Your memories of concerts at Preston Guild Hall

Posted on - 2nd June, 2019 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - History, Nostalgia, Preston City Centre, Preston News
The Guild Hall in Lancaster Road Pic: Tony Worrall
The Guild Hall in Lancaster Road Pic: Tony Worrall

As the shutters come down on Preston Guild Hall and the Charter Theatre we’ve asked for your memories of shows there.


Hundreds of you responded on Facebook as we posted a picture from the Preston Digital Archive showing the venue being built in 1971.

From prog-rock in the 70s, to the forerunner of grunge and indie in the 90s, to more recent times, the gig memories came flooding back for you.

Simon Rigby has mothballed the venue while negotiations continue with VMS Live on whether they will take on management of the venue.

Read more: UCLan is making contingency plans for graduation ceremonies

All businesses on the ground floor and in the arcade are unaffected by the closure.

Here’s your memories about the Guild Hall and shows there:

Andrew Graham said: “My most memorable gig was the damned,it was my girlfriend’s first punk gig,she’d had a sheltered upbringing.

“Then there was Hawkwind in the 80’s this guy next to us had a massive joint hidden in a smarties tube!

“The Stranglers letting a load of us on the stage and my first ever gig was here, Showaddywaddy.”

It’s not just gigs the Guild Hall has played host to, love was in the air for Carolyn Gibson.

Carolyn got married on stage at the Guild Hall
Carolyn got married on stage at the Guild Hall

She said: “I married my best friend on stage at the Guild Hall, it was incredible. I’m devastated with the news and hope it can be saved.

“We swore we would return every year and see whatever show was on the week of our anniversary whether we liked it or not.

“The place itself, the backstage dressing rooms, backstage, the seats in theatre, when you take a step back it’s magical and full of character. It will always be very special to me.”

For Rita Dodd she’s seen a few gigs.

She said: “Went to my first gig there in 1981 Madness. I was there last Sunday to see Chris Norman the voice of Smokie what a legend, hope that’s not the last gig I saw there but the best nights over the last few years at the Guild Hall as to be Les Mckeowns Bay City Rollers fantastic entertainment and Gary Numan was brilliant too.”

Dawn Ward had memories of working in the glory days of the Guild Hall.

She said: “Loved seeing the Happy Monday’s there. Also loved working in the celebrity restaurant in the 90’s and upstairs with all the VIPs for the snooker and bowls tournaments etc. Good days!”

And for some, it was a place to jump into some new musical discoveries.

Ian Billington said: “8th June 1978, Black Sabbaths 10th anniversary tour. The support band were an american band called Van Halen. Who were they?

“We didn’t know who they were. We sure knew afterwards. No support band ever blew us away like them. Not opening group for long.”

Queen was a popular memory for many, playing there in 1975.

Stuart Rishton shared this picture of the ticket stubs he has from classic Guild Hall concerts.

Stuart Rishton saw some vintage shows at the Guild Hall
Stuart Rishton saw some vintage shows at the Guild Hall

And Julia McManus brought us right up to date when Preston’s very own Evil Blizzard took centre stage.

She said: “Over the years since it opened I’ve seen many a concert at the Guild Hall and enjoyed all for different reasons. Evil Blizzard just recently were brilliant. It’s great to see the place used properly again. Looking forward to more events yet to come.”

Read more: See what’s on in Preston

You can see all the memories in the Facebook comments on the post below.

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