The Winter Gardens

The newly constructed brick built Winter Gardens shortly after opening on 4th November 1937

Built in 1875 as a glass structure, the original Crystal Palace and Winter Gardens housed a wide variety of shrubs and floral displays interspersed with exhibition space and areas for public entertainments. The first concert to take place in the venue was performed by Dan Godfrey and his thirty strong Municipal Military Band in 1893. Two years later Godfrey was chosen to lead the new Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra, at the time it was one of the few permanent, fully salaried symphony orchestras in the country, along with Manchester’s Halle Orchestra. Over the years Edward Elgar, Jean Sibelius, Hubert Parry, Vaughan Williams, Henry Wood, William Walton, Thomas Beecham and Gustav Holst all visited the town as guest conductors and in November 1913 the orchestra released its first 78rpm recording on the HMV label.

Above and Below: The original glass Crystal Palace and Winter Gardens built in 1875
The Interior of the Crystal Palace and Winter Gardens planted with shrubs and flowers
The Crystal Palace and Winter Gardens circa 1893 with the stage set for the concert orchestra

In 1929 the Municipal Orchestra moved across the lower gardens to the recently completed Pavilion, six years before the original glass Winter Garden was demolished. It was rebuilt using a steel skeleton enclosed with brick and a timber roof at a cost of £30,000, as a state-of-the art indoor bowling green, after much lobbying from the Bournemouth Indoor Bowling Club. The official opening by the current mayor, Alderman Thomas Rebbeck, occurred on 4th November 1937. Two years later, at the outbreak of the war, it was requisitioned by the Air Ministry and handed over to the Canadian Air Force who were stationed in the town.

The Winter Gardens in 1938, built specifically for the Bournemouth Indoor Bowling Club

After the hostilities had ceased, the Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra expanded to sixty plus musicians however, they were unhappy with the acoustic properties of the Pavilion Theatre and having to play second fiddle to stage productions, pantomimes and variety shows. As a remedy, it was agreed that the bowling green would be converted into a concert hall, much to the consternation of the bowling club members. When the council took back control of the building in 1946 they gave the go-ahead to erect a stage and install eighteen hundred seats. A concert was arranged for the opening night on Saturday 18th October 1947 by the Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra conducted by their new leader, Rudolf Schwarz. The concert was a huge success and to the relief of the gathered throng and particularly the musicians and Schwarz, the hall’s acoustic qualities were rated second to none. In 1954, the Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra was renamed the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Charles Groves.

Construction workers begin to lay the brick foundations for the stage circa 1947
The pristine, completed auditorium before the opening night on 18th October 1947
The Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra with conductor Rudolf Schwarz on the opening night

Apart from orchestral recitals, over the years the hall promoted countless shows featuring international stars such as Bob Hope, Burl Ives, Ella Fitzgerald, Paul Robeson, Count Basie, Maurice Chevalier, Perry Como, Duke Ellington, Stephane Grappelli, Victor Borge and Brenda Lee. A whole plethora of home-grown talent also appeared in concerts, variety shows and summer extravaganzas. During its lifetime the venue was utilised as a cinema, a circus, a conference hall and an arena for wrestling and boxing bouts. During the sixties, hundreds of culturally deprived school kids were bused in from the outlying suburbs for an annual concert by the BSO. After much catcalling and abuse shouted across the aisles between opposing schools, the pupils would settle down to a two-hour recital of well-known selections from say Holst’s “Planets Suite”, or possibly the rousing final movement of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture”, under the watchful eye of frazzled teachers desperately trying to pinpoint who was responsible for the thunderous fart during the quiet passage.    

By the late fifties the Winter Gardens became a regular stop-off on the package tour merry-go-round. Transient stars of the short-lived skiffle craze, anaemic British rock ‘n’ roll singers and the occasional American big name, would pass through as part of protracted jaunts around the provinces. However, by the early sixties it was all change as the bills became increasingly stuffed with beat merchants riding the Beat Boom. By the time the Fab Four arrived in November 1963, ‘Beatlemania’ was at fever pitch, prompting three rival American television networks, NBC, CBS and ABC to descend on the Winter Gardens and film news items on the new phenomenon. A short snippet of the group performing “From Me to You” was the first sighting America got of the Liverpudlian foursome when it was aired on The Huntley-Brinkley Report on 18th November 1963, pre-empting their Ed Sullivan Show debut on Sunday February 9th 1964 by nearly three months. Over the next three years virtually every beat group worth its salt came to the Gardens including The Rolling Stones, The Searchers, the Dave Clarke Five, The Hollies, The Troggs, Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick & Tich, Manfred Mann, Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Kinks, Freddie and the Dreamers and The Yardbirds, plus a surfeit of lesser one-hit wonders and no hopers.

In March 1965 a stellar Tamla Motown revue with The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Martha Reeves and The Vandellas and Smokey Robinson and The Miracles came to town. Incredibly, the tour was struggling to pull in the punters with half-full theatres outside of London, particularly for the first houses. To boost ticket sales, the promoters drafted in Georgie Fame and The Blue Flames who were riding high in the charts with “Yeah Yeah”. Apparently Mary Wilson of The Supremes remembers the acts referring to the UK trek as the ‘ghost tour’, while Georgie Fame is still incredulous to this day that he was drafted in to try to save a bill stuffed with such exceptional talent.

By 1967 the age of multi-group packages was winding down, although one of the last, starring the Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Move, The Nice, Amen Corner and Pink Floyd, proved to be one of the most memorable. It wasn’t the first time Hendrix had been to Bournemouth; he had visited six months earlier low down on an incongruous bill featuring the Walker Brother, Cat Stevens and special guest Engelbert Humperdinck. When Jimi returned he was headlining on the back of four top twenty singles and a ground-breaking debut album, Are You Experienced. Hendrix pulled out all the stops in his forty-minute slot, playing with his teeth, behind his head and while lying on his back. He covered the hits “Hey Joe”, “Purple Haze” and “The Wind Cries Mary” and finished with “Wild Thing”, the song he climaxed with at the ‘Monterey Pop Festival’ five months earlier. At Monterey, he cremated his guitar buy dousing it in lighter fuel and throwing matches on it, but in Bournemouth the Swan Vestas remained firmly in his pocket.   

The night John Mayall brought his new all acoustic configuration to the Gardens in 1970, the PA malfunctioned towards the end of his set. Unperturbed, Mayall, bass player Alex Dmochowski and guitarist Jon Mark improvised an instrumental using just their back line amplifiers, while Johnny Almond stood on the lip of the stage blowing into his tenor sax. The acoustics in the auditorium did the rest, captivating the audience as the notes cascaded around the hall. The same year all three members of Cream passed through within six weeks of each other in differing guises. In October Eric Clapton tried sneaking in undetected using the alias of Derek with his new band the Dominos. A month later Ginger Baker negotiated a bumpy landing with his Airforce. They were late arriving and ran into the theatre through the main entrance, clambered onto the stage and proceeded to perform an under rehearsed, shambolic mess of a set, albeit a highly entertaining shambloic mess. Finally, Jack Bruce arrived ten days later with Tony Williams Lifetime, an extraordinarily talented jazz / rock fusion super-group with John McLaughlin on guitar and Larry Williams on keyboards. The only problem being that the band bludgeoned the small audience into submission with excessive volume.

David Gilmour and Dave Mason of Pink Floyd performing at the Winter Gardens 22nd January 1972

In January 1972 Pink Floyd returned to air their magnum opus Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety for only the second time, the first performance being the night before at the Portsmouth Guildhall. It was a totally different experience to the show five years previous on the Jimi Hendrix tour. Back in 1967 they were allotted seventeen minutes in which to impress the audience, choosing to air truncated versions of “Take up Thy Stethoscope and Walk” and “Interstellar Overdrive” instead of their recent hits “Arnold Layne” and “See Emily Play”. Unfortunately their guitarist Syd Barrett was in bad shape suffering from early onset schizophrenia brought on by an over indulgence in LSD and the stresses and strains of fronting a successful band. It’s believed on at least one occasion, Davy O’List of the Nice stood in for Syd as he was unfit to perform. Fast forward to 1972 and with Dave Gilmore in for Barrett, the Floyd were on top form promoting their latest album Meddle, however, the set was dominated by Dark Side of the Moon which didn’t appear on vinyl until fifteen months later.    

On the 15th May 1973, Paul McCartney pulled into town with his new group Wings, followed by David Bowie and the Spiders from Mars ten days later. Bowie was filmed backstage and performing to the sell-out crowd for BBC’s Nationwide. The condescending voice over by Bernard Falk, describes Bowie as a “bizarre, self-constructed freak” and his band as “Yorkshire lads with down-to-earth accents whose appearance mainly seems to be moulded to fit into the Bowie image”. I wonder what Falk would have made of Queen’s outrageously camp Freddie Mercury who appeared three times, first in support of Mott the Hoople, then twice as the main event in 1974 and 1975.      

Freddie Mercury and Brian May of Queen, performing at the Winter Gardens 23rd November 1975

As the seventies rolled on, rock bands were well represented by Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, Thin Lizzy, Status Quo, Bad Company, Humble Pie, Motorhead and Deep Purple, as was the progressive side of the spectrum with Genesis, King Crimson, Family, Focus, Yes, Jethro Tull, The Soft Machine and the acronymic ELO and ELP. On a quieter note, the gentle strumming of singer / songwriters Cat Stevens, Kris Kristofferson and Tom Paxton plus the hippy drippy Melanie, Incredible String Band and Donovan suited the delicate acoustics of the hall perfectly. The Americans kept their end up with Canned Heat, Flock, Lynyrd Skynryd, Blue Oyster Cult, Journey, Black Oak Arkansas, Montrose, The Beach Boys, Santana and Hall and Oates. In the late seventies punk and new wave bands such as The Clash, The Damned, Joy Division, The Buzzcocks and The Undertones made it to Exeter Road, although to be honest, they would have been better suited taking their rebellious thrash to the standing only Stateside Centre across the lower gardens.   

Fans of AFC Bournemouth pack the Winter Gardens in 1997 to raise cash for the ailing club

The first death knell sounded for the Winter Gardens in 1979 when the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra upped sticks and moved to the neighbouring Poole Arts Centre, although there was never any suggestion of changing their name to fit the new locale. An even bigger blow was struck with the opening of the brand new Bournemouth International Centre in 1984. Overnight the Winter Gardens became redundant, as concerts were relocated a couple of hundred yards up the road to the 4,000 capacity BIC. For the next twenty years, the venue gradually fell into disrepair and was only utilised sporadically for the odd concert and famously, in 1997, as a meeting place for AFC Bournemouth supporters who rallied round the ailing football club by throwing thousands of pounds into buckets to save the club from extinction. In 2001, 25,000 people signed a petition to save the hall, and in 2002 the BSO gave a final concert at the venue to help raise much needed cash. However, after much wrangling between the Bournemouth council and pressure groups who tried to save it, the Winter Gardens and all its wonderful memories were bulldozed in May 2006 to make way for a car park.

If you have any memories you would like to share of the Winter Gardens, please use the contact box at the bottom of this page.

Above and Below: The crumbling Winter Gardens shortly before demolition in May 2006
The original ticket office, the last remnant of the Winter Gardens still standing
Package tours and Concerts at the Winter Gardens from 1962 to 1979:

5th February: Bobby Vee + Tony Orlando + Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry + The Springfields + Suzy Cope + Jimmy Crawford + The Ravens + Compere Billy Burdon

10th March: Helen Shapiro + The Four Jay + The Brook Bothers + Red Price Band + The Dale Sisters + Colin Day + Compere Dave Allen

28th April: Gary “US” Bonds + Johnny Burnette + The Fabulous Flee-Rekkers + The Four Kestrels + Rolly Daniels + Gene McDaniels + The Condors + Danny Rivers + Compere Mark Wynter

26th September: Del Shannon + Dion + Joe Brown and the Bruvvers + Buzz Clifford + The Allisons + Peppi + The New York Twisters + Wallace and Duval + Suzy Cope

2nd October: Billy Fury + Marty Wilde + Karl Denver Trio + Joe Brown and the Bruvvers + Mike Sarne + Jimmy Justice + Peter Jay and the Jaywalkers + Mark Wynter + Compere Al Paige

13th October: The Shadows + Chas McDevitt and Shirley Douglas + The Dale Sisters + The Trebletones + The Belltones + Compere Dave Allen

7th October: Phil Everly + Frank Ifield + Ketty Lester + Dean Rogers + Terry Young Five + Vernon Girls + Compere Norman Collier

10th November: Bobby Vee + The Crickets + Ronnie Carroll + Russ Sainty and the Nu-Notes + Frank Kelly and the Hunters + Johnny De Little + Compere Frank Berry

1st December: Helen Shapiro + Eden Kane + Vernon Girls + The Kestrels + Red Price and His Orchestra + Rhet Stoller and the Dynamics + Arthur Worsley with Charlie Brown + Comperes Billy Burden and Bobby Dennis


9th February: Brain Hyland + Little Eva + The Brook Brothers + The Chariots + Johnny Temple + Rhythm and Blues Quintet Plus One + Compere Dave Reid

16th March: Joe Brown and the Bruvvers + Susan Maughan + The Tornados + Eden Kane + Shane Fenton and the Fentones + Jess Conrad + Peter Jay and the Jaywalkers + Daryl Quist + Peter Lodge + Mike & Tony Nevitt + Rolf Harris and the Diggeroos + Compere Al Paige

 30th March: Brenda Lee + Mike Berry and the Outlaws + Tony Sheridan + The Bachelors + Steve Perry + Sounds Incorporated + Compere Bob Bain 

20th April: Del Shannon + Johnny Tillotson + The Springfields + Kenny Lynch + Peppi + The Eagles + Jerry Stevens + Rey Anton + Compere Ray Bennett

11th May: Jerry Lee Lewis + Gene Vincent + Heinz and the Outlaws + Andy Cavell and the Saints + Mickie Most + Dev Douglas + Brad Newman + Compere Chris Carlsen

18th May: John Leyton + Mike Sarne + Billie Davis + Jet Harris and Tony Meehan + Mike Berry and the Innocents + Duffy Power + Billy Doyle + The X-L Five + Compere Don Spencer

4th August: Billy Fury + The Tornados + Bert Weedon + Jackie Trent + The Hollies + Eric Delaney and his Easy Beat Band 

11th August: Jet Harris and Tony Meehan + The Springfields + Mark Wynter + Jan and Kelly + The Hollies + Eric Delaney and his Easy Beat Band

13th October: Tommy Roe + Freddie and the Dreamers + The Searchers + Ian Crawford and the Boomerangs + Rob Charles Combo + Patrick Dane and the Quiet Five + Compere Ted King 

20th October: Dee Dee Sharp + Johnny Kidd and the Pirates + Heinz and the Saints + Joe Brown and the Bruvvers + Gerry and the Pacemakers + Vince Eager + Big Three + The Caravelles

9th November: Billy Fury + Joe Brown and His Bruvvers + Karl Denver Trio + The Tornadoes + Marty Wilde + Daryl Quist + Dickie Pride + The Ramblers + Compere Larry Burns 

16th November: The Beatles + Brook Brothers + Peter Jay and the Jaywalkers + Vernon Girls + The Kestrels + The Rhythm and Blues Quartet + Compere Frank Berry

23rd November: Duane Eddy + The Shirelles + Gene Vincent + Carter Lewis and the Southerners + Mickie Most + The Flintstones + The Roof Raisers + Compere Ray Cameron

7th December: Bobby Rydell + Helen Shapiro + The Chants + The Harlems + The Spotnicks + The Trebletones + The Merseybeats + Compere Alan Field 


15th February: Gerry and the Pacemakers + Ben E King + The Fourmost + Tommy Quickly + The Dennisons + Sounds Incorporated + Compere Jimmy Tarbuck

22nd February: John Leyton + Mike Sarne + The Rolling Stones + The Swinging Blues Jeans + Mike Berry and the Innocents + Eden Kane + Jet Harris + The LeRoys + Billie Davis + Compere Billy Boyle 

29th February: Joe Brown and the Bruvvers + Manfred Mann + The Crystals + Johnny Kidd and the Pirates + Heinz and the Saints + Mike Preston + Daryl Quist + Compere Al Paige

21st March: Bobby Vee + The Searchers + The Diamonds + Dusty Springfield + Big Dee Irwin + The Echoes + Suzy Cope + Alan Davison + Compere Tony Marsh

25th April: Dave Clark Five + The Hollies + The Kinks + The Mojos + Mark Wynter + The Trebletones + The Mojos + Compere Frank Berry

3rd May: Roy Orbison + Freddie and the Dreamers + Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders + Tony Sheridan and the Bobby Patrick Six + Chris Sandford and the Coronets + Three Quarters + The Federals 

11th May: The Rolling Stones + Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers + Peter Jay and the Jaywalkers + Julie Grant + Keith Powel and the Valets + Compere Roy Douglas

16th May: Chuck Berry + Carl Perkins + King Size Taylor and the Dominos + The Animals + The Swinging Blue Jeans + The Nashville Teens + The Other Two + Compere Larry Burns

3rd October: Manfred Mann + Bill Haley and the Comets + The Nashville Teens + Rockin’ Berries + Untamed Four + Bobby Patrick Big Six + Compere Bob Bain

31st October: The Isley Brothers + The Zombies + The Searchers + Dionne Warwick + Alan Elsdon and the Voodoos + Tony Sheveton + Comperes Syd and Eddie

7th November: Gene Vincent + Lulu and the Luvvers + The Applejacks + Millie + The Honeycombs + Daryl Quist + The Puppets + The Beat Merchants + The Shouts + Compere Freddie Earl 

15th November: The Animals + Carl Perkins + Tommy Tucker + Elkie Brooks + The Nashville Teens + The Quotations + The Plebs + Compere Ray Cameron 

28th November: Gene Pitney + Gerry and the Pacemakers + The Kinks + Marianne Faithfull + Mike Cotton Sound + Bobby Shafto and the Roofraisers + Compere Bryan Burdon


20th February: Duke Ellington and his Orchestra

27th February: Adam Faith and the Roulettes + Sandie Shaw + The Baron Knights + The Paramounts + Patrick Kerr + Compere Freddie Earl

27th March: The Supremes + Stevie Wonder + Martha and The Vandellas + Smokey Robinson and The Miracles + Earl Van Dyke Six + Georgie Fame and The Blue Flames + Compere Tony Marsh 

15th May: The Yardbirds + The Kinks + Goldie and the Gingerbreads + The Riot Squad + Val McKenna + Jeff and Jon + Mickey Finn + Compere Bob Bain

 23rd May: Donovan + New Faces + The Pretty Things + Unit 4 Plus 2 + John L. Watson and the Hummelflugs + Compere Chris Carlson

2nd October: Peter, Paul and Mary

9th October: P. J. Proby + The Walker Brothers + The Zombies + Elkie Brooks + Boz and the Boz People + The Matadors + Compere Denny Piercy 

23rd October: The Everly Brothers + Cilla Black + Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas + Lionel Blair and the Kick Dancers + Paddy, Klaus and Gibson + The Marionettes + The Alan Elsdon Band + Compere Pete Brady 

6th November: Gene Pitney + The Rockin’ Berries + Peter and Gordon + Lulu and the Luvvers + The Quiet Five + Mike Cotton Sound + Comperes Syd & Eddie

21st November: Herman’s Hermits + Wayne Fontana + The Fortunes + Billy Fury and the Gamblers + The Country Gents + Little Frankie + Compere Ray Cameron


2nd April: The Seekers + The Honeycombs + Carrie MacDonald with the Marge Lewis Pattern + Compere Dave Allen

30th April: Roy Orbison + The Walker Brothers + Lulu and the Luvvers + The Marionettes + Kim D and the Del Five + Quotations + Compere Ray Cameron 

7th August: Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames + Chris Farlowe and the Thunderbirds + Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band + The Alan Price Set + Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band + The Train

12th September: The Shadows + Eric Delaney and his Band + Derek Dene + Compere George Martin 

 28th September: Dusty Springfield with The Echoes + The Alan Price Set + The Settlers + Episode 6 + Dave Berry + David and Johnathan + Boz and His Group + Compere Jeff Lenner

12th November: The Walker Brothers + The Troggs + Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick & Tich + The Montanas + The Quotations + Clodagh Rogers + Compere Don Crockett 


17th March: Gene Pitney + The Troggs + David Garrick + Normie Rowe and the Playboys + The Loot + The Vision + Sounds Incorporated + Compere Bryan Burdon

29th April: Engelbert Humperdink + The Walker Brothers + Cat Stevens + The Jimi Hendrix Experience + The Californians + The Quotations + Compere Nick Jones

9th May: Jesse Fuller + Champion Jack Dupree + Alexis Korner and Long John Baldry 

27th August: The Shadows + Honky Von Tonk + The O’Connor Sisters + Four Kinsman + Eric Delaney Band 

15th November: The Jimi Hendrix Experience + The Move + Pink Floyd + The Nice + Amen Corner + Eire Apparent + The Outer Limits + Compere Pete Drummond 


20th April: Gene Pitney + Don Partridge + Status Quo + Amen Corner + Simon Dupree and the Big Sound

27th April: The Kinks + The Herd + Gary Walker and the Rain + The Tremeloes + Ola and the Janglers + The Life and Soul

25th May: Julie Felix

3rd June: The Seekers + Russ Conway

23rd November: Pentangle


28th February Renaissance

1st March: Marian Montgomery + Humphrey Littleton and his Band

15th March: Englebert Humperdink + Mary Hopkin

27th March: Nana Mouskouri

19th April: Herman’s Hermits + The Love Affair + Dave Berry and the Sponge + The Parking Lot + Compere Johnnie Walker

13th August: The Bachelors

22nd November: John Mayall

30th November: Duke Ellington


24th January: Canned Heat + Renaissance

6th February: The Nice

12th April: Gene Pitney + Badfinger + Johnny Hackett + Satisfaction + Clodagh Rodgers

18th April: The Flock + The Spirit of John Morgan

2nd May: Taj Mahal + Rare Bird

13th May: Johnny Cash

16th May: John Mayall + Duster Bennett

17th May: Roy Orbison + Karen Young + Arrival + The Art Movement + Compere Jimmy Marshall

23rd May: Tom Paxton

5th June: The Keef Hartley Big Band

7th October: Derek and the Dominos + Bret Marvin and The Thunderbolts

30th October: Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee + Sister Rosetta Tharpe + Bukka White + Champion Jack Dupree + Willie Dixon’s Chicago Blues All-Stars with Shakey Horton, Lafayette Leak, Clifton James and Lee Jackson The American Folk, Blues & Gospel Festival ’70

20th October: Emerson Lake and Palmer + Spontaneous Combustion

4th November: Ginger Baker’s Air Force

15th November: Tony Williams Lifetime with Jack Bruce, John McLaughlin and Larry Young

21st November: Family

27th November: Tyrannosaurus Rex

12th December: The Beach Boys + The Flame


30th January: Julie Felix with Danny Thompson

31st January: The Faces + Steamhammer + Eclection

5th February: Alexis Korner + Duster Bennett + Karakorum

6th February: Stevie Wonder + Martha Reeves and the Vandellas

7th February: Deep Purple + Hardin York

13th February: Van Der Graff Generator + Genesis + Lindisfarne

26th February: Pentangle

2nd March: Free + Amazing Blondel

5th March: Jethro Tull + Steeleye Span

10th March: Yes + Johnathon Swift

19th March: Tom Paxton

27th March: Fairport Convention

30th March: The Incredible String Band

4th April: Georgie Fame and Alan Price + Zoot Money

6th April: Emerson, Lake and Palmer

16th April: Mott the Hoople

17th April: Mungo Jerry + Comus

20th April: Electric Light Orchestra

21st April: Caravan + Barclay James Harvest + Gringo

 23rd April: The Soft Machine

9th May: T Rex

21st May: Cat Stevens+ Tir Na Nog

26th May: The Faces + Atomic Rooster

2nd June: King Crimson + Roger Ruskin Spear and his Giant Kinetic Wardrobe

29th September: Deep Purple + Bullet

15th October: King Crimson

23rd October: Curved Air + Bunkers

27th October: Steeleye Span + Al Stewart + Andy Roberts

30th October: The Four Tops + Esther Marrow

3rd November: Argent + Climax Chicago Blues Band + Duffy Power

6th November: The Pedlars + Pendulum

10th November: Memphis Slim

12th November: Little Richard + Winston Goovy

13th November: Tom Paxton

20th November: The Supremes + Labi Siffre

26th November: Elton John

1st December: Family + America


22nd January: Pink Floyd

28th January: Lindisfarne

29th January: The Stevie Wonder Revue

11th February: Black Sabbath + Wild Turkey

20th February: Wishbone Ash + Glencoe

26th February: The Incredible String Band

10th March: Jethro Tull + Tir Na Nog

17th March: Rory Gallagher + Byzantium

28th March: Labi Siffre + The Flirtations

5th April: John Mayall + Matching Mole

12th April: The Temptations + Carla Thomas + Jimmy Helms

29th April: Curved Air + Gary Moore Band + Nick Pickett

5th May: The Strawbs + Quiver

16th May: Kris Kristofferson + Rita Coolidge

21st May: Marvin, Welch and Farrar

23rd May: Electric Light Orchestra + Colin Blunstone + F.F.Z.

26th May: Uriah Heep + Mike Maran

2nd June: Lindisfarne + Capability Brown

3rd June: Donovan

4th June: Roy Orbison

13th October: Genesis + Rab Noakes

28th October: The Four Tops + Thelma Houston

4th November: Gladys Knight and the Pips + Desmond Dekker and the Aces + Carol Woods

8th November: Slade + Thin Lizzy + Susi Quatro

10th November: Emerson, Lake and Palmer

12th November: Gilbert O’Sullivan

14th November: Focus + Warlock

15th November: Argent + Bronco

25th November: Wishbone Ash

26th November: King Crimson

8th December: Groundhogs + Stray + Gentle Giant

10th December: Family + Linda Lewis  


12th January: Uriah Heep + Maldoon

7th February: Rory Gallagher + Greenslade

24th February: Deep Purple + Nazareth

6th March: The Strawbs

17th March: Elton John + Longdancer

24th March: King Crimson + Claire Hamill

30th March: Petula Clark

13th April: Roxy Music + Sharks

28th April: Curved Air + Nick Pickett

 29th April: Glen Campbell

5th May: Fats Domino

9th May: Ralph McTell + Hunter Muskett

11th May: Barclay James Harvest + Bridget St John

15th May: Paul McCartney and Wings + Brinsley Schwarz

23rd May: Nana Mouskouri and the Athenians

25th May: David Bowie and the Spiders from Mars

26th May: Gilbert Sullivan

31st May: Cilla Black

5th October: Cliff Richard

12th October: Genesis + Ron Geesin

19th October: Lindisfarne + Capability Brown

23rd October: Daryll Way’s Wolf + Hemlock + Principal Edwards Magic Theatre

6th November: Roxy Music + Leo Sayer

7th November: The Groundhogs + Jonesy

10th November: Uriah Heep + The Heavy Metal Kids

13th November: Tom Paxton

16th & 17th November: Yes

21st November: Rory Gallagher + Strider

30th November: Mott the Hoople + Queen

9th December: Lindisfarne + Capability Brown


11th January: George Melly and his Feetwarmers

19th January: Hawkwind + Andy Dunkley + Lens Liquid Lights

26th February: The Carpenters

3rd March: Wizzard

23rd March: Glen Campbell

27th March: Mott The Hoople + Judi Pulver

29th March: Gentle Giant + String Driven Thing

20th April: Jose Feliciano

22nd April: Alvin Stardust

23rd April: Slade + Beckett

24th April: Mick Ronson Band

26th April: Sweet + Jook

8th May: The Strawbs + Colin Scott & Friends

10th May: Status Quo + Montrose

17th May: John Renbourn + Jacqui McShee

19th May: Deep Purple + Elf

29th May: Steeleye Span + Gryphon

31st May: Black Sabbath + Black Oak Arkansas

1st June: The Hollies + James Griffin

19th August: Man

8th October: Uriah Heep + Peter Frampton

10th October: Status Quo

13th & 14th October: Roxy Music + Jess Roden Band

20th October: Suzie Quatro + Cozy Powell

21st October: Manfred Mann’s Earth Band

25th October: Mud

5th November: Humble Pie + McGuiness Flint

13th November: Queen + Hustler

15th November: The Bay City Rollers

18th November: David Essex + Merlin

22nd November: Argent

26th November: Mott the Hoople + Sparks

1st December: Lynyrd Synyrd + Golden Earring

6th December: The Faces + Strider

9th December: Supertramp + Chris De Burgh

11th December: Hot Chocolate

13th December: Uriah Heep

16th December: Bad Company + Duster Bennett

18th December: Showaddywaddy


11th January: Hawkwind

2nd March: The Spinners

16th March: Steve Hartley and Cockney Rebel + Sailor

17th March: Ralph McTell + Terry and Gay Woods

22nd March: 10CC + Fancy

28th March: Oscar Peterson

1st April: Demis Rousso

18th April: Slade + Bunny

2nd May: Planet Gong + Global Village Trucking Company

17th May: The Bay City Rollers

23rd May: Mud

27th May: The Glitter Band

2nd June: Donovan

7th September: Kraftwerk + AJ Webber

29th September: Budgie

1st October: Leo Sayer

2nd October: Dianne Solomon

3rd October: Melanie

29th October: Ella Fitzgerald + Count Basie and his Orchestra

8th November: Cliff Richard

19th November: Supertramp + Joan Armatrading + The Movies

23rd November: Queen + Mr Big

26th November: Justin Hayward & John Lodge Blue Jays + AJ Webber


20th February: T Rex

8th March: Thin Lizzy + Graham Parker and the Rumour

9th March: The Kinks + Splinter

12th March: Hawkwind

17th March: Procol Harum

29th March: Focus + Charlie

30th March: Camel + Hazzard and Barnes

3rd April: Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons + R & J Stone

6th April: Johnny Mathis

13th April: Leo Sayer

14th April: Diana Ross

12th May: The Supremes

15th May: Chuck Berry

21st May: The Sensational Alex Harvey Band

2nd June: Average White Band + Kokomo

5th October: Marvin Gaye

8th October: Hot Chocolate

10th October: The Four Tops

11th October: Mott the Hoople + Lone Star

20th October: Sutherland Brothers and Quiver + Moon

27th October: Barclay James Harvest + Easy Street

29th October: Sailor + Smith and D’Abo

2nd November: Curved Air

8th November: Santana + Journey

12th November: The Jess Roden Band

2nd December: Roxy Music

3rd December: Steeleye Span

12th December: Hawkwind


21st January: Daryl Hall and John Oates

2nd February: Bryan Ferry

7th February: John Miles

12th February: Chris De Burgh + Phillip Goodhand Tait

13th February: Rory Gallagher

14th February: Emmylou Harris and the Hot Band

16th February: Be Bop De Luxe + The Doctors of Madness

16th March: Can

29th March: Graham Parker and The Rumour + Southside Johnny and the Ashbury Jukes

30th March: Roy Orbison

10th April: Frankie Miller’s Full House

20th April: John Cale

29th April: Carl Perkins

2nd May: Slade

13th May: The Shadows

17th October: Joan Armatrading

19th October: Dr Feelgood + Mink DeVille

7th November: Supertramp + Chris De Burg

8th November: Showaddywaddy

9th November: The Clash + Richard Hell and the Voidoids + The Lous

30th November: Thin Lizzy


21st March: Tom Robinson Band

22nd March: John Mellencamp

12th April: Hot Chocolate

22nd April: Showaddywaddy

23rd April: Carl Perkins + Bo Diddley + Matchbox

2nd May: Fairport Convention

15th May: Ian Dury and The Blockheads + Whirlwind + Matumbi

16th May: Darts + The Late Show

22nd May: Dave Brubeck

25th May: Johnathon Richman

26th May: Elkie Brooks

30th May: Bonnie Tyler

31st May: Maddy Prior + Andy Desmond

3rd June: Blue Oyster Cult + Japan

1st October: The Shadows

6th October: Smokie

16th October: Bernie Flint

17th October: Squeeze

18th October: Dr Feelgood

30th October: Wishbone Ash

6th November: Whitesnake + Magnum

7th November: Buzzcocks + Subway Sect

15th November: Judas Priest

18th November: Showaddywaddy

5th December: Fairport Convention

8th December: Motorhead


10th January: Rory Gallagher

2nd February: Osibisa

13th February: Chris De Burgh

3rd March: The Three Degrees

9th March: Uriah Heep + Bram Tchaikovsky

10th March: Bill Haley and the Comets + Freddie Cannon

7th April: Thin Lizzy + The Vipers

27th April: John Miles

20th May: Squeeze

2nd & 3rd October: Hot Chocolate

4th October: Manhattan Transfer

5th October: Chic

12th October: Sky

17th October: Elkie Brooks

18th October: Georgie Fame and The Blue Flames

26th October: The Undertones + Ten Pole Tudor

29th October: Darts

2nd November: The Buzzcocks + Joy Division

5th November: The Skids + Fingerprintz

21st November: Lone Star

23rd November: Gallagher and Lyle + Judy Tzuke

25th November: The Enid

8th December: Motorhead + Thunderhead

10th December: Showaddywaddy

12th December: Richard Digance

16th December: Leo Sayer

6 thoughts on “The Winter Gardens

  1. Good morning, I think my parents saw Oscar Peterson and Ella Fitzgerald and possibly Count Basie at the Winter Gardens, Bournemouth in 1977. Please could you confirm this event happened. Many thanks and kind regards
    Jane Starmer


    1. Hi Janey, Going back through the records I have found Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie playing the Winter Gardens on 29th October 1975.I have found nothing on Oscar Peterson, although that doesn’t mean he didn’t play the Gardens at some point in the past. Hope this helps, John


  2. Hello! Really appreciate the site and the names and dates certainly bring back some memories. I believe the Undertones in October 1979 was my last gig and probably Wishbone Ash the band I saw the most at the venue. I now work with numerous musicians who played there, including Horace of Darts who is General Secretary of the Musicians’ Union!


    1. Glad you’re enjoying it Keith, the Winter Gardens was a special place throughout the seventies, saw loads of excellent gigs there. Shame that the Bournemouth council saw fit to tear it down. John


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