The prefab in the header’s what they gave us to replace this beautiful building that I pretty much lived in for about four years. It was not unusual for me to watch films two or three times a day, remaining sat in the auditorium for hours on end. However, this site has a far more esoteric claim to fame, local urban myth that eventually gained legendary status: it was the birthplace of Demon Internet.

Demon Internet is a British Internet service provider, currently operating as a brand of Vodafone. It was one of the UK’s earliest ISPs, offering dial-up Internet access services from 1 June 1992.

From Wikipedia

To be clear: Cliff Stanford, the company’s founder, is a local lad very much made good. We signed up for the service in October of 1992, and remained loyal customers until 2016, so there’s always been a vested interest. The story around the company’s origins however was debunked in a 1998 interview, yet it still doggedly persists.


The Independent, Saturday 2 May 1998

The side exit. I hung about a lot around here too.

I miss that cinema, and not because of the memories that went with it. Watching movies in multiplexes is boring. Give me massive screens and proper chairs and none of this concession stand rubbish you’re handed today. There’s probably several reason why Joni Mitchell came to mind when this one was written…


(sung to the tune of ‘Big Yellow Taxi’)

They paved my high street
and shifted the Odeon
from that spot near the nightclub
to its own custom built multiplex.
Watching our years rolling on
it’s always childhood history gone;
miles of paving stones
development’s what you’ve got (got got got got)

Internet start-up
shoved in that basement space
modems racked up forever
baud rate for fledgling nerds to chase.
Watching old world digitise
new truths ‘come simpler to disguise
Demon’s in the ether
be grateful for what you’ve got (got got got got)

Then one day, unity took a hit
and virtually overnight,
everything went horribly wrong…
Leave, Remainers, moaners all
politicians dropping their balls:
this was paradise
Chaos is what you’ve got (got got got got)
this was paradise
Chaos is what you’ve got (got got got got)
this was paradise
Chaos is what you’ve got…
(laughs so much she sheds bitter, painful tears)

Arse end.