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The Riot Squad
Site Owner
Posts: 1495

"The end of an era" is a phrase we hear so often. For a place where wrestling went back to the 1930s and had hosted every big name in the business the closure of the doors really was the end of an era.

​Ron Historyo tells the story

Aberdeen - The End of an Era


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British wrestling history has a name - HERITAGE

November 25, 2017 at 4:57 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Hack
Moderator
Posts: 2623

Another interesting piece Ron, and you're right that the inflationary angle has never been considered before. 

Mind you it was about this time, 1973 or 1974 Morrell-Beresford moved from Saul Street Baths to the Guild Hall in Preston, which must have been much more expensive to run.

I was there the night Ernie Lofthouse announced the news and thought that just means prices going up, which of course it did. So that was the end of an era for the baths. The last time I went to a show at the Public Hall it was cancelled at the last minute.  That must have been 1972. I don't know if there were any more shows after that, none that I'm aware of.

In Blood, Sweat and Speedway we have recorded the last Belle Vue show.

I wonder if anyone else remembers managed ends to wrestling at their local hall, rather than just fizzling out.


Aberdeen - The End of an Era


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British wrestling - great characters but the plot was always a bit of a mystery.

November 26, 2017 at 6:37 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Ron Historyo
Member
Posts: 1913

It's a shame to see declining crowds. The prices had been held down better than at Peter Keenan's Glasgow shows in the same year.

For most shows you could still get in at The Music Hall for 40p. Maybe Wrestlers having to travel did not help but all credit to Dixon and his new business model , the wages still had to be paid.

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HISTORYO

Time Detective and Multi Heritage Award Winner

November 26, 2017 at 8:03 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Anglo Italian
Moderator
Posts: 2100

Given that we have had so many threads about the reasons for the seventies decline of wrestling, Ron does indeed identify a further point that we have not collectively identified so far:  inflation.

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Still trying to work out what was going on!

November 26, 2017 at 12:21 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Ron Historyo
Member
Posts: 1913

By 1980 it seems that prices had trebled in about four years.

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HISTORYO

Time Detective and Multi Heritage Award Winner

November 26, 2017 at 2:04 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Bernard Hughes
Member
Posts: 2430

Hi Hack, Dave or Powerlock will remember the managed end of St. James Hall.

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November 26, 2017 at 4:20 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Ron Historyo
Member
Posts: 1913

Bernard Hughes at November 26, 2017 at 4:20 PM

Hi Hack, Dave or Powerlock will remember the managed end of St. James Hall.

I came across this only today .


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HISTORYO

Time Detective and Multi Heritage Award Winner

March 13, 2018 at 12:05 AM Flag Quote & Reply

powerlock
Member
Posts: 1396

Bernard Hughes at November 26, 2017 at 4:20 PM

Hi Hack, Dave or Powerlock will remember the managed end of St. James Hall.

I was only 10 Bernard but I noticed the crowds getting smaller. Empty seats where there hadn't been, the building had seen better days and looking back it was a bit of a dump by then. Boxing and Wrestling could not justify the expenditure and it was converted into a bingo hall. The city Hall was smaller with a capacity just shy of 2500 so easier to fill. Decent acoustics would help with atmosphere but it wasn't the same, shows became less regular and that's what really did the damage I believe and also the City Hall was a very busy music venue so wrestling wasn't always on the same night of the week, it was rare for the show to be held on a Saturday as it had always been and that didn't help. Then in about 1972 or 1973 the kids tickets were stopped so it suddenly became that bit pricier to take the kids. Looking back it seems that management took too much for granted for too long and this had a huge effect on business, basically they also took the fans for granted and eventually killed the golden goose partly through refusing to change when everything else around them was, but mainly because their wallets instead of the fans remained their priority as no investment, or innovation in how the business was ran was ever contemplated as far as I can see. Business was being ran into the ground, venues ran intermittently on varying days, increasing prices, all things that drove away the previously regular weekly fans. How they couldn't see this defies logic, we complain about the Crabtrees but the Joint hierarchy must shoulder considerable blame too.
March 13, 2018 at 6:43 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Ron Historyo
Member
Posts: 1913

Yes Powerlock and just as Portz saw out St James he also was on the next bill at City Hall. Morrell put his name on this bill but as you say shows never had a regular night of the week after that. Sometimes Fridays and then Saturdays and some weeks not at all.


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HISTORYO

Time Detective and Multi Heritage Award Winner

March 13, 2018 at 6:54 AM Flag Quote & Reply

powerlock
Member
Posts: 1396
There was a fair few Monday shows too
March 13, 2018 at 7:04 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Dave Sutherland
Member
Posts: 366

The date showing on the last bout at St James' Hall was eighteen months after I had stopped working there. I was made aware some weeks previously that the Hall was to close as a wrestling (and boxing) venue but at that particular time I had other fish to fry and while sad to hear the news I just accepted it as one of those things in life. Looking back at the quality of the bill it semed that Newcastle went out on a high but as stated previously the crowds were dropping off and even a few years earlier with Vic Faulkner topping the bill the manager told me that the numbers were "terrible".

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March 13, 2018 at 8:59 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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