Stamford Hall (Altrincham)


We appeared at Samford Hall with Long John Baldry and a very young Rod Stewart, The Hollies, The Rolling Stones, Gerry and The Pacemakers, Big Three etc.

Keith Leigh - The Semi-Tones

"I was born in 1951, and went as a teenager to see groups at the Stamford Hall from 1964 to 67. Frank Bell was the Manager/bouncer, a giant of a man who evidently, once had a shot at the British heavyweight title, I always respected Frank as did most of the members of Y.O.R. club as it was called and there was rarely any trouble.

Anyway back to the beat: I got Long John Baldry and Julie Driscoll,s Autographs as they went into "The Barrington" pub just down from the Stamford. (i just missed Rod). They were of course with Brian Auger and Steampacket. The Wildest night I can recall was the Walker Brothers when it cost Eleven bob to get in,(usually 6/-) for Scott and Co. to almost perform only three songs due to girls invading the stage, the show being stopped - no refund!

I had many other memorable nights, with the Hollies, The Fantastic BIRDS with Ron Wood! The Small Faces just 12 weeks into their success, The Kirkbys, the Yaks, Mark Leeman 5, Mojos, Deltones (wasn't Ian Anderson later of YES the singer). I was there mainly to see how the guitarists played and although my school beat group "THE GOLDEN RULES" with my Mazeltoff and Rosetti 3, never got past the youth club stage, those formative years are still the dearest memories I have.

The other Golden Rules were: John Walters (Broadway Drums), David Owen (Vox Bass through an old radiogram). Tony Stewart (hofner Club 50 acoustic) and dear Terry Hutchinson who died in 1971 (reslo vocals plugged into the other socket of my Mazeltoff). Our repetoire was Kinks, Stones, Jimmy Reed, Drifters etc. My personal favourite was the Mighty FORTUNE TELLER played like the Merseybeats who also graced the Stamford Hall.

I'm currently forming a BEAT GROUP in Gloucestershire where I've now lived for over 20 years. We've had 2 practices with my 17-year-old son CAZ on bass, me on a recently acquired Rosetti 3 by Egmond and Mazeltoff Amp. and another Martin on drums ... WATCH THIS SPACE... "

Martin Sievey

Well done Frank Bell, he was the games teaeher at my old school who gave us our first taste of live music and what a taste,   and then they pulled it down and gave us a taste of things to come blandness. Rock on Martin see you at the reunion.

Kit Ward 4/11/10

Happy Days back in the 60's Tuesdays and Saturdays, a few other acts I recall thanks to Frank Bell: The Kinks, Van Morrison (Them), The Big Three, some mob from London who had a big hit with "7 Golden Daffodils" There were a lot of faces who turned up there, just about everyone at the time except The Beatles.

I met my first wife there, asked her to dance to On Broadway sung by a local band Ivan's Meads. She said yes, it must have been dark! Magic days indeed!

Jim Armour 31/7/11

Yes, I remember the Stamford Hall in the early sixties... the Stones, the Hollies, Long John Baldry (with a very young Rod Stewart - even before he was Rod the Mod!) and a German group the Rattles. Used to go Tuesday and Saturday nights. As the song said..."those were the days" - used to go with my friends Pam and Sue (we were Alty Grammar Girls).

Fran Morris 21/1/12

Had some wonderful times at "The Stamford Hall" the saturday night dances with Frank Bell (a teacher at Welly Road) on the door, saw so many groups, inc, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Long John Baldry, Rod Stewart, The Who, Freddie and the Dreamers, Karl Denver etc, etc,.

Met my wife there at an Altrincham Hospital dance, she was a Staff Nurse and I was an Ambulance driver. Does anyone remember the ACES who ran the Wresting on a tuesday night?? Wonderful times.

Bryn Mallion 22/10/12

I played there in the sixties in a group called "The Friends". We were much influenced by the Beach Boys but our repertoire included all the popular stuff of the day. Eric was on lead guitar, Gerry was on rhythm, Ray was on drums, Chris was on bass and I provided the vocals. Dave our Manager got us the gig. We were Alty/Sale based but played all over.

Sadly we have lost touch with each other.

Does anyone else have any further information about the group and other support groups that played here?

My other memory is of my wedding reception which was held there, mid 70's, in the posh bit - upstairs.

Mike Daine   25/1/13   

Played Stamford Hall with Vince Reno and The Sabres (around 1963).  I think we were booked through Oliver Batson Enterprises.

Frank Bell met us at the door, and a more humble & friendly guy you couldn't wish to meet. He picked my VoxAC 30 up and carried it to the stage for me.It could have been a matchbox.He gave me his boxing business card and he was the only man to knock out Tommy Farr. Frank was a real gentleman.

The Hollies had played the Hall a short while before us and "We Hollies" was deeply engraved in the big wooden doors.Dont know if thats still there.Only played Stamford Hall a few times but memorable gigs for sure.

Ken Hobin (rhythm guitar) 21/2/13

I frequented Stamford Hall when Frank Bell was there too.  What a shame they pulled it down.  I was there when Long John Baldry & the Hoochie Coochie Men played (when he introduced Rod Stewart).  I got Long Johns and Rod's autograph that night.  I also remember seeing The Rattles, The Who, The Drifters, The Hollies (regular visitors to Stamford Hall).  I left the school exam room early to see the Rattles.  Just made it in time!  I was at the front of the audience next to the stage when the Drifters sang "save the last dance for me" and pointed down to me & my friends.  Unfortunately they wouldn't let us ask them for autographs that night.  My friends (Lynne, Shirley & Liz) used to go to the Stamford Hall every week.  It was SO innocent then though. 

We also used to go to the Manchester clubs e.g. Oasis, Top of the Town, Rowntrees Spring Gardens & Rowntrees Sound, Time & Place, Yungfrau, Twisted Wheel & Mr Smiths Drokiweeny.  In fact I've still got 2 tickets from the Oasis in my autograph book.

Yvonne Tomlinson (nee Boardman) 29/3/13

Saw Status Quo at Stamford Hall - I must have been about 15 or 16!

Jo Power 29/3/13

Well, well ... fancy seeing a sort of blog about the Stamford Hall. The good old days. Amazing that such a high proportion of the groups who performed there went on to achieve so much fame [and presumably fortune]. Alas those times will never be repeated, nor will the music and atmosphere ever be matched again. I doubt that Frank Bell would have booked Justin Bieber !!

I remember being offered a lift by the Rolling Stones over to the Twisted Wheel.

Mike Wootton 4/4/13

Rolling Stones at the Stamford Hall:  I was having a chat in a pub in Altrincham, last week-end, with my older brother Frank and a few pals when the Stones gig at the Stamford Hall in Altrincham 1963 came up in the conversation. My brother Frank was a young lad at the time but was there, watching the Stones, from the stage wings. Our Dad (also called Frank) was an ex professional boxer, known professionally as Frank Johnson (British & Empire Lightweight Champion 1952-55) and he used to work as a doorman at the Stamford Hall and the Princess club in Chorlton. My two brothers and I were young kids back then and sometimes Dad would take one of us with him to watch the bands who played there. Whoever Dad took on any particular night would stand in the side wings and watch. Frank, my brother was telling us about the Stones gig but he couldn't remember the exact date.

An older chap with us in the pub "shiny shoes Tom" said he remembered that day because he met Mick Jagger and Bill Wyman down the road in the Malt Shovels. Earlier in the day he was having a quiet pint when Mick and Bill walked in the side door and each ordered a pint at the short bar next to him. He knew their faces as they were at that time, just breaking through in popularity after their first single "Come On".  Tom had a chat with them and they said they were in town for a gig later that evening. Apparently the other band members were in the Barrington hotel further down the road in Altrincham. Anyway, my brother Frank said it was a fantastic gig on the night despite the fact that you could hardly hear anything above the girls screaming! One of the chaps looked it up later on the internet and it turned out to be 26th. November 1963 - my 11th. birthday!  I suppose I was the unlucky one as Dad took me a few weeks later to the Stamford Hall and I got to see the Merseybeats (no dis-respect to them though but I am a "big" Stones fan).

As I said earlier, Dad was known professionally as Frank Johnson - if anyone's interested just Google "Frank Johnson boxer" - they used to call him "the master craftsman" and "the golden boy".

In another funny story of that era, Dad actually turned down the Beatles, a bit like Decca, the record label...
I will quote below from part of a recent e-mail that I received, from an old former work mate of Dad's, Charlie Fitzgerald, who now lives in Australia;

"G/day Steve,  It seems a long time since I last wrote to you from Australia but as time passes so do our memories but this morning I put on my computer to read my internet edition of the Manchester Evening News and I saw an article about the Beatles. It was a story about them appearing at the old Oasis Club and how it was their first "big" show in Manchester in 1962. It brought back memories when I read that the Beatles oddest venue was at the Urmston show in the August Bank Holiday 1963, they appeared in a giant marquee.  Now, I don't know if anybody told you but in the rock n roll era your dad would not have known the difference between Elvis Presley and Cliff Richards, in fact I think the only show business star he knew was Marlene Dietrich. He was offered the contract of providing the security (bouncers) for the show. When we turned up for work at the Princess club he offered us the job at the sum of three quid for the night. We all turned it down, mainly because we had seen them on Granada's show "People & Places" a few weeks before. In your dad's case, he hadn't got a clue who the Beatles were and he didn't want us to do it as it was in a tent. This little story may not mean much to other people but to me it brought back a memory. In Adelaide the Beatles are legends because they appeared here in 1964 and were greeted by a bigger crowd than the FA Cup final. Not many people believe me when I tell them that we turned them down because we thought that they were a bit crappy and our boss didn't want us working in a tent!  Charlie Fitzgerald"

So no wonder we all turned out to be Rolling Stones fans in our family... ha!

Steve Williamson, Timperley, Altrincham 21/11/13

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