Book to reveal ‘behind-the-curtain’ tales of Batley Variety Club

Maureen Prest.

Maureen Prest.

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A woman who played a key part in the Batley Variety Club’s glory days will release a book about its owner’s life to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the legendary venue’s opening.

Birstall-based Maureen Prest, the club’s former promotions manager and confidant to owner James Corrigan, officially releases King of Clubs in two months time.

She said: “My story is the only story of what went on at the front of house and behind the curtains.

“It’s James’s life story, it’s really rags-to-riches and bag to rags again – with a twist.”

People are invited to the book launch at Batley Town Hall on March 24 from 11am.

The Bradford Road venue opened on March 26, 1967, with music legends such as Louis Armstrong, Roy Orbison and Eartha Kitt later appearing.

Maureen said: “James COrrigan did so much for the area and I never ever thought that he got the recognition.

“It was a piece of social engineering, it changed the complexion of Batley.

“Everybody in Las Vegas knew about Batley Variety.

“It put Batley on the map.”

Signed pre-launch copies of the book can be bought for £14.99 from http://www.route-online.com/all-books/king-of-clubs.html