Dancing Through Time: from Pop to Punk in the City of Derby

Dancing Through Time: from Pop to Punk in the City of Derby is an exciting new heritage project, made possible thanks to funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, which will explore the social clubs, dance clubs, dance movements and music scenes in Derby from the 1960s to the late 1970s. QUAD, Derby’s centre for art and film, and Déda, Derby’s Centre for Dance, Movement and Creativity will celebrate this unique social history of Derby places and people in this partnership project generously funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, thanks to National Lottery players.

Many people of Derby/shire and further afield will have memories of Derby’s infamous venues such as the Locarno, Clouds (then Cleopatra’s) and the Ajanta cinema which unfortunately are now long gone, repurposed into things such as restaurants, or in some cases demolished, lost to time.

By covering the early 1960s to the late 1970s we will chart the social-economic history of Derby against the backdrop of great societal change in the UK – from the summer of love and a more permissive 1960s, through the dour 1970s – including the 3-day week, political unrest and blackouts, to the rise of Thatcher and the pending miner’s strike of 1984.

The springboard for this project was Roger Smith’s book ‘We Danced In Derby’ – Roger is a local writer and heritage researcher, whose exciting book wonderfully chronicles more than 40 Derby dance hall, discos, clubs and pubs and other social venues during this period.

QUAD and Déda invite you to help us record the photographs, flyers, posters, ticket stubs and related memorabilia from the time, and save this heritage – a heritage that speaks of a great time of change in UK history – and to secure it for future generations.

Over the next year until March 2025 we will be engaging various community groups across Derby/shire in the heritage of this time – collecting memories and objects from people who were there and educating younger generations in the importance of securing these memories for future learning. There will also be the chance to get involved through sharing days, dance workshops, social dancing events and more.

Ways to get involved:

  • Scan and share your images, memorabilia and stories via the form below.
  • Follow our dedicated Instagram page @DancingThroughTimeDerby and submit images using the hashtag #IWasThereDerby
  • Keep an eye on the QUAD & FORMAT newsletters, social media and websites for updates on upcoming public events.

Dancing Through Time – Submission Form

Do you have a box of old Derby memories & memorabilia in your loft? A folder stuffed away with dog-eared gig tickets, posters and flash-in-the-dark photographs? If so, we’re asking you to dig out these artefacts and be part of building a dedicated open access social archive website. If you would like to submit your items, please follow the link below which contains instructions on how to do this. If you unable to do submit via the form, don’t worry! We will be organising lots of events over the next year where you can bring your items to us. Keep an eye on our website for more information.


All items submitted and collected via our public events will be used to help us build a publicly accessible archive website which will be launched in mid 2024. Full terms & conditions about submitting to the project can be found at this link.

If you have any questions about this project or ways to get involved, email oceanf@derbyquad.co.uk.


What's On

What's On

Dancing Through Time – Launch Event

A nostalgia-soaked social – celebrating the history of Derby’s music and club scene.

10 Feb

More Info
‘Jubilee City – Derby Punk in the 1970s’ – Open Call for Participants

QUAD and Déda are looking to connect with anyone who was involved in the Punk scene in Derby in the mid to late 1970s

01 Feb - 01 Mar

‘Jubilee City – Derby Punk in the 1970s’ – Open Call for Participants

QUAD and Déda are looking to connect with anyone who was involved in the Punk scene in Derby in the mid to late 1970s

01 Feb - 01 Mar

More Info

Free Event

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Join award winning artist Katherina Radeva at QUAD to explore the link between dancing and joy

04 Mar

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