Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the Cowley Club never open? The blinds are always down!

We are open a lot! We are a cafe’ during the day, but at night we put the blinds down so we can serve alcohol to members and guests of The 12 London Road Social Club (12LRSC). Don’t let the blinds put you off – ring the doorbell and we will be delighted to let you in!

Do you think anybody’s home?

Do you have to join 12LRSC to attend events at the Cowley?

Only those events where we serve alcohol, most of which take place in the evening. Joining 12LRSC is very simple – fill in this form and bring it into the Cowley to be processed. Membership costs £2.

Until your membership is processed, you are welcome to attend events as a guest of 12LRSC. You will need to sign in when you arrive though.

How do you ensure that you are a queer- and trans-inclusive space?

We have gender neutral toilets. The Cowley Club also has a safer spaces policy which we take very seriously.

We understand that homophobic or transphobic comments are just as hurtful if posted online as if they were spoken aloud inside of our building. Therefore, our safer spaces policy extends to our social media pages – if you see homophobic or transphobic comments on our Facebook or Twitter accounts, please let us know so we can investigate and delete them. Please contact the Mediation Collective at cowleymediation1@riseup.net for more information.

Finally, since the Cowley Club is a DIY Social Centre, what activism we undertake has changed over time. Queer activists have organised in the Club before and we hope they will do so again.

Can my band play at The Cowley Club? Can I book a gig at The Cowley Club?

Unfortunately, we don’t have the resources to book live music ourselves, and rely on outside promotors and supported groups to book benefit gigs, so if you are interested in booking a show at the club we want to hear from you. All gigs at the club are benefit gigs for either the club or a supported group, no one is aiming to make a profit. If you are local to Brighton and would like to organise a benefit gig, come along to one of the Ents Collective drop in sessions every Wednesday from 8pm. If your band would like to play the club we would recommend looking at our listings and getting in touch with one of the promoters or campaigns who book live music, or come down to the club and book a show!

How do I organise an event/meeting at the Cowley Club?

To put on an event at the Cowley, you should be a member of a supported group – a group that has come to a general meeting and explained how its aims complement those of the Cowley Club. Please email cowleyclub@riseup.net if you want to become a supported group.

To organise live music or any other entertainments, please get in touch with the Ents Collective

Do you have a newsletter I can sign up to?

We send out an email once a fortnight listing all the events taking place at the Cowley Club – you can sign up for it by clicking this link.

Do you allow dogs?

Just guide dogs. We do have a yard though – a sun trap with flowers and picnic benches. You can sit there with your dog if you wish.

Please keep your dog on a leash – our resident cat is very friendly but she does not like dogs!

Do you have an accessible toilet?

We have a disabled toilet in the library. Access is via Providence Place, so please speak to a volunteer who will be happy to unlock the door for you.

Are children allowed in the Cowley Club?

Children are of course welcome at the Club. If you are under the age of 18, you can attend events where alcohol is served but you must leave the premises by 9pm.

For obvious reasons, you have to be over 18 to join The 12 London Road Social Club (12LRSC).

Who was Harry Cowley?

Brightonian Harry Cowley was involved in grassroots social activism from the 1920s until his death in the 1970s. He helped organise the unemployed, moved homeless families into squatted buildings after both world wars, and was a key figure in confronting fascism in the 1930s.

Harry organised at the grassroots and outside of political parties. The Club is named after him to uphold this local tradition of street politics and class solidarity. You can read more about him in the Queenspark pamphlet stocked in the bookshop.