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Notice
Petition Birmingham City Council to list the Ritz Ballroom site as an Asset of Community Value

Above: Hoakser's Mural commemorating the old Ritz Ballroom that is currently in storage

Negotiations between the newly formed Ritz Arts Centre charity (of which the Walk of Fame is a partner) and the owner of the old Ritz Ballroom site have currently broken down. This is because the owner has twice failed to produce his own independent written valuation of the site after agreeing to do so. The Ritz Arts Centre CIO has, therefore, applied to Birmingham City Council to have the land at 2 York Road listed as an Asset of Community Value under Section 88 of the Localism Act. If the land is listed then should the owner put the land up for sale we must be given an opportunity to buy the land and some time to raise the money to do so.

So we have started an e petition that asks the Council to:-

1) list the land at 2 York Road, Kings Heath, B14 2RZ (the former Ritz Ballroom site) as an Asset of Community Value

2) ensure that any re-development of the site incorporates the first Birmingham Civic Society Music Heritage Plate awarded to commemorate the Ritz Ballroom and also the Kings Heath Walk of Fame pavement stars for Toyah Willcox, Trevor Burton and Tommy Godwin

3) actively assist and support the Ritz Arts Centre Trustees to develop an Arts Centre in Kings Heath containing a multi function performance space and a Pop History Museum

We want to ensure that the important musical legacy of the Ritz Ballroom is not lost in any re-development and a new Performing Arts Centre is created for a new generation!

Please sign the e petition at:-
http://epetition.birmingham.public-i.tv/epetition_core/view/RitzBallroom

Below: The unveiling of the first Birmingham Music Heritage Plate commemorating the Ritz Ballroom's historic and pivotal role in Birmingham's 1960's and 70's Pop Music Scene

 
King's Heath gets ready to get Stoned again on Sunday 20 September

One of Europe's leading Rolling Stones tribute bands The Stones return to the Hare & Hounds after their sensational show last year in a concert to conclude King's Heath's 52nd Anniversary celebration of The Rolling Stones first ever appearance in Birmingham at the now sadly burnt down Ritz Ballroom.

Our day long RollKing Stones Fest 2015  will take place on Sunday 20 September starting with an Acoustic Session featuring top local musicians at Fletchers Bar from 3p.m. to 6 p.m and ending with The Stones performing a two hour show at  7.30 p.m. at the Hare & Hounds next door to the old ballroom.

Formed in London in 1962 by Brian Jones after he met up with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards who had been childhood friends, the Rolling Stones started out as a blues group taking their name from the title of a song by Muddy Waters. For the whole of 1962 they played exclusively in the London area. But all that changed on 7 June 1963 after they released their first single a cover of Chuck Berry's "Come On". Just a few months later on 14 September 1963 they played one of their first ever gigs outside London and their first ever in Birmingham at King's Heath's Ritz Ballroom. Joining Brian, Mick and Keith on the tiny stage were Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts. The day after they returned to London to play at the Great Pop Prom at the Royal Albert Hall! When they next returned to Birmingham they played the much larger Town Hall and Hippodrome before going on to become the world's greatest Rock and Roll Band in the world selling over 200 million albums.

From 3 to 6 pm some fine musicians will perform their interpretations of classic Rolling Stones songs at Fletchers Bar & Eatery. including local hero Rob Peters, roots rockers Mr Apollo, the young and very talented Tim Walkerdine and two groups specially formed for last year's event The Mighty Crawdaddys and Harmonica Bob and Oz who both played storming sets.

From 7.30 to 10.30 pm The Stones will bring to the stage at the  Hare & Hounds all the energy and excitement of a live Rolling Stones concert in a serious tribute to their music in a sensational climax to the One Day Fest.

Their repertoire covers songs from all periods of the Rolling Stones career, but the majority of songs are from the 1960's and 70's

Don't miss this unique event to commemorate the greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World's Birmingham debut.

"... history repeating itself" (Playhouse, Whitley Bay)

" The Rolling Stones, recreated to absolute perfection" (Winding Wheel Theatre, Chesterfield)

Tickets for the evening concert by The Stones at the Hare and Hounds cost £10 cash in advance from the Kitchen Garden Cafe,

£10 + booking fee from http://www.skiddle.com/e/12475534

£12 on the door

Tickets for the afternoon Acoustic Session at Fletchers cost £3 in advance from the Kitchen Garden Cafe,

£3.30 from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/327329

or £4 on the door.

Advance Ticket sales close at 1 p.m on Sunday 20 Sept. Don't leave it to the last moment and pay more on the door! You really don't want to miss out on this special celebration of the day in 1963 that King's Heath first got stoned!!!

ABOVE: The Rolling Stones photographed at the Royal Albert Hall on 15 September 1963 the day after they made their Birmingham debut at the Ritz Ballroom.

 
Birmingham's King of Swing brings his Rock 'n' Roll Show show to Fletchers on Sunday 10 May

Award winning vocal entertainer Chris King appears in a special show at Fletchers on Sunday 10 May to commemorate the glory days of the old Ritz Ballrooom on King's Heath's York Road

When the ballroom first opened, the audience danced the night away to the big band sounds of the Charlie Simpson Orchestra and then to early appearances by Vince Hill and Engelbert Humperdinck.

Later they danced the night away to great international rock 'n' roll stars like Bill Haley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Gene Vincent and also up and coming English groups like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Kinks.

Chris will make you smile, laugh, sing and want to dance along to a great selection of the finest rock 'n' roll and swing songs ever written from the 1950's and 1960's onwards in a unique concert to commemorate the rich musical legacy of the old ballroom.

Previously voted Best Male Vocal Entertainer by the Birmingham Entertainments Secretaries Council, Chris always provides a great show that has proven to be a big hit with audiences of all ages.

Don't miss a fantastic 3 hour Lazy Sunday Afternoon Session in KIng's Heath starting at 3 p.m. Advance Tickets cost just £3 from the Kitchen Garden Cafe or £3.30 from www.wegottickets.com/event/311745

Any remaining tickets will cost £4 on the door.

 
Help Fund A New Ritz Arts Centre For A New Generation!

ABOVE: Donate at least £30 and get one free ticket to see ex-Kinks members "The Kast Off Kinks" perform at the Hare & Hounds on 12 June 2016 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the The Kinks' Birmingham debut at King's Heath's old Ritz Ballroom

A new Ritz Arts Centre Charitable Incorporated Organisation is being registered with the Charity Commission and you can help us to try to raise money to create a New Ritz for a New Generation.

Everyone who pledges at least £15 gets a great reward. And the more you donate the better the reward!

The new Arts Centre will seek to celebrate the past, present and future musical and cultural talent of the local area.

We hope that it will include a multi function performance and rehearsal space capable of being used by a new generation for live music and other cultural activities and a Pop History Museum that commemorates the pivotal role that the old Ritz Ballroom in York Road played in Birminghams Pop Culture of the 1960's before it was destroyed by a fire in 2013. The ballroom witnessed some of the first performances of Birmingham groups like The Move, The Moody Blues, The Spencer Davis Group, Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant and Black Sabbeth's Ozzy Osborne and Geezer Butler as well as the Birmingham debut of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Dusty Springfield and The Kinks!

We want the centre to become a major attraction that will add to the area's already vibrant live music scene.

You can help turn our dream turn into a reality by donating money at www.crowdpatch.co.uk/ritz/

The more you donate the better the reward you can claim.

The first 5 people who donate at least £60
get an A4 mounted copy of Rob Geoghegan's (Funny Brummie Pictures) painting
"The Beatles Birmingham Debut at The Ritz Ballroom" worth £30

The first 8 people who donate at least £40
get an A5 mounted or framed copy of Rob Geoghegan's (Funny Brummie Pictures) painting
 "The Beatles Birmingham Debut at The Ritz Ballroom" worth £20

The first 50 people who donate at least £30
get one ticket worth £15 to see ex Kinks Members "The Kast Off Kinks"
perform at the Hare & Hounds on 12 June 2016
to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of The Kinks appearing at the Ritz Ballroom

Everyone else who donates at least £15

gets an A3 Ritz Ballroom Commemorative poster worth £5 designed by graphic artist Gareth Austin.

To donate or find out more go to www.crowdpatch.co.uk/ritz/

 
Beatlemania will return to King's Heath on Sunday 15 February

Beatlemania will return to King's Heath on Sunday 15 Febuary as we celebrate the 52nd anniversary of the first ever Beatles gig in Birmingham at the old Ritz Ballroom on King’s Heath’s York Road which was sadly destroyed by fire in 2013. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m top local musicians will play their favourite Beatles songs in a sold out acoustic session at Fletchers Bar on York Road directly opposite the former ballroom.

Doors will then open at 7 p.m at the Hare & Hounds for a Special Concert by top Midlands tribute band The Born Again Beatles who last year starred at Liverpool's Cavern Club where the Fab Four started out.Tickets for the evening concert are also selling fast and need to be bought quickly

The Beatles appeared at the Ritz Ballroom – one of 4 venues run in the 1950′s and 60′s by the legendary Irish couple Ma and Pa Regan – on 15 February 1963 shortly after releasing their second single “Please Please Me”. Originally scheduled to appear on 11 January, they had been prevented by blizzard like conditions from making the 11 mile journey to King’s Heath from one of the Regans other venues – the Plaza in Old Hill.

When they did eventually make it on 15 February Beatlemania had really started to take off and the Beatles were only able to enter the Ritz by climbing up a ladder from Milford Place. In fact, the Fab Four almost had to appear as the Fab Three after George Harrison arrived late by taxi and was trapped by screaming fans.

“Tell them to turn that racket down” is what Pa Regan is rumoured to have shouted while they were practising! But he was a very happy man really. He had persuaded their manager Brian Epstein to agree to them performing for their previously agreed fee even though they were now No. 1 in the charts! They performed the rescheduled gig at The Ritz during a break from The Helen Shapiro Tour on which they started off as only 4th out of the 11 acts on the bill!

No more advance tickets are available for the afternoon Acoustic Session. A few tickets and returns may be available for £4 on the door.

Advance tickets for the evening concert by The Born Again Beatles are also selling fast and cost £5 and are available from the Kitchen Garden Cafe or on-line for £5 plus a booking fee from 

www.wegottickets.com/event/306145

www.hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk 

Any remaining tickets will cost £7 on the door.



 
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