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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
18th January 1973 Born today: Crispian Mills, London, vocalist/guitarist (Kula Shaker)
18th January 1950 Christopher Fry's Venus Observed, premieres in London
18th January 1884 General Charles Gordon departs London for Khartoum
Once an all-round super club where Jimi Hendrix first played
Location: 3 Cromwell Road, Kensington, SW7 2HR
Description: The Dorsia exclusive members club opened here in Spring 2011, but was the Firehouse for 10 years previous, and a variety of other club's until you reach the late Sixties when it was the famous The Cromwellian.
In 1964 this former dodgy gambling den was bought by Soho coffee shop entrepreneur Tony Mitchell who christened it The Cromwellian. After an inauspicious start 4 well known wretsler's bought into the club with him.
These heavyweights, were Paul Lincoln (Doctor Death), Judo Al Hayes (The White Angel), Bob Anthony Archer (Wrestling Beatle) and (Rebel) Ray Hunter.
The 3-story club became a casino, bar and discotheque and was soon one of the top clubs for celebrity nightowls.
On the first floor was the casino after two dice-tables were originally on the ground floor until a Molotov Cocktail was thrown through the window. On the ground floor was The Armoury Bar or Harry's Bar, run by flamboyant bartender Harry Heart.
But it was down in the music gig basement that the big names were playing: The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Elton John's Bluesology, The Nightimers, Brian Augers Steampacket, Eric Burden, Chris Farlowe, Georgie Fame, The Drifters, Patti LaBelle & The Blue Bells, Wilson Picket, Stevie Wonder, Chris Barber, even Sonny Boy Williamson.
It was the first place that Jimi Hendrix played in London, jamming Hey Joe.
Other names to be seen here included Margot Fonteyn and the Royal Ballet, Brian Epstein, Movie stars Clint Walker, Lee Marvin, Ryan ONeal, Jane Asher, Jayne Mansfield, and Sean Connery.
Tagged in this Tour: Jimi Hendrix's London