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Famous Gants Hill nightclub, Faces, celebrates twenty years

PUBLISHED: 18:02 21 May 2013 | UPDATED: 18:02 21 May 2013

Faces Nightclub is celebrating its 20th Birthday. L to R  Joint director, Tony Bee, Club secretary, Shelia Coates, Senior Partner, Tony Hurrell and Joint directorJohn Clarke.

Faces Nightclub is celebrating its 20th Birthday. L to R Joint director, Tony Bee, Club secretary, Shelia Coates, Senior Partner, Tony Hurrell and Joint directorJohn Clarke.

Archant

A Gants Hill nightclub, synonymous with footballers and reality TV stars, has marked its twentieth anniversary by opening a new bar and asking customers to share their memories.

Faces in Cranbrook Road, was first opened in 1993 by owners Tony Bee and John Clark, and has since become one of the most popular clubs in the area.

The hard-working pair first met more than 30 years ago when they were just starting out in the industry and working at the Epping Forest County Club.

It was from there that they decided they had earned their “spurs” and were ready to set up on their own.

Originally from East Ham, Mr Clark, who now lives in Hornchurch, said: “I had created the success for other people and I thought, why can’t I do this for myself and reap the benefits?”

The club, which hosted a special anniversary party on Saturday, is proud to be one of the few clubs to have maintained the same management team for such a long time.

As well as opening their new Masquerade Bar, the club also asked people to post photos and memories they had of the nightspot on Facebook to try and create an online archive which dated back to when the place first opened.

Both Mr Bee and Mr Clark believe the fact they “don’t court the press” and that the club is a “safe environment”, unlike some of the high-profile clubs in London, is the reason why so many famous faces regularly pass through the door.

The duo now have several venues including the nearby eighties-themed bar, Visage, but it is the success of Faces that gets them recognised all over the world.

Mr Bee added: “John and I were having dinner in Majorca when a couple asked if we were the owners of Faces. They said they’d met each other there and were now on their honeymoon.”

The club has also helped Gants Hill achieve a Purple Flag award for a diverse night-time economy.

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