Leeds & West Yorkshire

Final night at Batley Variety Club ahead of gym conversion

Outside the Batley Frontier on Saturday Image copyright @markfreejack
Image caption The closing event on Saturday night was a sell-out, organisers said

A celebrated club that played host to artists including Louis Armstrong, Roy Orbison and Dame Shirley Bassey has closed its doors for the final time.

The Batley Variety Club, now known as Batley Frontier, is being converted into a gym.

A special event called 'It's the Final Frontier' was held at the West Yorkshire venue on Saturday to mark its last night.

Organisers said it was a sell-out and thanked people for their support.

Image copyright Linsey Lowe
Image caption The Batley Varity Club opened in 1967 and was turned into the Frontier club in the early 1980s

Posting on the club's Facebook page, Jackie Hatfield, said: "Was a fabulous night the Final Frontier for young and old - my dad Dennis is 82 and had a fabulous night never came off the dance floor."

Another reveller tweeted: "Thank you Batley Frontier for the memories. You will be missed."

Image caption Fitness company JD Gyms are set to transform the site

The Bradford Road club opened in 1967 with The Bachelors playing to a crowd of around 2,000 people.

It was opened and run by Jimmy Corrigan who, along with wife Betty, built the club on the site of a former sewage works.

He succeeded in attracting some of the music industry's biggest names including Louis Armstrong who played the club in 1968 just weeks after he knocked the Beatles off the number one spot.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sir Tom Jones, Roy Orbison and Dame Shirley Bassey all performed at the Batley Variety Club

Dame Shirley Bassey played at the venue a number of times and was regularly booked for three-week runs which would sell out.

Reflecting on the closure, she said: "I have many happy memories of singing at the Batley Variety Club so sorry to hear it is closing.

"I remember the opening night and I walked into my dressing room the owner had found out I liked Mars bars and there to greet me was a mountain of Mars bars. It took me a year to eat them and put me off Mars bars for life."

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