Room at the Top (Central Chambers, Market Square, Wigan) 

What a wonderful venue with such potent memories. Later to become the guitar vocalist for Outrage, Rod Gerrard played here with Salford group Hells Angels after nicking my drummer [Brian Grant] and guitarist [Dave Nightingale]. I later got revenge when I nicked Rod Gerrard for Outrage and we played this same venue alongside the Wheels [from Belfast] who were a very hot band who I am told had a minor hit in America with Van Morrisons, Gloria. They used to roll up at the venue in an old Ford Consul containing band members and Vox foundation cabs as I remember.

The club was in a multistorey Victorian building facing Wigan bus station with , just one toilet, which would now be titled unisex. I think it comprised of three or four floors and you paid an entrance fee on the way up one set of stairs. Like most venues of that era I dont think they served alcohol.

It was run by an ex wrestler called Ken and his daughter who Rod and I both had the hots for, but one lesson I learned early is not to make passes at a wrestler's daughter [For obvious reasons] so nothing came of that.

The stage which was a low riser was at the rear of the building in a bay window and once the place was rockin the floor flexed that much that I had visions of the whole floor collapsing under the weight leaving the band floating in mid air on a protruding riser. Still have the same dreams 47 years later. I seem to remember either afternoon and evening gigs or evening and all nighters which were always fun. If my memories are inaccurate after all these years I am happy to have the facts corrected.

Another venue which evokes fond memories.

Geoff Parkinson - 25/6/12

I and a group of friends from Bolton used to go to the Room about 1967; sometimes we would go on to the Twisted Wheel from there. It was a fantastic place, they played things like; Phoenix City, Al Capone, Tightrope, Your love is like a see saw, Harlem Shuffle, Knock on wood, etc. They had a chill-out room where you could get-stoned for free by just breathing-in.

You had to [wade in the water] when you used the toilet; the lighting was fluorescent- so every bit of fluff on you glowed.

People I remember, Pauline Purden, Dave Walker, Karl Brooks and a lad from Wigan who used to cut keys on Wigan market. Markey was his nickname.

Everybody was speeding their socks-off. And the police used to hide and nick people for stealing milk bottles off doorsteps on the way to Wigan baths in the morning.

Fred Dickinson - 27/7/12

My friends and I would go up to the Room a few nights a week for a couple of years and the atmosphere was fantastic. We would have been 15/16 years old then and my greatest memory was of The Wheels playing. I can't recall all of the group, but I do remember the singer who was black, had a bald head and an earring in his left ear. My goodness, what a voice! Incredible. The song that had everybody glued to the spot one night though was when they played a slow tempo song - unusual for them - and the song was With God On Our Side. You could have heard a pin drop, and the roar of applause at the end was staggering. Wonderful days.

Mollie Matthews - 11/10/12

Reading the other comments brought so many brilliant memories back. I used to go here on a sunday afternoon mainly when there was always good music playing, it was owned by Ken ? and his daughter jackie was a friend of mine at the time, (cant remember their last name) she lived near me in Standish. I remember we were always careful what we wore as if we had a skimpy top on with a white bra underneath the lights in there used to highlight the bra!
Happy Memories!!

Sue Cookson was Susan Round - 27/8/13
 
The Room at the Top Beat Club was at Central Chambers, Market Square, Wigan, Lancashire and opened on Sunday, 1963. The RATT was in fact two rooms and had previously been well known as Tom Moss School of Dancing, Ormrods Buildings.
 
The club was owned by former professional wrestler Stan 'Fluff' Baldwin (b. Stanley Baldwin).
John H. Warburg 20/6/2022
 

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