MANY of us have fond memories of partying the night away at Raquel’s, but the former nightclub is now just a deserted building.

The popular Basildon club, in Market Pavement, opened in 1983 and drew crowds of revellers from all over the county.

Raquel’s hosted plenty of stars such as homegrown talent Depeche Mode, who performed to adoring fans in November 1981.

However, long before the coronavirus pandemic forced countless businesses to close, the hotspot welcomed partygoers for the final time in 1995.

Braintree and Witham Times:

When the dancefloor was packed - revellers taking part in a danceathon at Raquel’s in February 1982

Camera Club member Joe Simpson headed behind the scenes to capture some eye-catching shots of the once-bustling nightclub now looking deserted and abandoned.

It provides the perfect opportunity to look at this now derelict nightclub in its heyday.

Braintree and Witham Times:

Messy - plenty of beer cans and plastic bags have been left on the floor close to the old bar area at the nightclub which was hugely popular in the 1980s and 1990s

Scroll down to see more eye-catching snaps of how the former nightclub has changed through the years.

Braintree and Witham Times:

Piano man – Strings Piano Bar at Raquel’s being opened by Sir David Amess in December 1985

Braintree and Witham Times:

Out of bounds - looking across to the Eastgate Shopping Centre from the former emergency exit at Raquel’s

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Where the stars go – lookalikes of superstars George Michael, Cher, Madonna and Michael Jackson at Raquel’s in January 1992

Braintree and Witham Times:

On the way down - the beer pumps remain in the establishment but are not in working order

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Getting the chop – workers smile for the camera as they saw up the fittings at Raquel’s during a refurbishment in January 1989

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Worse for wear - what was once the Raquel’s dancefloor looks a lot different now compared to when hundreds of revellers headed to the nightclub in its heyday

Braintree and Witham Times:

Rolling back the years - Depeche Mode performing to crowds of fans at popular night hotspot Raquel’s, in Basildon, in November 1981

Braintree and Witham Times:

Abandoned - how the outside of Raquel’s, which was located on Market Pavement, looks now