A JOURNALIST from Northwich has written to the Guardian to share his memories of the Memorial Hall and ask for help from readers.

Eric Langton, former editor-in-chief of the Chester Chronicle, works in Cheshire West and Chester Council press office and is appealing for film, in any format, of the Beatles at the hall or crowning the carnival queen in 1963.

But his appeal has prompted him to think back to his youth on the famous dance floor and recollections of how he rose, and fell, to some of the challenges young men faced on a Saturday night.

Eric writes: While the Morgue was a happy hunting ground for many young men in the swinging 60s, for this teenage cub reporter the memories are more of hope and failure. A group of ‘posh’ girls from Knutsford were a particular fascination, dancing in a tight knit circle around their handbags and only allowing male admittance if they liked the look of you AND your friend.

If you hadn’t established you owned a car by the second dance then there was no third dance so my Lambretta scooter was never likely to persuade them they should accept a lift home with me.

Then came the glorious day when I exchanged two wheels for four – £80 well spent on an Austin A35 van.

The posh girls had to catch a late coach back to Knutsford on a Saturday night and a little subterfuge was required to persuade them to miss it.

Encouraged by my new love-mobile and several pints of bitter consumed across the road at the Penrhyn Arms I felt more confident of success.

Having got to a third dance my confidence seemed well placed and when the inevitable question came I was able to confirm that I did indeed have a car. ‘Yes, it is a two-seater, outside in the car park’.

“The last bus to Knutsford departed minus one of its pretty posh girls who had accepted my offer to take her home.

“The effect of the alcohol was wearing off and as my new love’s encounter with my modest van got nearer my confidence faltered.

I was right to be worried. Arm in arm we left the hall and she looked around for my two-seater, clearly expecting an MG or Triumph TR. Her arm was rapidly removed from mine. But having missed the late coach home she had no option but to accept the ride home.

The girl complained: “I thought you said you had a two-seater.”

I replied: “It does have two seats.”

She eyed the mattress that wasn’t a mattress and uttered two words burned into my memory of that night. ‘No chance!’.

The warm evening took a decided chilly turn and the only other words spoken were directions, first to her home and then to where I could go. Ah, such happy memories.

It is amazing to think back to the groups who played at the Morgue – starting with The Beatles at least four times – most famously when they were persuaded 50 years ago, on July 6th, 1963 to crown the Northwich Carnival Queen before performing in the evening. Paul McCartney did the honours and then all four were smuggled away in the back of a van. The five-star list of super groups included The Hollies, The Kinks, The Animals, Marmalade, Manfred Mann, Freddie and the Dreamers ... the list is almost endless. PJ Proby who was known for splitting his pants got pulled off stage by Black Bob – just about the only black young male in the town – when he paid rather too much attention to a girlfriend.

n If you have film of the Beatles in Northwich ring Eric on 01224 973025.