The Regent Ballroom
In Queens Road, just across from the Clock Tower, stood the Regent Ballroom and cinema, part of the Top Rank organisation (now Boots the Chemist). The ballroom had been a very popular local dance hall since the thirties and had resident dance bands such as the "Syd Dean Orchestra" through the late fifties and into the sixties, regularly to be heard broadcasting on the old Light Programme on the radio.
By 1963 the popularity of Pop and Rock music brought about a change of music policy and the first local bands began to play regularly.
Mickey & the Sapphires played on several occasions in early '63. During one of these gigs The Regent had to be cleared and the Fire Brigade called because of a fire below the stage, discovered by a member of the band during one of their performances.
Several highly successful Hungerstop charity nights were also held at The Regent in 1964/65.
These events featured The Sapphires, The T-Bones, The Giants and The Tony Grant Group. The bands all gave their services for free.