The Who, Simon And Garfunkel and The Cranberries will be included in a celebration of a venue’s illustrious musical history.

It may be generally forgotten now, but Bowes Lyon Centre in Stevenage has hosted these and many more great bands since the 1960s.

During the 60s and 70s the venue was the biggest youth centre in Europe and a regular stop off on the UK tour scene where you could have seen John Mayall And The Blues Breakers, The Troggs, Caravan and Status Quo. In the 80s and 90s, Bad Brains, Scum Of Toytown, Johnny Thunders of the New York Dolls and Johnny Copper Clarke were highlights.

This rock and roll history will be collated in a permanent exhibition in the club thanks to the hard work of the youth-run Music Development Group who have refurbished the club and created a resurgence of interest in the venue among teenagers, regularly packing in 350 at their monthly After Dark live music nights.

The exhibition, supported by a Heritage Lottery Fund Young Roots grant, will form a chronological time tunnel along a corridor linking stages with photographs, newspaper articles, gig posters and other memorabilia of the venues’ past.

Robyn Llewellyn, head of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, said: “This project will help instil in the young people a sense of pride that they are playing in the same spot as so many famous names. But more than that, they will gain a range of skills in researching and assembling the information to create their exhibition while at the same time stirring some fond memories among the town’s older music lovers.”

If you have a story about gigs at Bowes at any time in its history or have any memorabilia from them contact Chris Strong on 01438 202806 or