Having worked in this place for 2 years (98-00) I cannot recommend this place too highly. Something for everyone, from cheap drinks to top entertainment, I miss it loads, especially now I can't go back for all-day sessions! Put quite simply, the place must be coining it in. Hardly ever quiet (and, whisper it, great never-ending lock-ins for the staff that have been known to drag through days) I would place a bet that it's one of the main things that both ex-students and current students would remember (or not as the case may be, depending on how good the night). My only complaint is the 'new' Sanctuary. Ok, so the old area was only ever used 3 months out of 12, most students not being in town during the summer when it was best, but it added some much-needed al fresco to the place. I worry that the union is turning into something akin to a rather large bistro (with the exception of the always pubbish Scholars of course). I mean, I remember the days of The Wine Bar with its sticky carpet and unusual stains - most of which I'm sure were put in there as a conversation piece for the science fraternity, who would have no doubt discovered some new species had they analysed it. Anyway, I digress. The 'outdoor' area was great, from the poster sale they always had for freshers, right through to that tremendous tree which must have seen some sights! In fact, me and my friends were planning a "Swampy"-style protest, but unfortunately got a bit too drunk and sort of forgot in a Fosters haze. Never mind. It's nice enough now, but not what you might expect in a Union. It just doesn't quite fit. Still, for me the Union was always as good as the people in there, a rule I suppose you could lend to anywhere, but particularly the Union for me. The staff were always a riot to get on with (heavy Irish contingent being a good thing in my book largely) and the bosses (Niall the token alcoholic - the likes
of whom I am unlikely to meet an equal of on a session EVER again, Rob - the man who constantly mumbled but sang Irish songs on helium on Paddys Day, and Sharon - the, erm, other token Geordie alcoholic). To sum up the ethos of the place, I'll just quote one story. St Paddys Day behind the bar was terrible for the English, as for years, there had been an unwritten law that the Irish bar staff (accounting for 60-70% of the staff) didn't have to work it. Despite a small struggle, this was once again enforced. The best bit about the story is that the English staff had their revenge by all refusing to work St George's Day, negotiated a £1 a pint offer on Carling, and subsequently stayed in the Union all day, painting faces with the St George's cross, and generally, ripping the Irish to shreds. Superb. There are many more stories and tales, but my recommendation to anyone thinking of going to JMU is to go and visit the Union if you are having any doubts. Arguably one of the best places in Liverpool to go and drink yourself silly on a tenner. Incidentally, for you people reading this for actual information purposes and not entertainment, there are also excellent facilities for disabled people, including a lift, there is a fine travel shop, and general newsagents (run by a slightly surly Asian gentleman). I stand to be corrected on these however, as it is 18 months since my last visit (unfortunately). And the title of this shouldn't need explaining, as it was always on the jukey every 20 minutes. Too sum up, I think I'll steal from the Beatles (sorry) "All these places have their moments, of lovers and friends, I still can recall... in my life, I loved them all" Heady days, which I miss loads.
Just like Royston Vasey, you'll never leave! I left JMU in 2001 but go back to the Haigh all the time! I love this place - its possibly the most complete student union for a night out - it's nowhere near as vast as most, and is tiny considering the size of the university it serves, but thats the genius of the place! Situated in the studenty district of Liverpool City Centre its easily accessible from near enough all student housing - but then thats the beauty of Liverpool - its a big city on a small area... The Haigh is split into 3 - Scholars (Pub), Cooler (a kind of mini-club), and The Sanctuary (Chillout bar) all of which live up to expectations. Scholars is great if sometimes a bit overcrowded or big sporting events, even in the day. based in the Business School, next door to the union building, I found that there was always someone in there I knew who I could share a swift half with between lectures! Its got 2 big screens (sometimes can be obscured by pillars depending on where you stand) 4 pool tables, MP3 Dukebox, and sometimes has live bands. AND!most importantly very cheap ale, even by the North's cheap standards! Cooler is a canteen by day and a club by night - every night is different, randing from 80's to Trance & House. Cream and Radio 1's Youssef has been known to play there once or twice - fantastic in a small environment like that! Once again, the drinks are cheap! The Santuary popped up the I left.... once a beer garden (if a concrete yard, 3 benches and a tree constitutes such things) they slapped a roof on, and made a nice little chill out area. Its not bad, but the music is barely audible at night... infact im not even sure if they play music in there at night?! I'm a scruffy swine at heart, and so the "we'll let you in even if it looks like you havent been home for a week" door policy is also a bonus! So there you are. Many a drunken n
ight. Always good fun! Go! ..... and when you do, why not try this little beauty, invented by a man called BAZZA, the drink, quite rightly goes by the same name.... 1 Pint Glass Half Lager (anything will do, carling cheapest) Shot Vodka Shot Archers Shot Blue Curacao Bottle Orange Reef Do not be alarmed, its meant to be that un-nerving shade of green. If youre unsure, it tastes like alcoholic Um Bongo. It costs around £6 for the pint but, you wont need much else to be off your face all night. Quality nights can be had by all for a tenner! You only need one or two at a push.Wandy had 4 once and didnt move out of his living room for a week! Happy Drinking!
The Haigh has to be the place to be if you want the friendliest, funnist atmosphere in Liverpool. People dress in everything going and are from all different backgrounds. Jeans and t-shirts next to designer dresses, you must be onto a good thing. The nightlife at the union consists of the Cooler and Scholars. Scholars being the pub, juke box, pool tables, live bands and all, very cosy... It's a little mad on nights when they show football and rugby but everyone there has a really good time. They put up big screens so everyone can join in. The Cooler is the night spot your looking for... Monday through to Saturday, the place is buzzing. Tuesday is indie, Wednesday chart, Thursday has regular special events, Friday dance and Saturday is the LoveShack, classic cheese from the 70's, 80's and 90's... Saturday night is so good, my flatmate had her 21st there. It's always full of people out for a relaxed friendly and fun night out. The dj's are fab and always play your tunes. Get there before 1030pm on the weekend though cos the place is heaving and you don't want to queue in the cold. To add to the place, they've gone and built a sanctuary between the two sections where you can chill out to the max... They have made it non-smoking during the day so it's a nice place for all you non-indulgers to listen to a little chilled out beats like Enya or rnb. Tis free to get in in the spirit of NUS, shots are £1, mixer 25p, pints £1.60 - £1.80 Cola 50p half £1 pint. Very cheap, i miss it when i have to pay lots in town and usually come running back...