Fifty years after the Rolling Stones played in Walthamstow a fan is looking for anyone who may remember the night to help him create a book about the legendary band

First published in Local History East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter, covering Walthamstow, Leyton and Leytonstone. Call me on 07768 507 739

Hidden away in photo albums and stuffed into battered old suitcases across Waltham Forest will be the evidence – photographs, posters and flyers – proof that five decades ago, the borough was rocking with the sound of music.

This year, fifty years after a group of boys from Dartford, known as the Rolling Stones, took centre stage at the Granada Theatre in Hoe Street a project is being launched to preserve the memory of the legendary group and their first ever concerts.

On January 10, 1964, the band played two shows at the Granada.

Richard Houghton, 54, from Preston first saw the Stones in 1982 and is currently writing a book about their more humble beginnings.

He is looking for people who saw them in the borough to get in touch.

“When they started out the Stones played at venues such as the former EMD cinema theatre in Hoe Street, Walthamstow, and the now-demolished Leyton Baths building in the High Road,” he said.

“The tour featuring the Granada Theatre concerts had been booked before they'd had a top ten hit but they were already 'happening'.

“No complete record of exactly what songs they played exists but ‘Not Fade Away’ will have featured along with 12 or 13 other songs including blues and R&B standards such as ‘Poison Ivy’, ‘Walking The Dog’, ‘Cops And Robbers’ and ‘Roll Over Beethoven’.”

Alan Miles, 66, remembers the music scene well, and was one of hundreds at the concerts, aged 15.

“I went to see The Beatles at the Granada and I just about saw the top of John Lennon’s head because all the girls were standing on chairs and screaming,” he said.

“It was the same with the Stones. They were on about 8 but you had to be there by four, the queue went right down to Lea Bridge Road.

“I remember I was standing right in front of Brian Jones. He looked down at me and nodded, probably because I had my hair long like him."

Mr Miles who lived near Lloyd Park at the time also recalls meeting Dawn Molloy in the line, who later had a relationship with Brian Jones.

In 2009 Mick Jagger spoke about his memories of Walthamstow, stating that the band ‘learnt their craft’ at venues such as the EMD Cinema which he called the ‘lifeblood of our cultural history’.

According to singers, performers and residents Waltham Forest was well known as a place to catch a live performance or two.

The Assembly Hall and Granada were among the more popular venues – with new acts given warm-up and matinee slots, sometimes during film intervals, but pubs such as the Bell were also packed out.

Leyton Baths which had the pools covered under the feet of hundreds of fans were also frequented by bands before violence often broke out between rival groups of mods and rockers.

Anyone who saw the Rolling Stones in London is encouraged to contact Mr Houghton at

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree