When you’re young your Parents would tell you that
“you don’t know what you have until it’s gone”
and I truly believe that the best example of this is Nightlife.
“Nightlife” or “Shitelife” – however you affectionately denoted the building was the heart and soul of the pub scene in Ramsey.
Getting that stamp and passing through those doors was like entering another world. It brought the best out of the worst people you knew and the worst out of the best.
Nightlife saw no class, no gender, and no race. Nightlife was for everyone. Where did you fit in? Was it Druggy corner –behind the DJ booth; make-out alcove – for those that got lucky (everyone); the snoozebox (toilets); or under-age nook – trying to avoid the all-seeing eye of ‘Bod’ the bouncer.
Who can forget the legend of the lad that took umbrage on being refused entry? He sought revenge by emptying his bladder through the letterbox all over the feet of the bemused bouncers the other side of the door.
Or the unmissable night of the year that saw a gaggle of young (and not so young) hopefuls go chest to chest to be crowned “Nightlife TT Miss wet t-shirt champion”. One lucky local ‘jack the lad’ would be chosen as ‘sprayer’ for the evening and the hopefuls would parade their wares in front of the baying crowd.
“Staying until the lights came on” was followed by the natural transition to the Coffee Pot for Ramsey’s finest after hours cuisine, Chips Cheese and Gravy. Followed by a Kit Kit, revolutionary really (top marks to the owners, not many after hours eateries think of the desserts).
Then there was that awkward phase where they wanted everyone to wear shoes to get in, we soon settled with socks over trainers.
It was a place where dreams could come true and nobody needed to take themselves seriously. Anything could happen in there and some of the things I saw I couldn’t possibly repeat. Sticky floors, walls, seats and pretty much everything was in the vicinity of the building but it didn’t matter, it was Nightlife.
The closure of Nightlife had a domino effect on the rest of the town. The Royal George, the historic last stop before heading across the square to Nightlife, once a buzzing place with a plenty of folk was now a ghost pub with no bugger in there. This knock-on effect has continued through the street and hit all the pubs and Ramsey Town, once a great pub crawl is no more. Teens opt for that Douglas night out, which costs the same until you need to fork out a small loan to get a taxi home. It’s not the same, it’s not Nightlife.
So who is to blame? Sadly, we are. That’s right, we took Nightlife for granted. We didn’t deserve it the way we treated it. Some people would wake up in the morning and see that stamp on their wrist and feel instant regret. Now those same people would do anything to have that stamp back as a reminder of the “good ol days.”
If you asked the people of Ramsey what the Town needed most, you may get some people saying, another Costa or a Marina, but the vast majority of people would say the Town needs Nightlife. I’m sure most people would give anything to be in Nightlife at 3am when the lights go on just to take it all in one more time.
On behalf of everyone, I’m sorry Nightlife. You deserved so much more than us. We failed you and we have failed the up and coming youth who will grow up not ever setting foot in the big house. This injustice needs to stop and we need to do something because there is only so much Schooner Bopping a guy can do.
I dream and hope for a time where Nightlife exists again.