New book pays tribute to ‘king’ of a legendary West Yorkshire party venue which was host to the stars

Batley Variety Club 
owner James Corrigan at the club.

The club later became the Batley Frontier.
Batley Variety Club owner James Corrigan at the club. The club later became the Batley Frontier.
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A key member of the famous Batley Variety Club fraternity is releasing a book about the man who put her town on the map to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the venue’s grand opening.

Owner James Corrigan’s former public relations guru and confidant Maureen Prest publishes King of Clubs on Friday, March 24.

Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong

The legendary venue opened on March 26, 1967 and eventually hosted global stars such as Louis Armstrong, Shirley Bassey, Roy Orbison, Morecambe and Wise, along with many others performers.

Mrs Prest, of Birstall, said: “James Corrigan’s imagination knew no bounds.

“With the philosophy of ‘think big’ he brought the brightest stars in show business to the industrial mill town of Batley.”

Louis Armstrong memorably declared the town to be a “living aspirin”.

And Eartha Kitt stayed numerous times at the Oaks Road home of Mr Corrigan and his wife Betty – once apparently singing On Ilkley Moor Baht ‘At in the town’s Market Place.

A book launch event will take place at Batley Town Hall from 11am, where Mrs Prest will be signing copies.

The Batley Variety, on Bradford Road, later transformed into the Frontier Cluba nd continued to operate as a night spot. But it closed last summer with a final party and is currently being converted into a gym.

Route Publishing will release the King of Clubs, which can be pre-ordered for £14.99 at www.route-online.com

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