Live: Tower Ballroom, New Brighton, Wallasey

8.00pm, Friday 10 November 1961 (52 years ago)

This was The Beatles’ first show at the Tower Ballroom in New Brighton, Wallasey.

This was also the first “Operation Big Beat” event, which featured a range of top beat groups performing. They were promoted by Sam Leach, for whom The Beatles played a number of events in the early 1960s.

Tower Ballroom was on the New Brighton promenade, and was capable of holding up to 5,000 people. This event featured The Beatles, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Remo Four, and Kingsize Taylor and the Dominoes.

Tickets cost five shillings, and the event lasted from 7.30pm to 1am. The Beatles’ first set was at 8pm, after which they quickly drove to Knotty Ash Village Hall for the second show of the night.

They then hurried back to the Tower Ballroom for a final appearance at 11.30pm. At the end of the night The Beatles and The Hurricanes had a car chase, through the Mersey Tunnel, back to Liverpool city centre.

The New Brighton Tower opened in 1900, and at 567ft was taller than Blackpool Tower. A 1,000 tonne lattice-steel observation tower overlooking the Wirral Peninsula, it was the tallest building in Britain when it was completed.

It was short-lived, however. Following closure during World War One, its structure began to decay and the tower was dismantled between 1919 and 1921.

The ballroom underneath fared better, however, and was used for nearly 50 years. However, the building was destroyed by fire in 1969. The area was later redeveloped as River View Park.

The Beatles played at the Tower Ballroom on 27 occasions. The other dates were 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; and 14 June 1963.

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