The History Of The Lathom

Growing up in Liverpool between 1957-1963 was one of the most exciting times to be a teenager. Liverpool at that time was the place to be - particularly if you were a follower of skiffle and rock’n’roll!

In 1957 skiffle groups like Alan Caldwell and The Texans, The Quarrymen and The James Boys were all playing regularly at various local venues.

The transition from skiffle to rock’n’roll saw other groups that did not play skiffle but started the rock’n’roll excitement that was to generate throughout the city. Groups like The Dominoes, The Bobby Bell Rockers and Bob Evans and the Five Shillings. Then the skiffle groups began to change to rock’n’roll - The Texans became Rory Storm and The Hurricanes and The Quarrymen became The Beatles! This was the start of what was later to be called ‘Merseybeat’.

Local promoter Brian Kelly (known as BK promotions) started to put local groups on the Savoy Hall Waterloo as early as 1958. Brian had five venues - The Savoy Hall, The Alexandria Hall Crosby, The Lathom Hall Seaforth, Litherland Town Hall, and The Aintree Institute. Sometimes, some groups would play two or three of the venues on the same night!

Sadly all those venues are now gone except for the Lathom Hall where live rock’n’roll is still played by some of the original musicians every Thursday night!

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Brian Kelly

Lathom Hall

The Lathom Hall was built as a social club in 1884, and also served as a cinema for 12 years. It was also used as a NAAFI during World War II.

The present owner Brian Corrigan bought The Lathom in 1989. Since then, Brian has spent a lot of money and time in making The Lathom Hall into a shrine to all those groups that played there from 1959 to present day. He also is a renowned collector of film memorabilia - which is also a sight for any visitor to see.

The hall is full of memorabilia from the 1950 -60s and Brian is still collecting today. This is the only true venue that all the groups including the Beatles played, where you can still get that live Liverpool sound.

The Beatles first played the Lathom Hall way back in 1960 on the 14th May. Crosby promoter Brian Kelly booked them as The Silver Beats also on the bill were The Dominoes and The Deltones - ticket price 3 shillings and sixpence! Brian Kelly next booked the Beatles on the 27th December 1960 when Bob Wooler persuaded Brian to book the Beatles after their return from Hamburg. Reluctantly Brian gave them the booking. On the bill that night were The Deltones, The Delrenas and The Searchers. The Beatles brought the house down that night. From the moment Bob Wooler announced The Beatles as direct from Hamburg, Germany, the curtains opened and Paul went into long Tall Sally, the revellers made straight for the stage and stayed there till the end of their set. The girls screaming their heads off! This was the start of what the world would later call Beatlemania!

So successful was the night, the Beatles received a lot of bookings from Brian Kelly and also Dave Forshaw. Over the next months Brian Kelly had the Beatles appearing on The Lathom Hall no fewer than 14 times the last appearance being on the 25th February 1961 - George Harrisons 18
th Birthday. This was all this before The Cavern - they returned to Hamburg a few weeks after this gig. It was during one of these appearances that Stuart got into an altercation with some of the local lads and Peter and John went to help and John broke his little finger.

The Lathom Hall still Rocks on as the musicians from the ’60’s come together each and every Thursday. Everyone is welcome to listen to the music and look at the memorabilia. Arrangements are in progress to open the Hall for foreign tourists to hear the Liverpool sound from the original 1957-60s musicians while visiting the city.

Dave ‘Jamo’ Jamieson
March 2013