COMMENT: Smiling faces reflect good times of a golden age
One of the most popular features on our website yesterday was a picture gallery of revellers photographed over the years at popular Portsmouth nightclubs.
Countless people would have clicked through on the off-chance of seeing themselves or their friends enjoying a great night out, dressed up to the nines and enjoying life.
But times and habits have changed in the past 20 years, it seems. Along with the shops on our high streets, we have become used to seeing pubs and nightspots close down with alarming regularity.
But according to new statistics, Portsmouth has seen a steeper decline in the number of nightclubs and social clubs than the national average.
In 2001 there were 50 nightclubs in the city but by 2018 there were only 25.
In contrast the number of licensed restaurants rose dramatically — 85 to 150 — and across the country eateries that can serve alcohol increased by 52 per cent.
So with fewer bars to spend the time in it appears that restaurant culture has replaced pub culture as one of the city’s most popular pastimes.
There is no doubt that the city’s remaining nightclubs remain popular, and still offer a good night out, but the change in social habits is interesting to say the least.
Perhaps it’s a sign that people are drinking less. Maybe they are becoming more health conscious, or just willing to spend less on booze.
On the other hand, perhaps it’s a sign that people that people are drinking just as much, or maybe even more, in the privacy of their own homes.
Whatever the truth behind the statistics, if you need cheering up this weekend, take a look at that nightclub photo gallery at portsmouth.co.uk and relive some of the good times of the past from what now looks like a golden age of nightclubs.???????