A HOLLYWOOD-style ‘walk of fame’ will cement the popularity of performers on a pavement outside the Globe Theatre in Stockton where they took to the stage during their heyday.
Votes cast by local residents have decided local band the Blue Caps will join the Bee Gees, Norman Wisdom, Ken Dodd and T-Rex.
‘Stellar: the stars fell on Stockton’ will see spotlights etched with portraits of past headliners surrounded by lights.
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Earlier this year it was announced that ten of the coveted slots would be occupied by Buddy Holly, Cliff Richard, Ike & Tina Turner, Morecambe & Wise, Roy Orbison, Shirley Bassey, Status Quo, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Tom Jones.
The Blue Caps, formed in the late 1950s, were the only Stockton-based band to ever perform on the stage at the town’s iconic Globe theatre.
They played at the Globe eleven times along with other major theatres and night clubs across the North-East, supporting various acts ranging from Brenda Lee to Freddie and the Dreamers and Georgie Fame.
Original Blue Caps member, Eric Whitehouse, said: “We are chuffed to bits to have secured a place within the Stellar artwork and would like to thank the people of Stockton for remembering us half a century later.
“I personally voted for Lonnie Donegan who started the "beat boom" and then my son, Bruce, mentioned that the Blue Caps would be eligible. We thought being included in the artwork would be a fitting tribute to Mick Kemp, Howard Rayner and Peter ‘Pedro’ Thompson who have sadly now passed on. They inspired many local musicians of today.”
Stockton Council’s Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture, Councillor Ken Dixon, said: “Stockton has such a rich history and heritage and The Globe is a big part of that so it's really important that we continue to remember and celebrate the impact it has had on Stockton Town Centre.
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) is providing nearly £4m to restore the derelict 2,500-capacity venue to its former glory.
Stockton Borough Council will hand over another £1m and owners, development company Jomast, which has already invested an undisclosed amount on research and stabilising what was a waterlogged, vandal-hit building, will eventually have contributed about £2m.
The venue, built in 1935, will be used primarily to stage music and comedy shows in the hope of attracting 82,500 paying customers each year bringing £2.5m into the town centre economy.