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Britain's Largest Structure of the 19th Century. The New Brighton Tower & Ballroom

New Brighton Tower was a steel lattice observation tower at New Brighton in the town of Wallasey, Cheshire (now in the Borough of Wirral, in Merseyside), England. It stood 567 feet (173 m) high, and was the tallest building in Great Britain when it opened some time between 1898 and 1900. Neglected during the First World War and requiring renovation the owners could not afford, dismantling of the tower began in 1919, and the metal was sold for scrap. The building at its base, housing the Tower Ballroom, continued in use until damaged by fire in 1969.


The tower was set in large grounds, which included a boating lake, a funfair, gardens, and a sports ground. The sports ground housed, at different times, a football team, an athletics track and a motorcycle speedway track. The Beatles played at the Tower Ballroom 27 times, more than at any other venue in the United Kingdom except the Cavern Club in nearby Liverpool.

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The Blackpool Tower is a tourist attraction in Blackpool, Lancashire, England, which was opened to the public on 14 May 1894, 5 Years before New Brighton. It was Inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris, it rises to 158 metres (518 feet). The tower is a Grade I listed building. For a limited period of time, the Blackpool Tower was overshadowed by the Tower situated at New Brighton, Cheshire. But the Blackpool Tower remains, unlike that of New Brighton.

Blackpool_Tower New Brighton Tower Wallasey Tony Franks-Buckley (3

The company Maxwell and Tuke, who had designed Blackpool Tower buildings and Southport Winter Gardens, was responsible for overseeing and supervising the project, despite the deaths in 1893 of the company founders, James Maxwell and William Charles Tuke. The excavations and laying of the foundations for the tower were contracted to William Clapham of Stockport.The primary contractor for the tower was Andrew Handyside and Company, based in Derby.


The ground breaking happened on 22 June 1896, before the formation of the new company, completion of land purchase and announcement of contracts on 26 July 1896.[2] The construction of the steel lattice tower started in July 1897 and was completed some time between 1898 and 1900, 10 years after the Blackpool Tower had been finished. The grounds were opened before then for a short period in 1897 however. New Brighton Tower was the tallest building in England, standing 567 feet (173 m) tall and 621 feet (189 m) above sea-level.A total of 1000 tons (1,016,047 kg) of mild or low-carbon steel was used, at a cost of £120,000,in contrast to the earlier Blackpool and Eiffel towers, both constructed using wrought iron. The building below the New Brighton Tower, which was to contain the ballroom, was constructed by Peters and Sons of Rochdale. It was a four-storey red-brick building with arched windows and hexagonal, copper-domed turrets.


A series of accidents during the tower's construction resulted in the deaths of six workmen and serious injury to another. Two of the men, Jonathan Richardson and Alexander Stewart, were killed when a crane hook snapped and a girder fell and hit the scaffold platform on which they were standing, causing them to fall to the ground. A third man, John Daly, suffered serious injuries. The other four were killed in separate incidents by falling off the tower structure. A fire on the tower at 172 feet (52 m) in 1898 resulted in the death of a fire-fighter from the New Brighton Fire Brigade.[18] He fell 90 feet (27 m) while walking along a beam 6-inch (150 mm) wide to try and extinguish the flames

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Live: Mersey Beat Showcase, Tower Ballroom, New Brighton, Wallasey, Cheshire.

14th June 1963.

The Beatles at New Brighton Tower Ballroom

This was the last of 27 live shows by The Beatles at the Tower Ballroom in New Brighton, a seaside resort in the town of Wallasey, Merseyside.


The venue was capable of holding up to 5,000 people, making it one of the largest venues played by The Beatles at this time. They had first played there in October 1961, at an 'Operation Big Beat' event which drew 3,000.


On this evening it was one of Brian Epstein's Mersey Beat Showcase concerts, in which The Beatles headlined a bill made up of acts managed by Epstein's NEMS Enterprises.


The ballroom, which was situated beneath the 567-foot New Brighton Tower, was destroyed by fire in 1969. The area has since been redeveloped as River View Park.


At 11.45 after the show, Paul McCartney was stopped by police for driving over the speed limit on Seabank Road in Wallasey, Merseyside. On 26 August 1963 he received a fine and a one-year driving ban.


The Beatles played at the Tower Ballroom on 27 occasions. The other dates were 10 and 24 November; 1, 8, 15 and 26 December 1961; 12, 19 and 26 January; 15, 16 and 23 February; 2 March; 6 April; 21 and 29 June; 13, 21 and 27 July; 17 August; 14 and 21 September; 12 October; 23 November; 1 and 7 December 1962.

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Ringo Starr had been the drummer for rival Liverpool band Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, and had played with The Beatles several times in Hamburg. George Martin was not impressed with Best's playing and privately suggested to Brian Epstien that the band should use another drummer in the studio. Though Best had some popularity and was considered good-looking by many female fans, the three founding members had become increasingly unhappy with his drumming and his moody personality, and Epstein had become exasperated with his refusal to adopt the distinctive hairstyle as part of their unified look. Both the Beatles and Rory Storm Played at the Ballroom.

12th October 1962, Live at the New brighton Tower Ballroom. This was The Beatles' 23rd show at the Tower Ballroom in New Brighton, Wallasey.


The show was promoted by Brian Epstein's NEMS company. It featured 12 acts, and was headlined by the US rock 'n' roll legend Little Richard, whom The Beatles knew from Hamburg.

Removal Proccess of the New Brighton Tower from 1919 - 1921

The Stage - Thursday 03 March 1910


The financial result of the working of the New Brighton Tower and Recreation Co., Limited, for last year has proved to be the best since the grounds were opened. In a great measure this has been due to the leading railway companies running special Tower trips," The establishment appears to have entered upon a prosperous career at last. This year more side shows will be in evidence, and every effort will be made by Mr. R. H. Davy and the efficient staff to Surpass anything previously attempted. The grounds will bo opened on Good Friday. Mr. J. W. Turner's English opera company will commence a season of grand opera in thr lower theatre on the following day. The Sunday concerts, which have proved sj very popular, will reopen on Easter Sunday, when Mme. Edna Thornton will b} the principal vocalist.


Accessed 20th March 2018

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Monday 07 November 1898


NEW BRIGHTON TOWER MYSTERY police Wallasey are still unable state who was the young man whoso mangled remains were Friday evening found in New Brighton Tower Grounds Macintosh and walking stick had been left on the 85 feet balcony of the structure, and this circumstance, and the fact that the body was discovered some distance from wall of the building, induce the belief that the deceased did not fall accidentally, but committed suicide.


Accessed 20th March 2018

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Thursday 03 September 1908


NEW BRIGHTON TOWER TRAGEDY. COWBOY FOUND SHOT. Yesterday afternoon, just before the Wild West performance at New Brighton Tower began, a tragic discovery was made in the arena, George Price, a cowboy from Oklahoma, aged twenty-two, who came over with Colonel Cummins, being found dead, with the top of his head blown on. It is said that Price was to have been married to-day to an English girl, and he had heard to refer of late to his lack of money. t rice was the ammunition man. whose duty it was to see to the firearms, and it is not known yet whether the affair was an accident or whether was a case of suicide.


Accessed 20th March 2018

Liverpool Evening Express - Tuesday 21 November 1939


WRESTLING THE TOWER NEW BRIGHTON TOMORROW (Wednesday), 7.30 p.m. SPECIAL ATTRACTION FOR THE FIRST TIME IN NEW BRIGHTON TEAM WRESTLING GENTLEMEN: Whipper Billy Watson (Capt), Vic Hesselle, Bob McNab, Joe Reid RIOT SQUAD: Jumping Joe Devalto (Capt), jack Hunter, Wild Tarzan, joss Simms THIS IS THE LATEST AND MOST THRILLING FORM OF WRESTLING. Book Early avoid disappointment (Walt. 276) Popular Prices: 1 /• 2/- 3/- 4/-


Accessed 20th March 2018