Peter Stringfellow - an unlikely originator of Sheffield's Rebels nightclub?

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Peter Stringfellow - an unlikely originator of Sheffield's Rebels nightclub?

Rebels in its heyday
Pic by Bill Stephenson

Tens of thousands climbed the stairs to a rock nightclub set high above Dixon Lane until it shuts its doors for the last time in the mid-1990s – to the dismay of many.

Now memories of Sheffield’s Rebels venue is set to live on thanks to a brand new book.

‘Dirty Stop Out’s Guide to Sheffield – Rebels Edition’ tells the story of the club that grew from unlikely beginnings to become one of the most popular rock nightclubs in the country.

The venue was originally opened as the Penthouse by Peter and Geoff Stringfellow in 1969. It was the last venue operated by the brothers before they left Sheffield and went on to conquer the world.

Peter Stringfellow unveiled his King Mojo five years before opening the Penthouse - later to become Rebels

The Stringfellow brothers became disillusioned by the city’s nightscene and washed their hands of the venue within months of opening it.

But their absence paved the way for the Penthouse to become synonymous with the ‘70s rock scene and it staged one of the earliest gigs by Def Leppard.

It took the arrival of Steve Baxendale in the early 1980s to turn the venue into the heavy metal legend it became. He re-named it Rebels and it was soon packing them in six nights a week.

By the late 1980s rock music was dominating the charts and the venue had become one of the most popular and revered nightclubs in South Yorkshire.

Tears were shed when it shut in the mid-1990s and many have never got over the loss.

Neil Anderson, author of the book and former Rebels-goer himself, said: “Few nightclubs built a die-hard community like Rebels. It was massively popular and punters would travel from right around the region to attend. You only have to look at Facebook to see the hundreds of people that still talk about it.” 

‘Dirty Stop Out’s Guide to Sheffield – Rebels Edition’ is packed with rare photos and memories.

250 collector’s edition copies are now on sale for just £19.95 (plus P&P)