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Looking back at Gillingham nightclub MooMoo as former Joanna's, The Zone, Ritzy, Preach and Bliss venue closes

MooMoo Clubrooms may have shut but the slightly hazy memories live on.

It emerged earlier this month the club will be closing and many people have taken to social media to share photos and their memories of the Gillingham club in its heyday.

Stefan Bennett and the popular cigarette machine in The Zone
Stefan Bennett and the popular cigarette machine in The Zone

The club has been known under many guises: Joanna's, The Zone, Ritzy, Preach, and Bliss before its latest incarnation as MooMoo.

It has been deemed the end of an era as it is the final 90s dance club in Medway to shut.

Stefan Bennett was a regular clubber and even came back as a bouncer when it became Bliss.

He said: “After I stopped going there when it was renamed Preach, I got married and had kids.

“In 2012, when it was renamed again as Bliss, I went back there to work as a bouncer.”

Stefan Bennett and friendGary Young in The Zone during a "Skool Reunion" themed night (24779420)
Stefan Bennett and friendGary Young in The Zone during a "Skool Reunion" themed night (24779420)
The popular green laser machine at The Zone. Pic Stefan Bennett
The popular green laser machine at The Zone. Pic Stefan Bennett

Stefan says his best memories were from The Zone days in the 90s.

There was a green laser machine and a cigarette machine and uproar when it was removed after the smoking ban came in 2007.

He said: “This guy Mark, started as a bottle collector at The Zone and stayed working there all the way through until MooMoo closed its doors the other week.

“I hope somehow it gets a makeover and it reopens as a club that knows what kind of place it wants to be and what kind of customers it wants to attract.

“It lost its way once Bliss started struggling and MooMoo never made the kind of changes that were needed.”

Stefan Bennett worked in Bliss as a bouncer
Stefan Bennett worked in Bliss as a bouncer

Stefan has also worked on the doors at other Medway party venues including Tap n Tin in Chatham, and Casino Rooms in Rochester.

KentOnline reporter Katie May Nelson, who studied at the University of Kent's Medway campus, only knew MooMoo in its latter days, when it was known as Bliss.

She said: "I started university a couple of days after my 19th birthday and during Fresher's week there were lots of events on at Bliss for newbies to the area.

"There were people handing out leaflets outside the accommodation off Pier Road when people moved in on the Saturday and Sunday.

"My newly-acquired friends and I went on the night they had a giant ball pit.

Katie May Nelson and her pals at Bliss
Katie May Nelson and her pals at Bliss

"This was the first ever time I had been to a nightclub.

"We had great fun throwing plastic balls at each other and dancing to the cheesy music.

"In the years that followed, I went there with colleagues who worked at the student union bar on campus.

"When it got refitted and rebranded as MooMoo, I preferred it and liked the different rooms, including the cheesy pop room complete with disco balls hanging from the ceiling.

"It will be missed."

Simon Brambleby's photos from the Catch22 / Zone days. Do you recognise yourself? Let us know on medway@thekmgroup.co.uk
Simon Brambleby's photos from the Catch22 / Zone days. Do you recognise yourself? Let us know on medway@thekmgroup.co.uk
Simon Brambleby's photos from the Catch22 / Zone days. Do you recognise yourself? Let us know via medway@thekmgroup.co.uk
Simon Brambleby's photos from the Catch22 / Zone days. Do you recognise yourself? Let us know via medway@thekmgroup.co.uk
Simon Brambleby's photos from the Catch22 / Zone days. Do you recognise yourself? Let us know on medway@thekmgroup.co.uk
Simon Brambleby's photos from the Catch22 / Zone days. Do you recognise yourself? Let us know on medway@thekmgroup.co.uk
Simon Brambleby's photos from the Catch22 / Zone days. Do you recognise yourself? Let us know on medway@thekmgroup.co.uk
Simon Brambleby's photos from the Catch22 / Zone days. Do you recognise yourself? Let us know on medway@thekmgroup.co.uk
Simon Brambleby's photos from the Catch22 / Zone days. Do you recognise yourself? Let us know on medway@thekmgroup.co.uk
Simon Brambleby's photos from the Catch22 / Zone days. Do you recognise yourself? Let us know on medway@thekmgroup.co.uk
Simon Brambleby's photos from the Catch22 / Zone days. Do you recognise yourself? Let us know on medway@thekmgroup.co.uk
Simon Brambleby's photos from the Catch22 / Zone days. Do you recognise yourself? Let us know on medway@thekmgroup.co.uk

Do you have any memories of photos of MooMoo, Preach or The Zone - or whatever you knew the club as? Email medway@thekmgroup.co.uk

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