The 90s was a glorious time with amazing fashion. Ok, maybe not the fashion part but we had some good times! Can you relate to any of these?


1. You still refer to Highcross as The Shires.

At a push you might call the new restaurant area Highcross, but everything from Rackhams forward is still and will always be The Shires. Whilst we’re at it, Millie’s Cookies will always be The Cookie Jar too.

The Shires
The Shires

2. “Meet you at the Clock Tower, yeh?

Pre mobile phones (Christ… remember that?!) you had to actually arrange a specific time and place to meet your mates on a Saturday afternoon or before a night out. None of this “Sorry I’m running 10 minutes late!” “Don’t worry, I’m just in Primark, 2nd floor.” The Clock Tower was the go to meeting point. Always. Except if you were shopping you might meet outside the old Top Shop on Gallowtree Gate for a change.

"Clock Tower at 2.30 on Sat-deh?"
“Clock Tower at 2.30 on Sat-deh?”


3. You’ve seen Leicester City play at Wembley.

As much as this has been a great year for Leicester City, let’s face it, the 90s was our time! There were Wembley trips in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997 and 1999 and the excitement was as crazy every time. Flags out of car windows, the new Fox Leisure merchandise, stopping at Toddington services on the way down and the inevitable flag draped over the bridge on the M1 reading “The last one out of Leicester turn the lights off!”

The glory days! Leicester fans on Wembley Way.
The glory days! Leicester fans on Wembley Way.


4. You remember the wave machine at Beaumont Leys swimming baths.

A leisure centre with 2 water flumes and a wave machine! This was the greatest thing ever as a child! The green and blue flumes (the green one was faster, the blue one for those more easily scared) provided so much entertainment before diving for the pool as the wave machine started! When it came to time for your coloured band to leave the pool there was always going to be tears. You might have even had a birthday party here too.

The water flumes from afar.
The water flumes from afar.


5. On the subject of birthday parties…

You inevitably had one or went to several at Superbowl in town (back of The Shires) or Laser Quest or roller skating at Granby Halls too! There were probably a few at McDonalds as well (remember the Hamburger Burgler?)

The best birthday parties.
The best birthday parties.


6. You had great day trips.

A walk by the beach, ice creams and donkey rides meant one thing… Skeggy! Skeggy was the go to seaside place for a day trip, so much so that they even sold the Leicester Mercury in the shops! Leicester Fortnight was rammed down there!

Aside from Skeggy you’d spend time at Bradgate Park with your fishing rod in the stream and over at Twycross Zoo. Remember Joe, the old gorilla who’d been there for years? He died aged 45 after being there since he was 18 months old! The orangutans too, they were always a favourite!

And what about a trip the The American Adventure? Cowboy action at the theme park was a massive holiday highlight with The Missile, the huge log flume and the rapids. The site has now been closed down and The Missile is now at Pleasurewood Hills in Suffolk and known as Wipeout if you ever fancy another ride!

What remains of The American Adventure.
What remains of The American Adventure.


7. You miss the old restaurants you used to go to.

In the days before Nando’s and Zizzi cropped up we had meals out at Joe Rigatoni’s in St Martin’s Square (the seafood lasagna was to die for), Fatty Arbuckle’s (they had the food challenge pinned down way before Man v Food came on the scene) or for a casual daytime bite maybe even the Swiss Cottage (2 sausage, chips and gravy, please!) You also probably spent a fair bit of time in Brucciani’s when you went into town with your parents too. If you want a trip down memory lane, go back in there and order yourself a chicken and stuffing roll and a lemon iced cream bun.

Fatty Arbuckle's
Fatty Arbuckle’s


8. It was easy to go out underage.

None of this Challenge 25 nonsense. Some people had a fake ID, you know the handwritten sort that you slotted a passport photo into, but generally the bouncers would just ask for your date of birth, or the really good ones might to try trick you by asking for your star sign. Armed with a can of Diamond White or a bottle of Hooch or Breezer, the night was yours at the likes of Krystals, Undecided, Brannigans, Rhythm Room, Flaming Colossus, Traz, Fanclub, Life, Mosquito Coast or Zanzibar. Life even used to sell Hot Dogs at the corner of the bar, but no night out was quite complete without a TJ’s burger on the way home!

Krystals Nightclub
Krystals Nightclub


9. You miss listening to Leicester Sound.

No offence to Capital FM but it’s not the same, we want Leicester Sound back. You probably remember some of radio advertising jingles too… There’s a reason why you know about companies like Coldseal Windows (remember their advert to the tune of Baa Baa Black Sheep?) Yep, that’s the one!

105.4FM Leicester Sound
105.4FM Leicester Sound


10. You’ve been to a film premiere.

Yes, in 1995 when Meridian Leisure Park opened up with the new Warner Bros Cinema they, for some reason, decided that the premiere of the latest Batman film, Batman Forever, should be hosted there! As thousands of people queued out for a glimpse of the stars, Leicester saw the likes of Val Kilmer, Chris O’Donnell, Oasis, the Manchester United squad (with Ryan Giggs and Eric Cantona in tow) and even Craig McLachlan (remember him?) showed up in his leathers! Move over Leicester Square!

The site of the 1995 film premiere.
The site of the 1995 film premiere.


Do you have any other memories that you want to share? Leave us a comment below or let us know on Twitter @coolasleicester or on Facebook at


22 Replies to “10 signs you grew up in Leicester in the 90s”

  1. You forgot to mention the pubs such as the bank on Hotel Street. Or my favourites, Spencer’s and Jug n Jive on Silver Street.

    1. A lot of those clubs were the late 90’s names. Jug & Jive became the Rhythm Room. Life was Zoots at the beginning of the 90’s and then became The Palais De Danse. Flaming Collossus spent most of the 90’s as Luxor if memory serves. Honorable mentions to The Charlotte / Magazine alco-combo, Also, Hassans on Belgrave Road, guaranteed to still be shifting booze with your Kebab at 4am after spending the evening at Streetlife or Starlight.

  2. Just like the bank I boogied all night well till 2am in zoots in the upstairs bar great memories xxx

  3. 1) Yes I still call it The Shires. I will never call it The Highcross.

    2) Yes, I used to meet at the clock tower and you couldn’t be late as nobody had a mobile phone.

    3) I didn’t even know Beaumont Leys had gotten rid of the wave machine!

    4) I used to go and play pool at Superbowl on my lunch break when I was at college.

    5) American Adventure was great. I guess the closest now is Alton Towers if you can afford the extortionate prices!

    6) I used to get an ice cream soda from Brucciani’s when in town with my mum.

    7) I’m ashamed to admit I remember the hotdog stand in Krystals, although I think it might have been renamed to Kudos by then.

    A few other things:

    1) I remember when the Hamilton estate was just fields, and the ring road by the side of the Tesco there was built but closed for years on end (we used to play on our bikes there).

    2) Monks Rest park was much bigger and adjoined to the hospital next door, before the ring road was built through the park.

    3) The Police used to drive round in Fiestas, not Astra’s and BMW’s.

    4) The bar “Undecided” used to be packed both upstairs and downstairs, as did most other venues.

    5) The registrar for births, deaths and marriages used to be on Rupert Street rather than in the Town Hall.

    6) Children’s World used to have a sign up at the door saying, “No children allowed without an adult.” They also had this cool slide inside the entrance.

    7) First Bus was called Leicester City Bus and Arriva was Midland Fox with the fox cub buses.

  4. Another favourite meeting place was under Kemps clock at the corner of Gallowtree gate and Market Place approach. We moved to Southampton street Leicester in 1958 from Tyneside and I went to St. Georges junior school in Colton Street at the rear of Charles street Police station.

  5. Good shout Karl. You forgot to mention 5 a side. That turned in to 20 a side on braunie park or Hockley farm pitch. Have you seen the teams that play at Hockley farm now? Invasion FC.

  6. Don’t forget granby halls I lived there every day it was open,spent full week wages on my 1st every pair of skate boots.


  8. the student union at the Uni – Camille House set
    die electric – die hard Rutland Street
    Galliano at Leicester De Montfort 16th May 94
    The Leicester Underground Club Wellington Street 94

  9. It was Zoots with DJ Paul Barron!! Also I worked at the ultimate clothing shop, ‘Bankrupt jeans’! Also Best, Petroleum, Allsports,Capolito Roma,Ath-Leisure…ahhhh the 90’s

  10. Meridian Bar and Grill and the Airmens were always good fun. Unless you were unlucky enough to get your head stamped on, on the way home.

  11. anyone remember the silver arcade with the awesome café on the top floor , the corner tea house , also the haymarket theatre too also the two cinemas the odean queen street and the abc/cannon belgrave gate, also the bow string bridge braunstone gate , now they are all gone Leicester is a shadow if its former self now miss all those great places hold such great memories.i mean even dominoes the toy shop has gone and mays the hi fi shop too, used to spend hours in that shop

  12. Caspers, Jokers, Harvey’s nightclubs….(or were they late 80’s !). The Attik with Maurice Coleman…..happy days (nights!)

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