Live: The Institute, Neston, Wirral

8.00pm, Thursday 2 June 1960 (53 years ago)

The Silver Beetles played six consecutive Thursday night shows from this date at The Institute, a venue based on Hinderton Road in the town of Neston, on the Wirral Peninsula, Merseyside.

The dates were arranged by Allan Williams while the group had been on tour in Scotland, and were promoted by Les Dodd’s Paramount Enterprises.

Dodd had been running events at The Institute since 1936, and had belatedly began booking rock ‘n’ roll acts. He paid The Silver Beetles £10 for their appearance, from which they gave Allan Williams £1.

Interestingly, although they commonly used the name The Silver Beetles around this time, the Heswall And Neston News And Advertiser published a brief review of the night, which stated: “A Liverpool rhythm group, The Beatles, made their debut at Neston Institute on Thursday night”. This suggests the group were operating under a range of different names at the time.

The Institute is now known as Neston Civic Hall. In the early 1960s it was a particularly rough venue, and The Silver Beetles witnessed a 16-year-old boy being brutally beaten at one of their shows. Their last performance there was on 7 July 1960.

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