When Nelson was host to the stars

STAR-STUDDED VENUE: Nelson's famous "Imp" Ballroom, 1950s
STAR-STUDDED VENUE: Nelson's famous "Imp" Ballroom, 1950s

A look at Nelson’s Carr Road this week with a 1950s scene captured by the late, great Albert J. Morris.

On the left is a rare view of Nelson’s “ballroom of the stars”, the legendary Imperial Ballroom, which played host to hundreds of top musicians and celebrities in the 1950s and “swinging sixties”. Inset are three of the “Imp’s” brightest stars. Left is brilliant Billy Fury, a magical performer who visited four times, twice in 1959 and in 1965 and 1966.

Our middle star is the distinctive Del Shannon, whose stunning falsetto voice echoed from the “Imp” stage on June 1st, 1963 - my 20th birthday, a night I’ll never forget.

On the right we see the jaunty Jimi Hendrix, whose virtuosity on the guitar on a May night in 1967 captivated us all.

Now these three legends have left for the great stage in the sky, just as the Imperial Ballroom is no more, having burnt down in 1976, but the memories live on.