Shellys: Horsham bowling club by day, prestige club by night

You going Shells tonight?


Ambar or Chameleon? The only real answer to this question is of course Shellys. Whatever company takes over management of Horsham’s premier clubbing experience it’s always known by its trademark Shellys, Shells or Shelldinos for the daring.

“Are you going Shellys tonight?” is probably the most popular catchphrase on a Saturday night in the Lynd. It’s a brand in itself and no new name could ever replace the ever enduring, ever bizarre nickname. Maybe it was the name of a chain gone by but no-one under 25 knows how or why our nightclub – and town for that matter – has some weird affiliation to Percy Shelley.

Imagine queuing for a club next to a GP's surgery

Imagine queuing for a club next to a GP’s surgery

If anything sums it all up it’s the infamous pole. Chain after chain has taken over the joint and yet the holy pole has remained, ready to lure young clubbers to their social media death. Everyone’s been partial to a bit of pole action and what says true glamour like strutting up those stairs to your back-up career destiny. With jäger bombs four for a tenner you’re almost guaranteed to have no inhibitions and, after a serious dip in quality tunes around the summer of ’15, you can now rely on the DJ to play Beyonce’s Drunk in Love so you can really let your inner stripper fly.

A classic Shells action shot

Some take the stripper motto too far though

Seriously though, why trek to Brighton or Guildford to club with a room full of strangers, when you can spend a fiver to get into a place where you’ll know every single person in the room? The kid down your road will be there, and so will the guy you’ve fancied since secondary school. Nothing tops that first Saturday night back after winter term. The whole night is spent squealing people’s names and giving hugs like the SU gives out condoms on Fresher’s Week.

That’s the beauty of being from a small town, it’s both a blessing and a curse. Although everyone may witness your flavour of that night, you’re also never going to be dancing alone or be left short on gossip latter on eating kebabs at The Best. Everyone knows everyone and it’s amazing.

Then there’s the icon that is the ‘sucky sucky, licky licky’ lady who sits conveniently to the right of the girls’ toilets sink. She’s a saviour to the drunk female community and is just another part of the nightclub’s allure. No-one really knows what her actual job is but every Saturday night there she is with the standard deodorant and tissues and, of course, the holy grail of drunken needs – food. Those lollipops have sustained many a night out, God bless.

Let’s not forget the other Shellys’ MVP, the photographer. What Horshamite hasn’t had a photoshoot with the snap happy photographer? He is more than willing to participate in multiple photo requests and more than one drunk student has taken it too far.

Not naming any names

Not naming any names

Shellys is more than this, though. It’s a rite of passage to enter the hallowed room (no-one counts the second dance room, it’s a glorified bar with a carpet) after your 18th. Even if you say you hate it, you still end up going ‘ironically.’ Who are you actually kidding? Everyone knows it’s the place to be and the majority give into the inevitable at some point. I’ve had good nights out sober, good nights out drunk, good nights out when it’s been empty and good nights when it’s been full.

Even Santa put in a cameo appearance

Even Santa put in a cameo appearance

The highlight for everyone will always be when someone started a mosh pit to Mariah Carey’s All I want for Christmas. Shelldinos forever.