Kingsway Club Burns Down in Southport
Club where Ringo made Beatles debut
September 7, 2010
The Kingsway Club in its heyday.
The Kingsway Club, one of the first venues to host a Beatles lineup that featured Ringo Starr, was destroyed by fire on Monday night. According to local media, the fire was so bad that it took seven fire engines and two aerial units, along with the pouring rain, to bring the raging fire under control.
Fire service watch manager Peter Owens told the Southport Echo that the three-story venue suffered from a "severe fire" and that the "building has partially collapsed and there [was] another building threatened."
The fire was spotted late at night and burned into the early morning hours, when a rain storm finally helped bring the flames under control. A large crowd gathered to watch the once-important venue slowly burn to the ground.
Built in 1931 the Kingsway hosted performances by Cilla Black, Tom Jones, and according to local legend the first performance of The Beatles’s classic line up.
Ringo Starr is said to have taken over the drums from a sick Pete Best there in the early 60s.
It fell into disrepair in recent years with several redevelopment plans coming to nothing.