Rawtenstall Ballroom "Astoria"
December 16th 1932 – 7th February 1966
The very popular old Rawtenstall Astoria was built originally in 1932 out of the motor car showrooms and workshops of John Myerscough & Co. The new venture was the brainchild of brothers John and Noel Myerscough. The Ballroom remained under the ownership of the Myerscough family up until its closure on Tuesday 7th February 1966.
The Astoria was a very special sprung dance floor which measured approx 585 sq ft and covered in Maplewood and was capable of holding a capacity of up to 800 dancers. In 1959 this floor was yet again resprung with over six thousand pieces of Canadian Maple laid on steel springs, the Astoria was able to boast that it was one “of the finest sprung dance floors in England. The cost of this work in 1959 was £1000.
The Ballroom opened on December 16th 1932. The very first event held at the Astoria was the Annual Ball of the Rawtenstall British Legion
In the Late 40s and during the 50s the Astoria hosted some of the biggest band names and star vocalist around at the time such as: Joe Loss Orchestra with vocalist Rose Brennan, Johnny Dankworth Orchestra with Cleo Laine, Eric Delaney Band, Ted Heath Orchestra, Dickie Valentine, Lita Roza, Dennis Lotis, Ray Ellington with Marion Ryan, Edmundo Ross:-
1959 John Myerscough (jnr) thankfully he had the foresight to prepare for the boom which arrived in the early 60s. During the early 60s, up to more than 600 teenagers would come to the Saturday night beat nights which featured bands like: The Animals, Kinks, The Who, Small Faces, Moody Blues, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Hollies, Yardbirds, Maurauders, Honeycombs, Rocking Berries, Unit 4 plus 2, Sounds Incorporated, Rhythm & Blues Incorporated. Cost of admission was anything between six shillings to 15 shillings and sixpence, in accordance to the status of the band playing that evening. Local bands where quality handpicked by John Myerscough himself and would usually consist of the best bands around at the time from Lancashire including Manchester and Yorkshire - amongst them where: Wynder K. Frog, The Warriors, The Dappers, The Imps, The Swinging Hangmen, The Pagens, The Avalons, The Avengers. The Travellers (Rochdale). The star attraction groups where booked into the Astoria by Lewis Buckley Entertainments of Southport.
When John Myerscough finally closed the doors in 1966, he actually moved to Southport and took over the Agency (Lewis Buckley Entertainments) himself.