The Nelson Imperial

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Courtesy Dave Wood


I never attended the Nelson Imperial, Nelson but  I was there when the Otis Redding Show was there on Saturday April 1st 1967 (but I was only 13years old then so they wouldn't have let me in!).

I worked there when it later became Nelson's Column in the early seventies, when Paul Manning purchased quite a few nightclubs (The Manor House,Thornton In Craven, Circulation Club,Burnley and a few more including one in Heywood whose name escapes me!) from Ken Leary (all the records had a sticker with Ken Leary Entertainments stuck on them - some still turn up to this day).

Sadly the former Nelson Imperial burnt down on 18th March 1976 and is now the site of some sheltered accomodation.

Bo Diddley, who sadly passed away only a few weeks ago, was an artist who appeared there in the 60s, amongst many others like the Kinks, The Small Faces, The Walker Brothers and, of course, The Beatles.

Keith Gunton

I gigged there in the late '60s with my band The Manchester Federals. We supported P.J.Proby and his orchestra.

It was a revolving stage, and we set up on one side and the stage rolled round when we were due on. Then the next band would set up whilst we performed. All good stuff, but when you were waiting to go on, you never really knew which direction the stage would turn!

Happy memories.

Chris Evans

The name of the club that Keith Gunton can't remember in Heywood waas called "The Richmond ".  On the site now is a supermarket, either Lidl  or Aldi I think. Hope this helps you.

Brian Cordwell


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Comments (17)

Topic: Nelson Imperial
1 2 3 > Last
Ray Pickering says...
Used to take a trip to the Imp nearly every weekend night. Most of the bands mentioned I remember clearly after paying a visit to the Nelson Hotel and then the Imp. Many a time I caught the late night bus at closing time. From about 1960-1964 I was ... Read More
13th February 2017 10:21pm
Keith Alexander says...
I worked part time at the Imp for a couple of years or so. One Saturday I arrived early for work to hear Gerry and the Pacemakers doing a song as a sound check. It was great! I carried 12 girls from the ballroom to get smelling salts outside after ... Read More
6th February 2017 8:43am
Frank Howarth says...
No mension. Of the Ponderosa Cartwrights a local group who would often be the support act . Remember seeing bill Halley , gene Vincent & Chris Montez amongst many others . Superb venue .
6th February 2017 6:39am
Ian says...
Can anyone tell me of an opening band at the Imp called the Dalesmen. Unable to find any race of this band anywhere
17th June 2016 2:02am
1 2 3 > Last

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