The Carleton, in memoriam

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We’ll always remember the first time our block went to the Carleton. We absolutely hated it. The not so fond memories of sitting outside waiting for the first bus home whilst chanting ‘I’d rather shag my Dad than go to The Carleton’ was definitely a low point of my Fresher’s Week. But, later in our first term of uni something happened, Wednesday was not complete without a visit to The ‘Legendary’ Carleton.

For many of us students, past and present, the Carleton was an unforgettable part of our Lancaster experience as each summer we waited with anticipation to see if we had Thursday mornings off to deal with that dreaded Carleton hangover. The Carleton had the ability to make Wednesday night the most memorable of the week, although perhaps not for its quality drinks, weird smell or BEDA award winning DJ.

Wednesday nights won’t be complete without the Carleton – the questionably moderate pre-drinking, half an hour bus drive (where everyone needs a wee and someone has to throw up on the bus ten minutes before arrival), arriving to a row of lads peeing into the Bay to then see the gargantuan queue (there used to be one, honest) coming from the welcoming purple neon lights to which was the gateway to not making your nine/ten/eleven o’clock lecture the following morning.

But all of that was worth it, as soon as you got your hands on a stiff-un’ (or a ‘stiffy’ as my flatmate insisted it was called) and a shot of Sambuca ‘flavour’ you were all set to hit the sticky floor and dance the night away with some of the classiest, well-behaved students Lancaster has to offer. Sounds great, doesn’t it! No one would take it too far, or drink in excess, walk the six miles back home or even begin to  comprehend taking a dump on the girls toilet floor – you know who you are!

We always heard rumours that the big C was shutting down next term or not reopening after summer, but these were always pushed aside. ‘They’d never shut down!’ people would proclaim, and for many of us the recent rumour was quickly shunned to be false. But sadly this time it’s for real. After Wednesday week 10 the lights will come on, the big purple doors will shut, and what is ‘probably maybe the best student night in the UK’ (DJ Pep, 2009) will never happen again and the only way we can get a fix of DJ Pep is late night re-runs of Come Dine With Me and May The Best House Win. For some of you, the Carleton closing won’t mean a thing, but for many of us the Carleton will be greatly missed.

So this Wednesday, in celebration and commiseration, let’s all go have a stiff-un, dance to the YMCA and miss our morning lectures to give The Carleton the send-off she deserves. See you on the dancefloor.

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