79 Fitzwilliam Street, Sheffield S1 4JP
Washington PubHang out of many members of Pulp, past and present. Part-owned by Nick Banks in the 90s.

One of Sheffield's best-known and popular pubs stands in splendid isolation just outside the city centre and the weekend mayhem. Possibly because of its apartness, it became a regular haunt for members of Sheffield's post-punk music fraternity during the late 70s and 1980s, who wanted to keep away from the 'townie' crowds. In those days it didn't even have a jukebox but the customers used this background silence as the impetus for and oppotunity to plot their own musical adventures. The landlord and lady, Bill and Barbara, became known for their bonhomie and buying of presents for the regulars every Christmas. They also had a large collection of teapots spread around shelves in the pub.

By the time Bill and Barbara retired in the mid-1990s some of the Washington's regulars had become pop stars and it was one of them who purchased the pub. Nick Banks, the drummer with Pulp, at the time one of Britain's biggest bands, teamed up with well-known man-about-town Mick Deeley to take over. Jarvis Cocker's quip about Nick having a pair of drumsticks on display above the bar proved to be untrue but the teapots were replaced with radios. 

Nowadays, it is the turn of Pete and Helen to give a warm welcome to punters through the door. Part of the pub (The Shallow End) has its own dancefloor and hosts regular DJs nights such as the Record Hop - as well as a weekly programme of bands and solo acts booked by Robert E. Lee.

The live music nights have included Off With Their Heads - a distinctly different thing to do on the Royal Bank Holiday weekend - and American Independence Day of live music plus quiz.

It is also the place where Bill Drummond (of KLF/burning a million quid fame) installed his score Sheffield Sparrows as a result of the 2011 Sensoria festival, and although the teapots and radios are no longer there, the walls are decorated with photos of some of the city's musical icons, most of whom have enjoyed a pint or several within those very walls.

Dedicated to Barbara - an Uncommon Person.

John Quinn