The Bee Gees belong to Manchester, well Chorlton to be specific.
Yes, ok, they flirted with being born in the Isle of Man, emigrating to Australia, living in LA, travelling the world, but it was in Chorlton, Manchester, that the magic first happened.
These fellow honorary mancs formed their first band, the skiffle/rock and roll group, the Rattlesnakes, whilst living in the family homestead on Keppell Road.
Whilst fans often pay pilgrimage to the terrace house of The Bee Gees‘ childhood, there is another place which carries a significant place in the history of the siblings – The Gaumont – which was previously their local cinema and played host to The Rattlesnakes’ first ever performance!
Since turned into The Co-op Funeral Care, local volunteer group, Chorlton Community Land Trust (CCLT), are fighting to save the building being sold and turned into flats, with their Stayin’ Alive Campaign.
Member, Chris Peacock, explains
Bee Gees fans from all over the world come to have their pictures taken outside – even though it’s a funeral home!
Turning 100 years young next year, local residents are passionate that this historic building is preserved, given that it is such an important part of Manchester’s music scene, and part of the rich tapestry that is the city’s cultural heritage.
Fellow CCLT member, Simon Hooton, adds
Time is critical to save this landmark building – we have just a few days left to persuade the Co-op to change course. It is an important part of Manchester’s historic music scene, so we want to preserve it and celebrate the world-famous Bee Gees and encourage more visitors to the area.
If the campaign is successful, CCLT plan to show the historic site some love by using it to:
- celebrate the Bee Gees’ heritage
Offer a new destination for food and leisure
Attract more spending for local businesses
Put the site on Manchester’s music trail for visitors to the city
CLT have been working with developers and local residents to generate a plan that would help make Chorlton a more vibrant place for residents and visitors and retain this unique piece of music history.
The plans are to convert the old cinema building into a market-style food hall with flexible scope to also be a performance space for live music and cinema nights. CCLT are also working with the local community health centre to bring forward a new GP Practice with potentially a gym, community space and some affordable housing on the site too.
The campaigners are also keen to integrate the development with the upcoming re-development of the precinct and to create a new public square outside the building too.
CCLT has been liaising with both Manchester City Council and the Co-op and been given until this Saturday 9 November by to raise £250k. So far, £55k has been raised in the first few days.
HOW ON EARTH CAN I HELP?!
I hear you passionately cry!
Start by heading over to the Stayin’ Alive website and watching this video where you can find out more information and make a pledge.
You can also follow the campaign and show your support by signing upto the following socials:
Do it for Chorlton, do it for The Bee Gees, heck do it for Manchester!