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Music historian delves into Moray music venue’s legendary open years

David Dills is doing a project on the history of Elgin town hall.
David Dills is doing a project on the history of Elgin town hall.

A music historian is delving into the past of a popular Moray venue in order to make its glory days live again.

During the early years of Elgin Town Hall in the 1960s, the landmark regularly attracted big crowds to watch up and coming bands – including The Kinks and The Hollies.

Now David Dills, who lives in the town, is compiling stories from the era to ensure its part in the region’s music heritage is never forgotten.

He said: “There was a buzz around it the whole time when groups were coming up and going on to become big names.

“The Two Red Shoes is very well known because The Beatles played there, but during the 1960s the town hall was just as popular.


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“It isn’t just remembered for the entertainment though. So many people have come up to me to say their parents or their grandparents met during one of the nights there.”

The current Elgin Town Hall opened its doors in 1961 after the original incarnation on Moray Street was reduced to rubble in December 1939.

Its large dancefloor immediately made it popular with locals and visiting theatrical and music performers alike.

The latest chapter in the building’s history began last month when the Elgin Town Hall for the Community group took over the running of it from the council.

And it is hoped that the venue will once again cement a reputation as a hotbed for local music talent.

At the weekend, Lossiemouth-based The Roov performed to a sold-out audience while a fundraiser featuring Elgin-based Edgar Road, Keith-based Gordon James and the Power and Inverness band Tweed will be held next month.

David Dills outside the Elgin town hall.

Mr Dills added: “The hall is still an important part of the town with acts coming to play.

“But I think more than anything it continues to bring people together as a civic centre for special events.”

Anyone with stories to share from the early years of Elgin Town Hall should contact Mr Dills by e-mailing david.dills@yahoo.com.

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