The Kingsway nightclub and casino in Southport

A music fan who saw The Beatles perform in Southport has mourned the loss of the iconic Southport building where they regularly performed. 

Sir Ron Watson has been a Conservative councillor for Dukes Ward in Southport for many years. 

Back in the 1960s he was a music lover who enjoyed watching John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best (later replaced by Ringo Starr) wow fans during their early years at The Kingsway, on the Promenade in Southport. 

The building sadly burned down in a suspected arson attack on 6 September, 2010. 

Sir Ron Watson said: “The loss of The Kingsway due to an extensive fire was a blow particularly as the venue really did play quite an important part in the development of The Beatles.

“By early 1962 most people would agree that the band was at its peak as a rock ‘n’ roll band and they played every Monday night in the early part of the year at The Kingsway.

 

The Kingsway nightclub and casino in Southport

“Whilst they were under the management of Brian Epstein he hadn’t yet ‘sanitised’ them both in appearance and in musical terms so they were still in the black leather outfits and pounding out classic rock ’n’ roll and R&B but in such a distinctive manner that they could blow every other band on Merseyside off the stage.

“The drummer was still Pete Best and there were a few occasions when I helped him lug up his drum kit up the stairs, and he did produce a thunderous background for the band.

“The entrance fee was 12½ pence and for that you got one and a half to two hours’ of music!

“Prior to the fire I had been in touch with Sefton Council’s Planning Department and with a potential developer who had agreed to put a plaque on the exterior wall on any new building by way of commemorating the part that The Kingsway played in the development of the greatest band that the world has ever known and those of us who had the privilege of seeing them as I did dozens of times in the early days caught them at a moment in history of great significance.”

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