Astoria (Rawtenstall)

Check out Bryan's great Astoria Blog - lots of great pics and info

Just down the road from me was another great venue called the Astoria Ballroom, in Rawtenstall.

This was owned and managed by John Myerscough who then got his header bands from a agent in Southport called Lewis Buckley, and the support bands John booked himself.

Regular top of the billers where The Who & Yardbirds (whom seem to be regular favourites) and there where many others: Sounds Incorporated, Honeycombs, Rockin Berries, Small Faces, Unit 4 plus 2, Brian Auger, Merseybeats, Maurauders, The Moody Blues (31.12.64 for the fee of £85), David John & The Mood, and lots lots more – but he never got the Beatles or the Stones. 

Support bands included: Wynder K Frog (Mick Weaver) – never away from the place- Darwen Nr. Blackburn, Avalons (Colne), Warriors (Accrington and Jon Anderson of Yes fame – and the drummer of this band went on to play with Bob Dylan), The Electones (Blackburn), The Dappers (Accrington), The Swinging Hangmen (Haslingden), The Imps. 

John Myerscough went living in Southport where I believe he bought out Lewis Buckley Entertainments, that very agency that supplied his header names in the earlier days and he carried on that agency.

Occasionally John would let me put the odd support band in. 

The Astoria sadly was knocked down to make way for a close by dual carriageway, although there now a beautiful little park area on that very spot where Clapton and many others got their trade together (the park and plaque is quite close to the new Asda Supermarket store.

Bryan Yorke

Great memories of The Astoria -- 'The Vincents' played the 'Astoria' on several occasions in the mid-'60s.

The venue attracted many of the headline acts of the period (see ads and flyers on the Rawtenstall blog) and 'The Vincents' played supporting major groups such as 'The Spencer Davis Group'(March 27th 1965) and others around this time. Wonderful days and great memories.

Peter Royle - 11/3/10

The Astoria in the 1950's but very similar to how it was in the 1960s.

Bryan Yorke

I remember being in the support band when the Walker Bros performed there. We were told to arrive about four pm to set our equipment up. When we got there the Walker Bros and their band were sat on the edge of the stage eating something that the cleaner had cooked. Scott Walker said to the old lady in his american drawl "Hey maam, that stew was delicious" and she said in her Lancastrian accent "You cheeky sod, thats tata ash". Happy days 

Lou - Toms Rigg - 12/1/13

Known gigs

  • Saturday, June 20, 1964: The Kinks
  • Saturday, August 22, 1964: The Zombies 
  • Saturday, September 12, 1964: The Honeycombs
  • Saturday, September 19, 1964: David John and the Mood, The Beat Boys, The Vincents
  • Saturday, September 26, 1964: The Long and the Short
  • Saturday, October 3, 1964: The Kinks
  • Saturday, December 19, 1964: Dave Berry and the Cruisers, The Dappers, The Atoms, 7.30pm - 11.30pm
  • Christmas Eve, Thursday, December 24, 1964: The Four Pennies, The Mustangs, The Fourways
  • Boxing Day, Saturday, December 26, 1964: The Warriors, The Mutineers, The Vincents
  • New Years Eve, Thursday, December 31, 1964: The Moody Blues, The Zombies
  • Saturday, January 23, 1965: The Yardbirds
  • Saturday, March 20, 1965: The Zombies
  • Saturday, March 27, 1965: The Spencer Davis Group, The Dawnbreakers, The Vincents, 7.30pm - 11.30pm
  • Saturday, April 3, 1965: The Hollies supported by The Mutineers, The Saracens
  • Saturday, May 22, 1965: The Who, The Avalons, The Imps, 7.30 - 11.30pm
  • Saturday, June 5, 1965: The Kinks
  • Courtesy John Warburg
  • Saturday, November 13, 1965: The Walker Brothers, Johnny B. Great and the Quotations, Tom's Rigg, The Vincents, 7.30pm - 11.30pm 

I was in a band in the sixties called The Fourways and played the Astoria with the Four Pennies and Wayne Fonntana and the Mindbenders 

Richard Ashworth

Have just read Lou from 12/1/13. I was the drummer in the Solitaires - support for the Walker Bros. We were paid £10 for the gig, negotiated by our "manager" George, who ran a fruit and veg stall on Bury Open market.

Patrick Hayward

The Astoria Ballroom was in St. Mary's Way, Rawtenstall, Lancashire and opened on Friday, December 16, 1932. The Astoria Ballroom closed on Monday, February 7, 1966 with a final gig of The Clayton Squares, Mike Hurst with the Trekkers and The Firing Squad.

John Warburg
14 April 2020
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