"King's Heath leads the way in celebrating musical heritage" says Birmingham Mail (Click Here)
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Local Government Ombudsman to begin investigating complaint over Council Delay in deciding Asset of Community Value nomination

ABOVE: 4 Years ago on 27 March 2014 fire destroyed the former Ideal Picture House, Billiards Hall, Ritz Ballroom and Bingo Hall at 2 York Road

An investigation has now begun by the Local Government Ombudsman into Birmingham City Council's delay in deciding whether or not to list 2 York Road as an Asset Of Community Value.

Kings Heath music lovers have been demanding a change of tune from City Council chiefs for some time because they are refusing to decide the future of the site of a former dance hall where sixties legends including the Beatles and the Rolling Stones made their Birmingham debut and members of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, The Move, The Spencer Davis Group and Slade cut their musical teeth.

Four years ago on 27 March 2013, the building that had been home to the Ritz Ballroom throughout the sixties and early seventies was destroyed by fire.

Campaigners are demanding the land at 2 York Road is listed as an ‘Asset of Community Value’ as an important step in realising the dream of creating a suitable tribute to the venue’s rich musical heritage. The land was originally the site of a cinema and billiards hall before being converted by legendary Irish couple Ma and Pa Regan into a ballroom and then a bingo hall.

The campaign has gathered wide support from local residents and businesses.

Co-organisers Bob Prew and Ken Whittaker said: “We have sent the Council leader legal advice that the Localism Act requires them to list the site. We are very angry and concerned that the council believes they are above the law and can simply ignore the eight-week mandatory time limit for making such decisions. They have now taken over 15 months to not make a decision. It also seems to us that they have no effective complaints policy. There are now growing demands for something to be done about what has become a derelict eyesore in an otherwise increasingly fashionable area and for us to be helped to realise our dream of making the Ritz rise from the ashes as a community resource celebrating its amazing heritage.”

The plans are to build on the site a performance space and a museum that tells the story of the site.

Further fundraising for this ambitious project is taking place on 4th June at the Hare and Hounds next door to the derelict site when John Lennon’s sister Julia Baird’s favourite tribute band The Mersey Beatles perform a special show to jointly commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the release of the Sgt Pepper album and the 54th Anniversary of The Beatles third and final appearance at the Ritz.

Tickets cost £15 cash from the Kitchen Garden Cafe or £15 + booking fee from www.skiddle.com/e/12922152

Bob Prew added “Liverpool earns millions of pounds from musical tourism. Birmingham could do the same if the Council started to promote our musical heritage in the same way. Listing 2 York Road as an Asset of Community Value would make a great start”.

BELOW: One of the 4 murals that tells the history of 2 York Road designed by graffitti artist Hoakser

Out Of The Shadows return to play great Rock'n'Roll music at Fletchers on 7 May

Come to the eagerly awaited return to Fletchers Bar on Sunday 7 May of the award winning Out of The Shadows in fantastic 3-hour rock'n'roll show starting at 3 p.m. And wear your dancing shoes because this multi-talented group have had the audience dancing in every conceivable space on their last two appearances here.

Hailing from Stourbridge, they have regularly been voted Top Club Act by regional club entertainment officers and audience members. They are a great good time rock 'n' roll band. Expect to hear some of the greatest vocal hits from the late 1950's onwards from Eddie Cochran's Summertime Blues through to Dire Straits' Walk Of Life as well as a few of The Shadows' greatest instrumental hits.

If you have not seen them before, don't miss out again as another great Lazy Sunday Afternoon's entertainment is guaranteed.

Advance Tickets cost £4 from Kitchen Garden Cafe or £4.40 from www.wegottickets.com/event/392459

Any remaining tickets will cost £5 on the door.

Celebrate The Beatles Birmingham Debut at King's Heath's All You Need Is Love Fest on Sunday 12 February

Come along on Sunday 12 February and join in this year's celebration of The Beatles Birmingham debut at the now sadly burnt down Ritz Ballroom on King's Heath's York Road.

From 3 to 6 p.m. a special pre Valentines Day "All You Need Is Love" concert will take place at Fletchers Bar directly opposite the ruins of the old ballroom at which a great selection of local musicians will sing their favourite Beatles' Love Songs.

Expect to hear many of the musicians that contributed tracks to King's Heath Walk of Fame's first CD 'Rubber Soul Rebound' (a 50th Anniversary re-make of The Beatles classic album) including Acoustica, David Garside, Eleanor Dattani, The Eggmen, Peters plays Lennon, and Tim Walkerdine. Guaranteed to make a great Valentine's Day present the CD as well as digital downloads can be ordered from:- https://kingsheathwalkoffame.bandcamp.com/album/rubber-soul-rebound Also appearing on stage will be the very talented Alex Vann, Mr Apollo and Ukulele Theatre plus John Kennedy reading from John Lennon's works.

This annual event usually sells out quickly so get your tickets now! Tickets can be bought from Kitchen Garden Cafe for £4 cash or £4 + booking fee from www.wegottickets.com/event/382651 Any remaining tickets will cost £5 on the door.

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