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Rock around the Hills

It’s 1977 and a band called The Stranglers have just recorded their second album No More Heroes. They’re undertaking a mammoth tour of the UK and in the autumn they arrive in Malvern to play at the Winter Gardens. Were you there?

Today part of the Malvern Theatres complex, the Winter Gardens hosted many of the up and coming bands of the 1960s and 1970s. Names that have now passed into legend played there, including Pink Floyd, T-Rex, Black Sabbath, The Undertones and The Jam, to name a few.

Now, a project has begun to create an oral history project of those times, together with an exhibition and an online community archive. Funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund, The Bransford Trust and The Postcode Community Trust, Rock Around The Hills will gather posters, tickets, photographs, reviews and recordings. It will also gather the stories of the people that were at those gigs, from the roadies and band members themselves to the promoters, the technical staff and of course the gig goers.

‘We are so excited about receiving this funding’ says Clare Gilliam who is a Trustee of Rock Around the Hills, the charity behind this project. ‘There is a wealth of memories about this important aspect of the community’s heritage, just waiting to be tapped.’

The exhibition will take place in Malvern Library and The Hive in Worcester in June and July 2019. 

It’s hoped the project will encourage and support local people to conserve this aspect of local history which could so easily be forgotten. 

‘For many, events of the late twentieth century hardly feel like history at all’ says Clare, ‘especially if they are related to popular music! This project aims to change that view. By engaging volunteers and offering training in oral history and community website development, we will enable local people to acquire skills relevant to ensuring that their heritage is better understood and shared. It will encourage community cohesiveness, a sense of belonging, a pride in Malvern’s musical heritage and the discovery of shared life experiences among people from different generations and social backgrounds.’

If you’re interested in taking part with Rock Around the Hills, you can email the team at rockaroundthehills@gmail.com 

Photo: The Stranglers playing at Malvern Winter Gardens on 6th October 1977, taken by David Corio