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The Whitebait Music Hall, St. Enoch's Wynd, Glasgow

Later - St Enoch's Station - St Enoch Centre

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St Enochs Station and Hotel - From an Album of Photo-Lithographic Views of Glasgow published in 1911

Above - St Enochs Station and Hotel - From an Album of Photo-Lithographic Views of Glasgow published in 1911. The Station and Hotel replaced the former Whitebait Music Hall and the Theatre Royal Dunlop Street.

 

A Bill for the Whitebait Music Hall - From the book 'The Scottish Music Hall 1880 - 1990' by J. H. Littlejohn, published by G. C. Books, 1990 - Courtesy Gareth Price. Arthur Lloyd's Music Hall debut was in March 1861 at the Whitebait Music Hall in Glasgow. Walter Freer recalled the Hall in his 'My Life & Memories' published in 1929 saying:- 'Shearer's Whitebate (sic) Music Hall was on the spot where St. Enoch Station now stands... as you went in you paid your entrance-money, and the price of a refreshment (for drinking gin those days was almost as common as breathing) and took your place in the hall beyond. The stage was railed off from the audience, and the owner of the music hall acted as chairman, announcing each item as it fell due.'

Right - A Bill for the Whitebait Music Hall - From the book 'The Scottish Music Hall 1880 - 1990' by J. H. Littlejohn, published by G. C. Books, 1990 - Courtesy Gareth Price.

In J. H. Littlejohn's 'The Scottish Music Hall 1880 - 1990' he writes on the Whitebait saying:- 'The Whitebait Concert Rooms in St. Enoch's Wynd started out in 1857 as a free and easy before the tables were replaced by stalls in the body of the hall. Admission cost 6d with a free refreshment or cigar thrown in for good measure. Credited with pioneering "girlie" shows with all female casts working behind a wire for their own safety, James Shearer managed the Whitebait until 1868 when his widow took over. John Muir, who was chairman and musical manager of the orchestra combining piano, violin, bass, flute, clarinet, cornet and drums, forewarned audiences that indiscriminate encoring would result in part of the programme being omitted. There is no record of the frequency with which this sanction was enforced until development of the railway system necessitated closure of the Whitebait in 1872.' - J. H. Littlejohn's 'The Scottish Music Hall 1880 - 1990'

In Peter Honri's book 'John Wilton's Music Hall' for the date of 23rd December 1879, the following is written:- '...Arthur Lloyd inquired whether I had noticed his letter in the ERA about comiques salaries following the revelations that Vance's salary for 12 nights at the Cambridge was one hundred guineas. A considerable sum for the period. Arthur pointed out that - Perhaps it was new to London, but in the provinces, several years ago, he had received £60 per week from Messrs George Ware at the Whitebait Glasgow, The Star, Liverpool, and the Alexandra, Manchester.'

Arthur Lloyd performed at the Whitebait music Hall many times, and his father Horatio Lloyd was a regular performer at the Theatre Royal Dunlop Street which was also lost in 1869 for the building of St Enoch Station. In Horatio Lloyd's autobiography he wrote of the Dunlop Street Theatre saying:- 'Could Alexander revisit the site of the theatre of which he was so proud, he would be strangely bewildered. Neither theatre or Arcade is there. Dunlop Street is, for the chief part of it, now but a tunnel over which the trains of Glasgow and South-Western Railway run into the terminus station of St Enoch Square." - From 'Life of an Actor' by Horatio Lloyd.

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