HUGE queues snaked along a York street early today as a legendary nightspot held its final disco.

Hundreds of people - mostly in their teens or early 20s - turned up for the last night of The Willow in Coney Street.


The mood was boisterous, but with many also deeply saddened that the former Chinese restaurant and dance floor was closing down after almost 43 years.

Proprietor Sue Fong said today: "It was a fantastic atmosphere. It was like New Year's Eve.

"We didn't close until 6am, as people didn't want to leave and the DJ didn't want to stop.

"Some people said they were going straight on to work afterwards. People were queuing outside for three hours in the middle of the night, waiting for people to leave so they could get in.

"People were really happy but also really sad."

She added that customers were invited to take a chair with them as they left as a memento of The Willow, and some left with two.

She said the video featured here was filmed by her daughter Rebecca and she was now working really hard to clear everything out of the premises in the next three days.

Discos have been staged at The Willow in Coney Street since just after it opened in 1973,

Sue and her husband Tommy have claimed that they battled in vain to stay in business, trying for three years to acquire a new lease. They have claimed their landlord was adamant the premises could only be run as a restaurant, and would not allow it to operate as a disco.