This image comes with a soundtrack:
“Please Mr Gravedigger” by David Bowie
“Wild Thing” by The Troggs
“For Your Love” by The Yardbirds
“See Emily Play” by Pink Floyd
“All or Nothing” by The Small Faces
“Substitute” by The Who
“Tales of Brave Ulysses” by Cream
“Hi Ho Silver Lining” by Jeff Beck
The reason? This was a venue for all these performers during the 1960’s. The Odeon cinema in Allendale Road opened in 1935. Imagine what it must have been like for those living in the houses that can be seen reflected in the windows of what became the Starlite Snooker Club. They could cross the road and watch Fred and Ginger dance across the screen, Robert Donat escape foreign spies in “The 39 Steps” or hear Shirley Temple sing “The Good Ship Lollipop”. Within thirty years it had become the Starlite Ballroom, hosting gigs by some of the best British musicians of the time. By then you could cross the road to see Jeff Beck or Jack Bruce. Wow.
It could soon be sunset for the Starlite, as after decades of neglect the council is considering an application to demolish and redevelop this parade of shops. I am appalled that a site of such significance to British music history has been left to rot and might be replaced with a building of unparalleled ugliness. The UK is very bad at protecting its modern historical sites, anywhere else in the world this would be restored to attract tourists and revenue to the area.
I will be objecting to the proposal and I urge anyone with a love of music to do so as well, wherever you are because this is a shared heritage.
Click here for the Facebook page.
[The Starlite was demolished in February 2017. The Facebook page has been deleted.]
Images and text ©Albertina McNeill 2012. Please do not reproduce without permission. All rights reserved. Do not add any of these images to Pinterest or similar sites as this will be regarded as a violation of copyright.