FORT PERCH ROCK
After a hugely successful summer, Fort Perch Rock in New Brighton continues to build upon on its newly emerging tourist reputation. Gathering momentum as a significant major Merseyside Museum, it now prides itself on being the home of The Merseybeat Story. Amongst it's many other visitor attractions - not least the monument - or the 'rock' itself - is a collection of unique sixties memorabilia which pay homage to the major part in which New Brighton and the many other towns and villages -'over the water' - have played in Merseyside’s history of rock 'n roll musical fame.
The 'Rock' is an ancient fortress and boasts a very modern title of 'Grade 2 Listing' status. Built in Napoleonic times, this formidable construction reminds one of an era which lends itself more to an ancient Egypt of pyramid engineers whose work in dressed quarried stone lasted mankind for centuries to come. This difference however, is the where all similarity ends. Rather than preserve an odd few Pharaoh's or Tutankhamen’s for their hazardous passageway into the netherworld's afterlife, this edifice was instead built to defend and preserve the day-to-day lives of its thriving local population. It's purpose was relatively simple - a Fort - A manned fortification to thwart marauding enemy attacks on the Northwest of England, and in particular, the defence of the emerging River Merseys' importance to the flourishing Port of Liverpool.
Fort Perch Rock is conveniently situated at the very tip of the land mass called The Wirrel. There it sits perfectly, dominantly and forebodingly. Its bold stature quite clearly informs anyone approaching this land from the Irish Sea - who maybe of aggressive mindedness and who might have designs on small invasion or two by sailing into the River Mersey - to think again. "To reach the Port of Liverpool, honey-baby-sunshine.. you'll have to get past me first!"
"Who put the 'Rock' in Fort Perch Rock?"
Little could its founders have known back then in 17th century as to what it's functions in peace-time modern day Britain might have become..? Here in part - is just one of those small answers..
"THE MERSEYBEAT STORY..
*A Special Day on the 'Rock'
On the hour - poems and pirate stories..
Bill Hart meets the manager who gave The Beatles away.. but before he did, Allan Williams took The Beatles to the Star Club in Hamburg some 50 years ago.. then he sacked them! Well that's how the story supposedly goes?
Billy Fury is a Liverpool lad..
.. and The Shakers remind you all about it!
The outside stage accommodates shows in good weather.. and behind is a replication and reminder of the RMS Titanic - which commemorates its fateful disaster of 100 years ago this very same day..
Bill Hart: April 2012
The radiator on the right of the stairs is a new
acquisition. Salvaged from the now demolished Litherland
Town Hall it was probably something that local
bands - one of whom were called The Beatles - just might
have casually rested their cold bums against
when they weren't performing on stage!
A summer long special exhibition has just ended called
'Elvis Meets The Beatles'. Amongst the many exhibits and
features - all five can be seen in the pic just above the stairs.
Look out for more in the coming year..
On the third Sunday of each month a special live shows are held featuring many famous names, bands and original musicians from the Merseyside sixties scene such as Geoff Nugent of The Undertakers, Faron's of the Flamingos plus many, many more.. If the weather's fine then expect the outside stage to be in use..
A Brian Epstein NEMS Enterprises poster.
It features three major venues..
Queens Hall Widnes - Tower Ballroom New Brighton - Empire Theatre Liverpool.
Groups were encouraged to write their song set-lists down so as the other bands on the same bill
wouldn't clash with each other. It worked out fine in most cases but here The Beatles and Gerry & The Pacemakers chose Jerry Lee Lewis's 'What I'd Say' for the second song in. I suppose if you were first to get your list written down first - the other bands would have to drop the same song from their set?
On Friday 10 November 1961 local music promoter and entrepreneur Sam Leach put on a formidable rock 'n roll show-of-shows at the Tower Ballroom in New Brighton called Operation Big Beat. The line-up was just awesome. When you look back now to this fledgling and innocent era, Mersey Sound - Liverpool Sound - Mersey Beat and The Beatles et al's breakthrough to the big-time was still well over two years away..
The MerseyBeat Story at Fort Perch Rock
For more details contact..
Fort Perch Rock
0797 628 2120
Bill Hart: October 2011