Copyright 2014 Hidden Wirral
After 20 Plus Years of Wilderness, The Creep Inn Returns to New Brighton.
Hidden Wirral Myths & Legends Ltd Brings to you a whole New Experience from Beneath the New Brighton Palace
Historic Tours, Private Hire is available for Historic Tours and Venue Hire for Private Events and Paranormal Investigations
The History of the New Brighton Palace Tunnels is a fascinating one, the tunnels are said to go back over 200 Years to the Times of the Wreckers & Smugglers and were later redeveloped when the Palace was built. The tunnels were then used as a munitions factory during WW2 and later became a nightclub known as The Creep, Hidden Wirral Invites you to join us beneath the Streets of New Brighton For Historic Tours
The Old Palace and the Floral Pavilion were built in 1880, opening on Whit Monday the next year. It included an aquarium, baths, a theatre, a ballroom said to have been the finest in England, an aviary, and a zoo. The Rise and Progress of Wallasey says that during the construction of the original building a pit was discovered which “revealed evidence that it had been used by smugglers and wreckers for the purpose of concealing their goods” and that possibly it hid something more sinister. A “sickening” stench emanated from the pit, and only the liberal use of disinfectants could eventually remove the contents so work could continue. According to local traditions, this is connected with the wreck of the Pelican in 1793. The cavern was transformed into an underground waterway known as The Grotto, where small boats could sail past illuminated caves. It extended for over 250 metres, and is said to have ended beneath the bottom of Rowson Street. (Blueprints confirm this)
In 1916 the Old Palace caught fire, and was later demolished. The current building, the New Palace, was built in the late thirties. The pit itself was filled in with rubble from the remains of the Old Palace. During World War Two, between 1942 and 1944, the arcade was Depot 0616 of the U. S. Army: the cellars became an ammunition factory employing two hundred women, a base for fire watchers, and a communal air raid shelter, one entrance to which, a large iron grille, is still to be seen in Virginia Road at the back of the Palace.
The Stage - Thursday 16 August 1990
THE ATTRACTIONS In New Brighton two theatres and tv cinemas have been demolished, the Winter Gardens is closed and shuttered after cinema and bingo failed to attract but the Floral Pavilion remain very lively and will have a major refurbishment in the grandiose pla for the rejuvenated and improved... Brighton. The Albion continues to attract gc audience with its weekly program of live attractions. The up-mar Leasowe Castle Hotel Conference Centre continues strongly with Fred Smith's Big Band playing for ballrom dancing and sessions with the Pant Jazz Band and Country West Nights. Norman Walker has his popular 60's Golden Disco and comp. the many special functions. There is nostalgia for the for Spanish Bar at the Grand Hotel with music by the area's top musician Fr Gordon, together with Syd Kirk and Dave Vaughan Williams were a great feature together with the songs of the Blue Magnolia Orchestra. Unfortunately this delightful sea-front venue now caters for younger disco audience. Lacey's Pub remains loyal to live groups The Breeze: Too Drunk to Funk Little Italy. The very popular Creep Inn underneath the Palace Amusement Park re-opened with a progressive entertainment policy, bookings include Ged McRae, Jimmy Ruffin and The Thing and there are Mad Party Nights with resident DJ Tommy White. The Royal Duke features Fat Larry's E and Exotic Dancers.
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The Stage - Thursday 10 August 1967
NEW BRIGHTON 'MELODY INN' IN this 20th consecutive season of "Melody Inn", Jackson Earle has gone in for a slower style of production, as a welcome relief to present-day stress and tension: three of his six colourful scenas, "Southland Memories", "Romany Rye" and "Speakeasy, 1900", all look... back nostalgically into the past, while the two most eye-catching ballets, "The Mantle piece Minuet" and Disneyland", look back to the golden on the other side of the rainbow. Jackson Carle is always well sup ported by the most gracious lead ing lady of "Melody Inn", Peggy Naylor. Her comedy and music have a wide appeal with residents and visitors. For so many seasons Jimmy Mac has beer the principal comedian and yet his basket still produces inexhaustible humour. This year the comedy is enriched by Dennis Burrows, his subtle approach and easy command of fun raises him high in the list of credit for this theatre. Alan Kent returns after a nine- year absence; his fine singing and musicianly approach in a wide range of contrasting styles has scored tremendously. Frank and Mike Sullivan, two boys and a guitar, arc gaining confidence in their summer show debut, their well groomed appearance is appreciated too. Impressionist Mavis White, a stalwart for many years, is inchided in the company and other favourites returning are Jimmy and Irene Holhx. Iyn Campbell, a recruit from a local amateur operatic group, also displays a marked flair for comedy;. Joy Caville is a good choreographer and principal ballerina and she, together with the six Lido Lovelies provide many good moments in the Scenes and Ballets which play such an important part in each of the six programme changes. Pianist Jack Rodney is a competent musical director, assisted by a trio of Rita Rodney (saxophone). J. Birch (trumpet) and Bert Cave (drums). Claude Worth, Jackson Earle'g general manager, a man of sterling quality to patrons and performers, plays his part in the success and Peggy Stacey's costumes are again superlative and together with the settings have a laree share in the way "Melody Inn registers with the public. Stage manager Arthur Heron and theatre steward Eric Leyland must be congratulated for their quiet efficiency. MELODY INN REVUE' Presented by Jackson Earl at the Floral Pavilion. New Brighton. Original music and lyrics by Jackson Earle Choreography by Joy Caville. Musical director. Jack Rodney. Costumes by Jackson Ear to and Peggy Naylor Stage manager Arthur Heron. Artists Include: Jimmy Mac. Peggy Taylor, Mavis Whyte, Alan Kent. Jimmy and Irene Mollis. Dennis Burrows. Lyn Campbell. Mike and Frankie Sullivan. Joy Caville and the Lido Lovelies ATTRACTIONS NEW attraction in afternoon entertainment. "Two's Company opened at New Brighton's Floral Pavilion In July: N Ills most adequately the gap created by the closing of the Promenade Pier and answers the query. "What do we do when It rains?" "Two's Company." so far. has been hindered by the finest summer weather for years keeping people In the open rather than in the theatre. In spite of this two hours' good music and entertainment Is building an encouraging following. First of two. in order of appearance Is the commanding figure of broad caster Charles Smitton. His artistry at the Hammond organ and Ms immaculate stop registration ranges from Bach to Beat. As a soloist he Is first rate and his sympathy and skin as an accompanist Is of the same high order "Second of Two" Is vivacious blonde June Lynette. a good soprano with a highly developed sense of humour Equally at home in "Gems from Musical Comedy", a comic ballad or a winsome lullaby. Miss Lynette never spares nil-- Bf. ANOTHER long running show Is Norman Trafford's "Joytlme" the Children's own Summer Pantomime, now In the 13th season and still featuring the original cast of pianist Norman Trafford and his helpful satellites Dorothy Carr. Freddy Ray nor and Mark Strong. Programmes Includes a bit of every thing dear to children and the "Joytlme Princess" competition is always most popular. The Bandstand in Wallasey's beautiful Vale Park Is the venue for "Joytlme" and It Is also the setting which really draws the crowds for the Summer Concerts featuring the world's most famous Brass Bands. ¥7* VERY Summer Wallasey Corporation rj Entertainments and Publicity Manager Ernest Earrington. Is a popular and busy person as many of the attractions are under his control. Each Wednesday at the New Brighton Bathing Pool the heats are held for "Miss New Brighton'' and the "New Brighton Starlet' contests, music being provided by Charles Smitton at the Organ and the Corporation have a regular dance policy at the Grosvenor Ballroom. Cabaret and Dancing are featured at many of the Wallasey Clubs: "Melody Inn Club" has many big names booked and Peter Vaughan Williams Is the organist attraction at "The Raker's Return". Dicky and Ms Boys are the resident group at the unique Creep Inn" situated well underground beneath the New Palace Amusement Park and where Frank and Vera Bigbv always give a great wstewne to waiting proa. summer show
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The Stage - Thursday 20 August 1992
NEW BRIGHTON Floral Pavilion THE refurbished Floral Pavilion, New Brighton played to near capacity for the recent third visit of the dynamic Irish singing star, Dominic Kerwan, with his splendid six piece band giving such excellent backing both vocally and multi instrumentally. Dominic never spares himself to delight the audience as his well varied programme suits all tastes from the welcome oldies. Have You Ever Been Lonely?, Fools Rush In through to My Lovely Wife, Friends I've Lost, My Own Donegal, Evergreen and so many more well sung and played numbers, Sarah Jory is a girl singer with a great voice, adding to the tal ents of her 4 piece group by her own notable playing of Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Mandoline and Banjo. Her offering included I Like A Man, I'm Giving A Party, Statue Of A Fool, What Do You Want To Do That For? I Love You Because and a Foster and Allen medley, the keyboard player providing excellent vocal backing, a feature of a first rate group, sharing in the success of Sarah Jory's great con tribution to the show. Connal Gallen was the clever comedian from Donegal, praised for his new line in comedy but spoiling his act by lavato rial vulgarity completely out of place for a theatre and a mixed age family audience. Billy Butler of BBC Radio Merseyside compered the Dominic Kerwan Show with BBC Radio Merseyside sharing the joint presenta tion credits with Wirral Leisure Service Dept. and Ritz Records, the last named were in charge of stage, lights and sound. Floral Pavilion Theatre Manager Eric Leyland assisted by Laurance Sayle and his efficient staff are in their element with the large audiences attracted by the special Summer Show programme. Ken Dodd has already played to capacity and The Ken Dodd Show will make another visit at the end of August. Early season brought that polished vocalist David Alexander to New Brighton's Floral Pavilion aided and abetted by ventriloquist Penny Page and her incorrigible Duck, Googi. Norman Thomas was the pop ular compere. Local acclaim was given to Dennis Locorricre and his Group with The Voice of Dr. Hook. As pan of July's Celebrate Ireland Wirral Borough Leisure Services booked top singer Val Doonican supported by the talented comic Adrian Walsh, with The Band of the Irish Guards featured for another one night stand. Jazz was much to the fore with The Jimmy Smith Ouartet with Jimmy McGriff with special guestsThe Robben Ford Trio. Much enjoyed was The Davy Arthur Band (ex-The Fureys). Features for the middle of August are taking a second place to the visit of The Tall Ships to the Mersey apart from the Syd Lawrence Orchestra playing at the Tall Ships Festival Ball iii Wallasey Town Hall. Traffic chaos on New Brighton Promenade with sightseers would not help Showtime at the Floral Pavilion. Aladdin is announced for the Christmas Season, once again a col laboration between Wirral Leisure Services and Roy Hastings Management. Cast details are awaited although it is anticipated that Roy Minting will once again be the talent ed Director. Wirral was the original home of the Merseysippi Jazz Band, in the Autumn they will play for the close of the Wirral International Jazz Festival in the Floral Pavilion which will also fea ture Orpheon Celesta from Paris,the Dutch Jazzteriz and Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen. Vale Park Pride of place, this year, has been given by the Wirral Leisure Services to Joytime to mark veteran presenter of this long running Children's Summer Pantomime, Dorothy Trafford's recent award of the MBE. Once again, for the 40th season. New Brighton's beautiful Vale Park will echo daily to Dorothy Trafforrd's merry team of assistants and their youthful audiences with their rounds of talent competi tions and self entertainment. Dorothy and Co. are indefatigable in their efforts for childish enjoyment and in controlling the bubbling enthusiasm to reach the finals of Bonny Baby and Joytime Princess and to win through to the Grand Finale of the talent com petitions with the honour of appearing at the Floral Pavilion. Last Year, New Brighton's favourite comedian, Ken Dodd, donated a silver rose bowl for the Miss Buttercup contest for three- year-olds. For the High Season there are weekly well attended Band Concerts in Vale Park, this Summer bands booked include Red Rose, Haydock, Ellesmere Port Silver, Bedford (Leigh), Port Sunlight Royal British Legion, North Ashton, Lyceum Brass and Markham Main Colliery. From June to the end of August, including August Bank Holiday Monday, Folk In The Park is a popular feature. The Wirral The brighter new image of New Brighton, created by massive re-build- mgs and modernisations, has encour aged former venues to book much more comprehensive live entertain ment programmes. Once again the spacious Hotel Victoria, a leading for mer venue, is returning to the leader ship it enjoyed for so many years. Tuesday Nights sees "House Full" at the 'Vic' for the lively Panama Jazz Band with popular drummer Bill Williams playing in the Tudor Bar while there is Over 30's Dancing in the Ballroom. Wednesdays offers fifties and sixties night with the Mersey Cats and a Rhythm and Blues Festival is planned for Mid August with an evening of The Steve Gibbons Band supported by Bo Jelly and a further night with Albie Donnelly and Supercharge. Nearby at New Brighton's Albion there has been consolidation of live shows with a weekly appearances of Norleans Jazz Band and the Albion Folk Group: Vocalists have included Lee Ann James, Norman Han, the Jo Jo Experience and Melanie Lane. At the Albion there are regular Karaoke Nights and Dynamic Dennis is in charge of the Quiz Nights. On New Brighton Promenade the re-opened Queens Royal has nightly live shows including vocalist Gary Murphy, Groove Tubes and Lee Brooks in addition to the inevitable Karaoke and Quiz Nights. Unfortunately the famous New Brighton Grand, once owned by the New Brighton Tower Co, has a For Sale board, but The Creep Inn in the cellar of Wilkie's refurbished Palace Amusements Park continues with Cabaret and Music for Dancing. Jazz continues to be a great draw in the Wirral, The Grange at Moreton has two popular nights weekly with The Savoy Jazz Band on Mondays and The Freddie Smith Big Band on Wednesdays. Just along the road Hoylake's Punchbowl has featured Kay and Paul's Live Music and Peter and Tina while nearby at The Dee bookings include the popular Liverpool Group Up And Running and regular live entertainment. At the Gladstone Theatre, Port Sunlight, the celebrated Houghton Weavers appeared at the end of July with neighbouring Berni Royal at Childer Thornton doing good busi ness with Cabaret Dinners featuring the Comedy Show Battle Of The Sexes with Pauline Daniels and Tom Pepper. Other attractions at this venue were the Group Kenny Johnson and North Wind and The Country and Western Show featuring Stroller plus Jody Stevens and DJ Ian Ashcroft. In August the Berni Royal will host a day long Fete and Cabaret Dinner Dance for the Variety Club of Great Britain's Sunshine Coach Project. It will have Mark Jones of Liverpool's Radio City as the opener in the mom- ing and the evening Cabaret will fea ture popular comic, Micky Finn, together with a Group and other acts including a recent winner of televi sion's Search For A Star. These samples from New Brighton and the Wirral show positive signs that Live Entertainment has once again emerged from the dol drums. Hal Wilton
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The Stage - Thursday 15 August 1991
NEW BRIGHTON SUMMER VENUES WITH New Brighton's Floral Pavilion sharing in the ambitious refurbishment of the resort by Merseyside Development Corporation, Wirral Leisure I Services Dept. must be complimented in overcoming many obstacles to pre sent Summer Night Out. In association with BBC Radio Merseyside, theatre manager Eric Leyland, assisted by Laurance Sayle and the staff triumphed over all the problems, the main entrance only I becoming available on the Friday that i The Drifters opened the season to i great acclaim. They were greatly aided by the comedy of that New Brighton favourite, Bobby Kave with further i support coming from Billy Maher. Irish Splendour then played to near i capacity with personable vocalist Dominic Kirwan with his excellent l five-piece backing group making a t great impression. Sharing the success i was the superb Irish comedian Phil Kelly, who more than kept his end up as a comic by impressing as well with his great tenor voice. In support were the lively Irish singer Mary Duff with backing group, her "Patsy Kline tribute" topped her contribution. Frank McCaffrey, a vocalist/guitarist, with a pleasing style and Irish dancing by the elaborately costumed girls from Liverpool's Irish Centre completely the bill. BBC Radio Merseyside presenters, Billy Butler and Wally Scon, are the com peres for each of the Shows. During August and September the various editions of Summer Night Out will include Laughter And Tears, The Comedians Show, when the delightful Irish Singer, Ann Breen will be the special guest with comedy from Eddie Collington, Bryan Jacques and the George Formby Society featuring strongly. No Season at New Brighton woulc be complete without that top comic the inimitable Ken Dodd, already hi! I late August date is a sell out. Anothei popular attraction will be Cream o Clubland, featuring Vince Earle I Bernie Wenton, Danny Roman Darryl Lea, Barbershop Group anc Shazay. For most of these shows the Free Lloyd Trio will be in the orchestra pit I In September Summer Night Ou comes to a triumphant conclusior I with bookings almost sold out for Tht Des O'Connor Show: Good suppor I is building for the two popular artistes I Welsh Singer David Alexander anc I ventriloquist Penny Page for thi Summer Night Out finale. L Lighting and sound at the Flora I Pavilion continue to enjoy Richarc Beckley's competent control. The Leisure Services Dcpartmen has been busy with the early seasoi I Folk In The Park at New Bnghton's 7 Vale Park, which for high season wa I replaced by the weekly visits by th< areas leading Brass and Silver Bands I For 38 consecutive summers, Val I Park has been the delightful sylvan set R ting for the six afternoons a weel A thoroughly enjoyable and enter taining evening with comedian Billy Kelly making a welcome return to this venue for the second year but this time as top of the bill. Reservedly so Billy is very funny, works his audience well and his material is eminently suitable for a family audience. Jimmy Carlo with his assistant Crystal, is an illusionist and Fireeater with a cheeky flair for comedy. Being of similar ample build myself, I com mend his bravery and his use of cos tumes as he capitalises on his generous proportions to the great amusement of the audience. A performer with lots of personality and great sense of fun. Vocal duo Jeanne and Bobby Jo pre sent a polished and professional act with voices that blend well in harmo ny, and Jeanne handles her solo songs with great feeling. Canterbury Tales are a male double act billed as musical comedv. The singalong musical side of their act is very good, their comedy- was weaker and needs stronger, fun nier matenal, although to be fair, parts of it went down well with the audi ence SUMMERLAND PIAZZA Schooner, Jackie Clarke, Jacqui Monroe, Jimbo the Clown. Singer and compere Jackie Clarke, back for a sec ond season, is avery amiable compere and keeps the show running smoothly, using his own main spot to demon strate his vocal talents. Singer and instrumentalist Jacqui Monroe is a strikingly attractive young lady who looks great, has an excellent voice, and plays clarinet and saxaphone. Top of the bill comedy showband Schooner is now down to a three-man unit and relies heavily on the consid erable comedy talents of Terry DeVine. An integral springboard for this very family oriented evening is Jimbo the Clown. He is quite simply the best, funniest, most successful clown that I have seen performing with children since the heady days of the Bertram Mills Circus, and the kids adored him.
Summer attraction Joytime when Dorothy Trafford and her young assistants and dancers take the stage with a show completely beamed at a youth ful audience. ATTRACTIONS New Brighton's Hotel Victoria is returning to a more active live enter tainment policy. Every Tuesday it's "House Full" at the Vic with the Panama Jazz Band doing the honours and drummer Bill Williams, a great attraction.Wednesdays has a Rock and Roll 60s Night, Mersey Cats arc the resident and popular group. Nearby the Albion continues strongly with the weekly Albion Folk Club, including Ron Haworth and his Steel Trax. Other Nights include Dynamic Don and his Quiz and another night features Rock Roll with live group Round The Bend. With the magnificent refurbishment of New Brighton's Promenade there is new life for the club scene. The imposing Anchorage Club has opened in the former Grand Hotel bringing back a little of the allure to that famous live venue. The Anchorage boasts two dance floors and has live music Back to the Sixties at which Farons Flamingos and 2 Drunk 2 Funk have scored. In support there is a Fifties and Sixties Disco with Chris Curry. Recently comic Bernard Manning appeared at The Dale Inn in a special show in aid of Wallasey Boys Club: Bonkers is another very lively venue featuring Chico, Up and Coming in concert and The Raincats supported by the madcap DJ Tony. Once again on New Brighton Promenade at The Creep Inn underneath Willkie's refurbished Palace Amusements Park, cabaret and music for dancing are featured and Holly- woods, at the other end of the Palace complex has live music and discos. RJ's at the Golden Guinea has live dance music on the main floor, with Karaoke upstairs in Le Coq Loft in the capable hands of George Berry and Tony Hollis. In the immediate area live enter tainment is now a regular feature at Moreton's Millhouse while Bebing- ton's Primrose features acts like 5 Piece and She, and Geoff Nugents Undertakers. Across the road Breaks has Pete Price hosting the shows with the sixties band, League of Gentle men. Karaoke is also featured. The Berni Royal at Childer Thornton always books strong acts. Coming attractions are Paper Lace, 1 Baron Wolfgang and his Bavarian Oompahs and The Black Abbotts, Russ Abbott's former group who orig- I inally came from the Chester area. I By next year New Brighton, when the very extensive and expensive refur- bishment of New Brighton including i the Floral Pavilion is completed, will be a resort re-born. Although the Winter Gardens, the Tivoli theatres and the Tower Ballroom and theatre have now all been demolished, the r Floral Pavilion has now been improved beyond recognition and new and old venues are alive and kicking.
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