Campaigners continue the fight to save Mr Smiths nightclub

Mr Smiths campaigners outside the Warrington venue. In front with sign are Diane Kerfoot and Mikey Cadwallader

Mr Smiths campaigners outside the Warrington venue. In front with sign are Diane Kerfoot and Mikey Cadwallader

First published in News

CAMPAIGNERS say they will continue to fight to save Mr Smiths despite imminent plans to knock the building down.


Diane Kerfoot, aged 45, of Hopefield Road, Lymm, has started a Facebook group called ‘Save Mr Smiths’.


She first recalls queuing for seven hours to see Grease when it was the ABC Cinema, and spent teenage nights on the dance floor of the nightclub.


“It’s an iconic building and a massive part of Warrington’s history,” she said.


“We don’t want to see it demolished and flats put up there.”


The Facebook group has 1,198 ‘likes’ so far, with supporters calling for the building to be re-developed.


As revealed in the Warrington Guardian, demolition can take place from August 11.


Salford-based property development company LPC Living now says, legally, it could take place any time in the following 12 months.


LPC is managing the site, and said a date has yet to be confirmed when work will start.


However, after the Warrington Guardian requested access to the inside of Smiths, LPC said the building has been ‘readied for demolition’, and would not be safe.


Builders were also seen last week clearing debris from outside the building with ‘investigations ongoing’ into demolition.


LPC has said it aims to create a ‘sustainable development’ for people who ‘live and work’ in Warrington, and has agreed to meet campaigners.


Les Bradshaw, of Eastford Road, Walton, is supporting the Save Mr Smiths campaign.


He believes the building should be re-developed into a theatre under the name of beloved Warrington-born actor Pete Postlethwaite.


Mr Bradshaw, who remembers huge queues for the restaurant at the Ritz, said: “The building is fantastic and should be opened as the Pete Postlethwaite theatre, to recognise our greatest son.”


The idea of a theatre has also proved popular on the Facebook group, with Mrs Kerfoot due to meet an LPC Living official today, Thursday.


She added: “A lot of people would like to see it as a theatre, in the name of Pete Postlethwaite.
“People wouldn’t have to go to Liverpool or Manchester.


“It could be a facility that people come from out of town to visit.”


To join the campaign, search Save Mr Smiths on Facebook. 
 

Comments (8)

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9:40am Fri 1 Aug 14

Penketh Pony says...

Such a lazy culture these days where the pinnacle of action to 'save' a building from demolition equates to starting a 'Save Mr Smiths' campaign group on Facebook.

Residents still appear to be blinded by the fact WBC (or anyone apart from the owners for that matter) cannot do anything to save the building, and it will be demolished, no matter how many sullen pictures are taken in front of the building with cardboard cut-outs or 'likes' on social media.
Such a lazy culture these days where the pinnacle of action to 'save' a building from demolition equates to starting a 'Save Mr Smiths' campaign group on Facebook. Residents still appear to be blinded by the fact WBC (or anyone apart from the owners for that matter) cannot do anything to save the building, and it will be demolished, no matter how many sullen pictures are taken in front of the building with cardboard cut-outs or 'likes' on social media. Penketh Pony
  • Score: 6

1:18pm Fri 1 Aug 14

richiepooh says...

That's how save Walton gardens started and WBC do have powers they're just not exercising them. But you can bet your bottom dollar once momentum picks up, Helen Jones will be here along with Ian Marks claiming credit though!
That's how save Walton gardens started and WBC do have powers they're just not exercising them. But you can bet your bottom dollar once momentum picks up, Helen Jones will be here along with Ian Marks claiming credit though! richiepooh
  • Score: 2

1:50pm Fri 1 Aug 14

Mrs1979 says...

No disrespect to the campaigners but I haven't seen or heard of anyone doing anything when Mr Smiths was just closed !
Left rotting like lots of other old building in our town !
Seems to me that iit is a shame the building is going but nobody seemed that bothered till now !!
No disrespect to the campaigners but I haven't seen or heard of anyone doing anything when Mr Smiths was just closed ! Left rotting like lots of other old building in our town ! Seems to me that iit is a shame the building is going but nobody seemed that bothered till now !! Mrs1979
  • Score: 6

5:23pm Fri 1 Aug 14

richiepooh says...

I keep hearing this argument about not doing anything till its being demolished but that's a ridiculous premise, because people assume there are plans for buildings, and when they sit empty the general public aren't going to randomly start a campaign to do something with a building until they hear that there's plans to demolish...what logic would think they would?

It was the same with the Baths, closed for years, but people assumed that it being a Victorian building that some development would make good use of its unique architecture, same with the CIS tower, not demolish....should we worry that stone henge should make way for a Lidl, Many Palaces in the UK have experienced 50 years + empty. people didn't just knock them down, they realised what this means to history.
I keep hearing this argument about not doing anything till its being demolished but that's a ridiculous premise, because people assume there are plans for buildings, and when they sit empty the general public aren't going to randomly start a campaign to do something with a building until they hear that there's plans to demolish...what logic would think they would? It was the same with the Baths, closed for years, but people assumed that it being a Victorian building that some development would make good use of its unique architecture, same with the CIS tower, not demolish....should we worry that stone henge should make way for a Lidl, Many Palaces in the UK have experienced 50 years + empty. people didn't just knock them down, they realised what this means to history. richiepooh
  • Score: 3

12:16am Sat 2 Aug 14

butscratcher says...

had some great nights in there !! but that's just it HAD , time moves on , i wonder if all the lighting kit etc is still in there ??? and as for WHG that is enjoyed by all not just clubbers , any way never saved the horgy food wagon , boy what a place that was !! meet all walks of life there !!!
had some great nights in there !! but that's just it HAD , time moves on , i wonder if all the lighting kit etc is still in there ??? and as for WHG that is enjoyed by all not just clubbers , any way never saved the horgy food wagon , boy what a place that was !! meet all walks of life there !!! butscratcher
  • Score: 0

12:46pm Sat 2 Aug 14

gordon holt says...

its a pity people didn't bother to save the RITZ/ ABC cinema which is what this building was built for in the first instance
its a pity people didn't bother to save the RITZ/ ABC cinema which is what this building was built for in the first instance gordon holt
  • Score: 5

7:55pm Sat 2 Aug 14

Daz@SankeyviaOrford says...

richiepooh wrote:
I keep hearing this argument about not doing anything till its being demolished but that's a ridiculous premise, because people assume there are plans for buildings, and when they sit empty the general public aren't going to randomly start a campaign to do something with a building until they hear that there's plans to demolish...what logic would think they would?

It was the same with the Baths, closed for years, but people assumed that it being a Victorian building that some development would make good use of its unique architecture, same with the CIS tower, not demolish....should we worry that stone henge should make way for a Lidl, Many Palaces in the UK have experienced 50 years + empty. people didn't just knock them down, they realised what this means to history.
Quite right ! Time move on requirements change and the links to Manchester n Liverpool mean a theatre like project would fall on it's bum in no time. Maybe the developer could incorporate the facard on the building a little like the school front on church st next to the marquis.For prosperity and good design it could be an idea.
[quote][p][bold]richiepooh[/bold] wrote: I keep hearing this argument about not doing anything till its being demolished but that's a ridiculous premise, because people assume there are plans for buildings, and when they sit empty the general public aren't going to randomly start a campaign to do something with a building until they hear that there's plans to demolish...what logic would think they would? It was the same with the Baths, closed for years, but people assumed that it being a Victorian building that some development would make good use of its unique architecture, same with the CIS tower, not demolish....should we worry that stone henge should make way for a Lidl, Many Palaces in the UK have experienced 50 years + empty. people didn't just knock them down, they realised what this means to history.[/p][/quote]Quite right ! Time move on requirements change and the links to Manchester n Liverpool mean a theatre like project would fall on it's bum in no time. Maybe the developer could incorporate the facard on the building a little like the school front on church st next to the marquis.For prosperity and good design it could be an idea. Daz@SankeyviaOrford
  • Score: 2

7:56pm Sat 2 Aug 14

Daz@SankeyviaOrford says...

richiepooh wrote:
I keep hearing this argument about not doing anything till its being demolished but that's a ridiculous premise, because people assume there are plans for buildings, and when they sit empty the general public aren't going to randomly start a campaign to do something with a building until they hear that there's plans to demolish...what logic would think they would?

It was the same with the Baths, closed for years, but people assumed that it being a Victorian building that some development would make good use of its unique architecture, same with the CIS tower, not demolish....should we worry that stone henge should make way for a Lidl, Many Palaces in the UK have experienced 50 years + empty. people didn't just knock them down, they realised what this means to history.
Quite right ! Time move on requirements change and the links to Manchester n Liverpool mean a theatre like project would fall on it's bum in no time. Maybe the developer could incorporate the facard on the building a little like the school front on church st next to the marquis.For prosperity and good design it could be an idea.
[quote][p][bold]richiepooh[/bold] wrote: I keep hearing this argument about not doing anything till its being demolished but that's a ridiculous premise, because people assume there are plans for buildings, and when they sit empty the general public aren't going to randomly start a campaign to do something with a building until they hear that there's plans to demolish...what logic would think they would? It was the same with the Baths, closed for years, but people assumed that it being a Victorian building that some development would make good use of its unique architecture, same with the CIS tower, not demolish....should we worry that stone henge should make way for a Lidl, Many Palaces in the UK have experienced 50 years + empty. people didn't just knock them down, they realised what this means to history.[/p][/quote]Quite right ! Time move on requirements change and the links to Manchester n Liverpool mean a theatre like project would fall on it's bum in no time. Maybe the developer could incorporate the facard on the building a little like the school front on church st next to the marquis.For prosperity and good design it could be an idea. Daz@SankeyviaOrford
  • Score: 0

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