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Cavern half century

16 January 2007 by Sam

Cavern club membership card

A subterranean Liverpool landmark celebrates its 50th anniversary today. Since 1957 generations of clubbers have trailed down the stairs for a night out at the Cavern. I myself spent many happy hours on its dancefloor as a student (as well as several not so happy hours in the seemingly neverending queue for the ladies).

The Cavern is of course most famous as the venue to see a certain local band at the start of their career in the 1960s. The  Beatles played at the Cavern on at least 292 occasions, their first recorded appearance being 9 February 1961, and their final one on 3 August 1963.

Among recent additions to the collections of the Museum of Liverpool is the Cavern membership card from 1964 pictured above, which belonged to John Marsh of Huyton. You can’t see this card on display yet, but fans can enjoy a lot of the museum’s other Beatles memorabilia in our Beatles online exhibition, or just have fun with the Beatles games.

A mystery that has intrigued many local historians is the exact location of the original Cavern club, which was filled in when the venue closed in 1973. The reincarnated Cavern was rebuilt using the original bricks in a different part of Mathew Street in the 1980s. I’m not sure how helpful this is, but another membership card from the museum’s collection has these directions inside. Frustratingly, I don’t think the map is drawn to scale though.

inside pages of membership card with map showing the CavernCavern Club membership card, 1962 Season, owned by member Peter Day of Wallasey, dated 18-2-62. In the Club Notes section Peter listed the bands he saw at the Cavern, complete with dates, including the Beatles, 20 June 1962. Kindly donated by Mr Peter Day.

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