Insider book on Batley Variety to soon be released

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.

Wednesday, 15th March 2017, 2:42 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:03 am
JUNE 1968: Louis Armstrong at Leeds Bradford Airport before his show.

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

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.

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“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