For years, Liverpool nightspot the Wooky Hole membership was a family identify within the metropolis, attracting a bunch clubbers and massive names.
Starting its life as The Belmont Highway Image Home in 1914, the membership, on Belmont Highway, Anfield, initially seated almost 800 folks and boasted a façade with a Tudor-style characteristic. Later leased to to the Related British Cinemas (ABC) chain, the positioning was then taken over by an unbiased operator earlier than reopening because the Lido Cinema from 1938 till the late Nineteen Fifties.
Within the sixties, a brand new façade was added and it re-opened the Wookey Hole, a theatre and cabaret membership which noticed quite a few dwell acts carry out to members. It was certainly one of a number of golf equipment, together with Falcon’s Crest in Formby and Pickwicks on Fraser Road close to London Highway, owned by the late body-building champion and former Knowsley councillor Terry Phillips and accomplice Frank Sharrock.
In 1968, a Liverpool ECHO commercial described the brand new Wooky Hole membership as “the best cabaret on Merseyside.” It additionally mentioned that members might take pleasure in “wining, eating and dancing nightly in Liverpool’s most luxurious theatre membership.”
In its heyday, the Wookey Hole featured such high names as Max Bygraves, Neil Sedaka and Freddie Starr. One picture, courtesy of our archives, Mirrorpix, presents a glimpse into the membership again in 1977.
Taken on February 23 that 12 months, you’ll be able to see an act performing centre stage as prospects sit and revel in a drink on the bottom flooring. It’s also possible to see visitors wanting over a balcony on the second degree and heading up the steps in sensible apparel.
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Many may have fond reminiscences of visiting the venue, from seeing the quite a few acts carry out of their heyday to going there for a Christmas social gathering, evening out or different celebrations. Much like different nightclubs within the metropolis of the period, the Wooky Hole additionally served meals, reminiscent of hen in a basket.
However by the Nineteen Eighties, the membership as prospects had come to understand it was no extra. In June 1981, companions Terry Phillips and Frank Sharrock determined to promote up as they felt the wage calls for made by topline artists have been making it unprofitable.
On October 21, 1981, the ECHO reported how a multi-thousand pound fireplace introduced what was then regarded as “the ultimate curtain down” on the Liverpool evening spot. Neighbours, together with former Wooky Hole manageress Dolly Blackburn, have been evacuated from their houses, as greater than 70 firemen fought to deliver the blaze beneath management.
Mr. Sharrock, who designed the membership’s inside, mentioned on the scene: “This can be a very unhappy day. After I look spherical inside, I can see each little bit of stuff I put into it
“I can bear in mind each nail we knocked in. I designed the membership myself and labored till 3 a.m. day-after-day with the lads getting it able to open. In its day, it was most likely one of the best membership in Liverpool.
“We had good artists and an excellent clientele and by no means a spot of bother. Practically all the large names performed right here.”
Repairs have been later carried out and the positioning reopened as a membership once more in 1985, changing into identified and liked to a brand new era within the metropolis. Generally known as Bedrock for a while, in February 1990, the ECHO reported how the Liverpool’s latest nightclub, The Wookey, was to open its doorways, with Barney’s Rubble disco bar, which additionally operated supervised nights for youthful folks, being situated on the bottom flooring.
Accommodating greater than 400 folks, the membership additionally had a operate suite for for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and Christmas events. The bar had an American theme with a copy of the Statue of Liberty, relationship again to its more moderen spell when it was generally known as Bedrock.
The 12 months prior, the membership was fully stripped down inside and rebuilt, now boasting plush carpets and delightful parquet flooring. In September 1995, firemen battled by thick smoke to battle a blaze on the website as soon as extra.
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The membership had been closed for some years and hit by vandal assaults. In later life, the constructing was altered to promote kitchen home equipment, however the Wooky Hole identify lives on within the reminiscences of all those that went there.
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