The town of Great Malvern is well known for its classical music connections, but many people are unaware of Malvern’s other musical story.
From the early 1960s, for a period of around 30 years, Malvern Winter Gardens rocked to the sounds of bands such The Jam, The Kinks, The Who, Pink Floyd, Motorhead, Hawkwind and many more, some of whom were in their infancy at the time.
Malvern-based charity Rock Around the Hills has created an exhibition celebrating the story of rock, punk and progressive rock at the Winter Gardens from 1961 to 1990. The exhibition features images of over 400 posters, tickets, flyers and fanzines as well as recorded memories from audience members, musicians and promoters who were all part of the Malvern Winter Gardens story.
“All the famous bands, sooner or later they would turn up at Malvern. I didn’t realise how unusual that was until much later. It was totally normal for us.” Ralph T.
“We didn’t have to travel to Birmingham or Bristol, we had this venue right on our doorstep. I could walk into town after school, and walk right past someone who would be on stage that night.” Mary S.
“We could go and see a top of the charts group and be stood five feet away from them. I don’t think you could do that nowadays.” Chris A.
“I’ve played everywhere in Britain, pretty much. But there’s lots of places I’d love to go back to. Malvern Winter Gardens, somewhere like that.” Paul Weller, The Jam, Courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd.
The exhibition runs from 1st to 29th June at Malvern Library, and from 2nd to 30th July at The Hive in Worcester. Admission is free.
1st-29th June – Malvern Library, Graham Road, Malvern, WR14 2HU
Mondays, Thursdays & Fridays, 9.00am – 5.00pm
Tuesdays & Wednesdays 9.00am – 7.00pm
Saturdays 9.00am – 4.00pm
Rock Around the Hills