New Brighton is an old victorian town built on the banks of the River Mersey, opposite Liverpool. It has gone through many transformations over the years but in the 1960s it hit a particular highspot. The Tower Ballroom, the remaining brick structure from the country’s tallest tower, became the second most played venue by The Beatles, other than their residency in the Cavern. They played here more than 27 times during their chart topping days of the early sixties.
The ballroom interior was gutted in an earlier fire in 1956, however it was salvageable and was restored and reopened two years later.
On November 10th 1961, The Beatles played to 4000 people here. This was just a month after a boy called Raymond Jones had enquired about their single “my bonnie” at Brian Epstein’s NEMS store in Liverpool setting the wheels in motion.
That night they were the healdine act of a 5 hour concert named “Operation Big Beat”. They were supported by Gerry Marsden & the Pacemakers (who sadly died a few weeks ago), Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, Remo Four and Kingsize Taylor and the Dominoes. It must have been some night.
Throughout 1962 there appears to have been a number of these concerts at The Tower, all entitled “Operation Big Beat”, with The Beatles headlining them all and compared by Cavern DJ Bob Wooler and financed by Beatles Manager Brian Epstein.
pictures of the Tower courtesy of Google.