Plains Rd, Nottingham NG3 5RH
This club is currently used by the group that runs Pirate Jive and undertakes very successful events at the Shed in Nottingham.
The Mapperly Plains Social Club is a smaller venue, and a traditional working men’s club with several bars, meeting rooms and a function room, which the dance uses.
The first time I tried to go there I couldn’t find the venue, and if you are seeking it out for the first time these thoughts might help.
The venue doesn’t appear to have a road number and Plains Road is very long and Google Maps not particularly helpful in this regard. The key point is that it is right next to the Nuffield Sports Centre and close to where Plains Road intersects with Arnold Lane. (That is apparently the road that gave rise to the Pink Floyd song “Arnold Layne” if you like your old music).
The room is a classic function room – a high stage with dance floor that has seating on three sides. There is a bar that is on one side, but this has two disadvantages – the bar staff sometimes went for a wander, and they charge for water.
Otherwise it is perfectly fine venue which has air con devised for a seated audience (rather than a dancing audience) but with fans going it stays cool.
- Air conditioning: 4 out of 5 – reasonable air con and they had two fans going which was fine.
- Atmosphere: 2 out of 5. It looks and feels like a function room rather than a dance club. But to be fair if you are having a great dance it doesn’t matter, but I suspect if one went alone for the first time it would be a bit off putting.
- Do ladies ask men: 0 out of 5. I can’t recall the last time I went to a dance and didn’t get asked for a single dance. Of course I danced all night because I went looking, but it was a bit sad. My dance friend, however, was asked all evening – I hardly saw her except at the very start and the very end!
- Facilities: 4 out of 5 – it’s a basic club hall, there is plenty of car parking space and they have a bar right by the dance area. All those are positives, but it doesn’t seem to have a pazzazz yet. That is not due to size because Keyworth (to give one example) is smaller and has a plain village hall, and yet the people there really make it buzz.
- Free water: No – they charge and there is a sliding scale depending on whether you want a pint or a half!!!!
- Friendliness: 2 out of 5. There may not be actual cliques, but people did seem to be in little groups, and there was a general level of retiring to one’s seats after a dance rather than go looking for the next dance.
- Location: 3 out of 5. It is to the north of Nottingham, and if coming from the south of the city the options are either to go around the city via the M1 or A1 and then head across or battle through the city centre (which can be a bit confusing even with a satellite system. Also as noted above Plains Road is long and the venue doesn’t seem to have a street number which means you need to find it by reference to other streets.
- Music: 3 out of 5. On the night I was there the music didn’t have the vitality and variance of a Pirate Jive evening at the Shed. Maybe the organisers just felt they had to play safe with a less vibrant audience.
- Parking: 5 out of 5. There is a large open air car park outside which I can’t imagine ever getting full up on a dance night.
- Space: 5 out of 5 – what is needed is more people there not more space.
- Venue overall: 3 out of 5. Charging for water is a pain, and the refusal of ladies to ask men is also a problem, plus the lack of atmosphere. But if you go with some friends who are going to share the dances with you, that will help you, although not help make the club that much better.