'The end of an icon' - A look back at the history of The Talk

Never before published, this atmospheric shot shows Cream in concert at the Industrial Club, Norwich

Cream play The Talk, then known as The Norwich Industrial Club in 1968. - Credit: Archant

It once hosted The Who, Cream and The Kinks, but after 65 years Norwich nightlife staple The Talk will close its doors for good.

The venue, which has been named The Talk for the last 15 years, will close at the end of March after Covid fears and restrictions saw crowds dwindle.

But back in the 1960s and 1970s the venue was one of the city's most popular.

Pause for reflection: Guitar legend Eric Clapton, pictured backstage at The Industrial Club before C

Eric Clapton, pictured backstage at The Industrial Club before Cream's gig at the Oak Street, Norwich, venue on January 5 1968. - Credit: Archant

The club was then known as the Melody Rooms, attracting some of the biggest beat and psychedelic bands in the world before being visited by glam rock royalty Slade and Sweet in the 1970s.

The Talk - Oak Street, Norwich
Old programmes
Photo: James Bass
Copy: Derek James
For: EN

Old programmes from the venue. - Credit: Archant © 2004

Its story began in 1954, when the then Lord Mayor of Norwich, Horace Allen opened it as The Norwich Industrial Club, with more than 800 people in attendance.

Over the next 65 years the club would go on to have many names, whilst hosting cabaret, comedy and discos.

The Talk - Oak Street, Norwich
Danny La Rue and Arthur Askey 1976
Photo: James Bass
Copy: Dere

Danny La Rue and Arthur Askey on their visit to the venue. - Credit: Archant © 2004

When the news of the venues closure was announced, readers reacted with sadness, with one Facebook commenter, Ann Gowen describing it as "the end of an icon".

Another Faye Starling said: "So sad that this club is closing, it's always a place I choose to go as it feels very safe, especially as it's not in the city."

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While Lorraine White added: "Sad news, fond memories, aged 17 I saw Sweet there and more recently Bo Nanafana nights which were fabulous."

Take a trip back through the history of this classic Norwich club, with these nostalgic pictures.

28th September The Talk Norwich Photo: Al Pulford.

Crowds on September 28, 2017. - Credit: Archant

Picture of drag artist James Webber aka Roxi Monoxide at The Talk, Oak Street, Norwich.
Copy: Jon W

Drag artist Roxi Monoxide at The Talk. - Credit: Archant © 2004

Cream drummer Ginger Baker, pictured backstage at The Industrial Club before their gig at the Oak St

Cream drummer Ginger Baker, pictured backstage at The Industrial Club before their gig at the Oak Street, Norwich, venue on January 5 1968. Picture: Archant library - Credit: Archant

Cream singer-guitarist Eric Clapton pictured before the supergroup's appearance at The Industrial Cl

Cream singer-guitarist Eric Clapton pictured before the supergroup's appearance at The Industrial Club, Oak Street, Norwich, on January 5 1968. Picture: Archant library - Credit: Archant

Norwich - Buildings
Mr. Geoffrey Fisher, spent £15,000 on making such a place of the Melody Roo

Then owner Geoffrey Fisher, spent £15,000 on the Melody Rooms at the Norwich Industrial Club. - Credit: Archant

Cream bassist Jack Bruce, pictured backstage at The Industrial Club before their gig at the Oak Stre

Cream bassist Jack Bruce, pictured backstage at The Industrial Club before their gig at the Oak Street, Norwich, venue on January 5 1968. Picture: Archant library - Credit: Archant

This picture of Norwich band Eyes of Blond was taken on the flat roof at the front of the Melody Roo

This picture of Norwich band Eyes of Blond was taken on the flat roof at the front of the Melody Rooms - now The Talk... Left to Right - Paul Watts, Phil Dimitri, Neil Applegate, Phil Wade. - Credit: Archant

Live music at the Melody Rooms, Norwich on 5 April 1971. Photo: Archant Library

Live music at the Melody Rooms, Norwich on 5 April 1971. Photo: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

The Melody Rooms. Date: Unknown. Picture: Archant Library

The Melody Rooms during the early 1970s. - Credit: Archant

Gene Pitney at Talk of the East, Norwich on 12 November 1974. Photo: Archant Library

Gene Pitney at Talk of the East, Norwich on November 12, 1974. - Credit: Archant Library

The Talk, Norwich on 10 February 1998. Photo: Archant Library

The Talk, Norwich on 10 February 1998. - Credit: Archant Library

28th September The Talk Norwich Photo: Al Pulford.

Crowds at The Talk in 2007. - Credit: Archant

The Talk, Oak Street, Norwich
Photo: Adrian Judd
Copy:
For: EN
EN pics © 2007
(01603) 772

The memorable The Talk sign in 2007. - Credit: Archant © 2004

Saturday 27 April The Talk Norwich Photo: KC

Crowds at The Talk in 2007. - Credit: Archant

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