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26-year-old gay club in Portsmouth to close down

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Reader comments

  1. Jock S. Trap 27 May 2011, 12:15pm

    Sad news!

  2. Very, I remember Martha’s prior to it becoming a gay bar when it was a frequent haunt of RN personnel so it’s doubly sad for me as ex-RN to see this pub close.

  3. we can all go to pitcher and piano now what fun!

  4. Portsmouth Pub Manager 27 May 2011, 4:11pm

    This pub has not been a gay venue for 26 years, it actually opened as a gay venue in 1995/1996.

    The place has been plagued by inadequate managers, who couldn’t manage the proverbial p#ss up in a brewery.

    Not to mention the amount of trouble that has occurred on site.

    Yes it’s a shame that another gay venue in this ever decreasing scene in Portsmouth closes but lets face facts it was due to close some years back as the are was ear marked for redevelopment.

    I for one am not at all sorry to see this establishment close, it is long overdue.

  5. Bennets in Glasgow also nearly closed after 30 years, though was saved by a straight owned company two weeks ago
    Bennets was an insitituion within the Glasgow LGBT community and the team behind it done well for all these years.
    It seems that NO lgb venue the safe anymore the lenght and breadth of the counrty and it is even more sad when its been places that have been opened for all these years…..sad to hear portsmouths news

  6. Spanner1960 27 May 2011, 5:58pm

    Gay bars are like cruising grounds. A thing of the past. They serve no purpose any longer since we have this new-fangled Interweb.

    1. Isn’t the fun still in cruising guys at a bar rather than going on Gaydarand trying to arrange hook ups on there? Give me a cruisey gay boozer any day- you get instant results!

      1. Spanner1960 28 May 2011, 1:05pm

        I wouldn’t know.
        I find this whole cruising thing seedy and distasteful.

        1. Pfft, whatever.

  7. I’ve been going there regurly on mondays for the last couple of years and had some fantastic nights in there and made some great friends too, such a shame to see it go :( RIP Marthas

  8. As a gay man that travels with work across the UK, I like to check out the scene in the places I visit. I find Portsmouth and particularly Marthas to be in a time warp. Lets hope someone with a bit of flare and style opens another venue that meets the expectations of the style conscious queer community. It is no longer good enough to have a hidden room upstairs or downstairs with the proverbial mirror ball spinning to camp classics. Successful Gay venues provide style and space where you can be yourself and by inspired by the style and comfort.

  9. Who cares? Portsmouth is a dump anyway

  10. Dan Filson 28 May 2011, 9:55am

    Arguably the whole pub concept is doomed as the running costs outweigh the relatively small profit margin in beer etc.

    The problems began when pubs started to have to recruit security staff who are a dead weight on the operation. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy – the pubs and clubs that resist having security staff mysteriously have fights etc that force them to engage them.

    Also, clubs that are lively on the weekend have to make their profits there as they can be totally dead in the rest of the week.

    Finally, is it due to a decline in the numbers of Royal Navy ships and sailors? Portsmouth once was awash with sailors. Oh for the days of bell bottoms and the rolling walk, when sailors used to wear uniform ashore.

    1. Speaking of security being a dead weight- I and some friends were heading to a gay club in a certain Scottish city, the doormen who were seemed pleasant and friendly initially must have assumed we were straight as one of them dropped a clanger and said “you don’t want to come in here lads, its full of poofs tonight” and then tried recommending a late bar elsewhere. Gay bars and clubs should spend a little more time screening their security and ideally not have a couple of homophobes at the door putting punters off.

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