Birds’ Eye View at Temple Warehouse
One of the more interesting aspects of researching the Iron Door has been the opportunity to see the club through the eyes of its patrons. While their visits to the Iron Door took place 40 years ago, the enthusiasm of these patrons was as fresh as last night’s jam. A debt of gratitude is owed these folks whose comments of the day have tapped those musical senses that can be stored in an instant in the recesses of our emotional brain.
Information provided by Ms. Sue Shead, a patron of the Iron Door in the 1960s revealed that there were two entrances to the cellar and landings at the top of the stairs afforded fans with a “birds eye view” of the performing artists. The Club was a favourite meeting place that according to one fan “was always crowded with fellas, probably eyeing up the ‘talent’ on the dance-floor as well as on the stage.” There used to be a small booth high up on the left hand side of the stage, where the DJ used to play records between acts. Ms. Shead indicated that she preferred the Iron Door to the Cavern, she was able to see the stage better. She added
“Every time I hear the opening bars of “You’re My World” by Cilla, I think of that place.”
Danny Johnson recalls the location of the Iron Door on Temple Street.
“The Club, as I remember, was part of a block of black buildings (warehouses) stretching from Victoria St. to Dale St. My photo below was taken in September 2002 of a very new building on Temple Street near the old Iron Door. I remember going in there on quite a few occasions when it was a warehouse. Now knocked down, the Iron Door may have been a few yards down the street from this building. My first experience of this club was of going to see Kenny Ball of Jazz fame. Later on, I went to the first all night sessions any club had held then. One of the all night sessions had The Beatles, Gerry and The Pacemakers, Johnny Sandon & the Remo Four, The Big Three and a few others. As you walked in, you could walk straight on to the little cafe bar or go left down the stairs to the dance floor and stage area. I preferred it to the Cavern because there wasn’t urine all over the floors and the smell that goes with it.”
Joan Houston kindly provided scans of here Iron Door Membership Card that have been posted on this page. She had a number of comments to make about the Iron Door and listening to live performances there. Take note of the autographed Iron Door Card, shown below, signed by Faron of Faron and the Flamingoes.
“I remember going to see Earl Preston with Cy Tucker at the Iron Door. There was a small open stage and we stood in front of the performers. I do remember that the bouncers were much tougher than other clubs. The reason I guess I still remember this is because I was probably under age at the time and I had to think of different ways to get in. You had to be devious back then. You were either skint most of the time or under age.”
Submitted on March 27, 2001 – Revised October 6, 2012
© 2001-2012 Peter McCormack. All rights reserved.