out the fire."

Police, fire and ambulance crews were all called.

Guests at the nearby Grand Burstin Hotel said they became aware of the fire when they could smell the smoke.

Kevin Bransey said: "I could smell it coming through my window and I went outside to see what had happened. Then I saw the flames. The hotel did not have to be evacuated but we were moved to a safer part of the building."

Ernie Fuggle, who was manager of the "Onyx" building from 1976 to 1982, when it was the "Pavilion Theatre," said: "I came here (the Burstin) for dinner and heard the smoke alarm go off and went outside to see what had happened.

"It broke my heart when they were going to demolish the building and it breaks my heart now that it's burning down.

Onyx demolition 2016
Onyx 2016

Last views of "Onyx" 2016 by Chris Burns.

Onys demolition 2016

Last views of "Onyx" 2016 by Chris Burns.

Onyx demolition 2016

Last views of "Onyx" 2016 by Chris Burns.

 

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