The Caveman, Head Doorman (Keith Nester) at the Catacombs.
Entry charge was a bone!



2012111550 - Above a typical cashing up sheet for the Catacombs Club


2602121641 - Raymond Appleyard known as Appy, one of Johnny's helpers in the 1960's
(Have you any photos of the staff at the Catacombs club or Top Ten Nightclub to share with us?)

1001121455 - Gathering outside waiting for the catacombs to open.

2912111642 - A regular disc jockey working at the Catacombs Club

2912111623 - A regular disc jockey working at the Catacombs Club

Gilley, the DJ at the Catacombs with his hi-tech equipment which is a Newbold Bread tray turned upside down with two Garrard Decks, an eagle mixer and a ultra linear 30 watt amplifier, total cost from Leeds £55. Put together by Gilley and Johnny, this was the first time two record decks had been mixed in Huddersfield. The eagle mixer at £15 making it possible.


1001121503 - Above is the amplifier Gilley and the other DJ's used at the Catacombs. In todays prices the cost is £10.50


0801121400 - One of the dance areas in the Catacombs Club


Email contribution from Brenda Vallow nee Saunders
Hi - I well remember the ‘Catacombs’ club, my friend’s and I were amount its first members. A group of us attended the club when it was newly opened. We got friendly with the owner, Johnny, and gave our services freely a short while later taking on cloakroom duty when the club began to take coats.  The initial access to the Catacombs was down an outside stone stairway leading to the cellar club. The Catacombs was a series of cellars all of which had been thoroughly cleared and had their walls newly colour-washed. The main or largest cellar was where all the ‘groups’ who were appearing there played their music.

A great group were the ‘Atmospheres’, we never noticed at the time, but the music must have been deafening!!!  Johnny was inspired by Liverpool’s ‘Cavern’ club.  The Catacomb was Huddersfield’s answer to the ‘Cavern’ and became increasingly popular to the teenagers from all over Yorkshire. Johnny always allowed myself and friends ‘free admission’.

Johnny and I had a short fling at the time. Perhaps Johnny remembers taking me to Scarborough to secure a place to stay for a summer holiday for myself and friends. Johnny ran me home on a few occasions following our ‘dates’. He had someone called Dean working for him around the time who once came to collect me from the local Girls Grammar School which I was still attending (I remember how it made my friends envious).

I was the club’s initial Madam X, as Johnny had just thought of the idea, I wore the black (cardboard mask) over my eyes but still did cloak room duty. I met an old boyfriend there,  and we went on to get engaged and are still happily married.

My maiden name was Saunders. Johnny once took me to your home but I seem to remember the house was empty and in darkness. He then showed me your piggery but I didn’t look inside, I seem to remember some hen houses too.

The Catacombs, at that time, played a large part in our lives- a friend and I used to collect broken drum sticks from the groups, who used to play there and hang them on our bedroom walls.

1011111537 - Graham Philpott running the Coffee bar at the Catacombs Club. Graham went on to be part of the band Welcome and Welcome were the last band to play the Builders Club on Wood Street.

The Denyms - One of the younger groups at the Catacombs
The Picture shows (from left):   Eddie Armitage, Dave Naylor, Roger Thewlis, Eric Kershaw, Vaughn Naylor.

Eric was kind enough to send us these photos. Look at Eric's story on the contributions page

1001121422 - Denny and the Witch Doctors a famous local band in the 60’s performing one of their stage acts.

1201121503 - Local band the Witch Doctors on their tour of France, top left Alex Keenan, middle Denny, bottom left Joe Smith, Lynne and Pete Whitecross on sax.



2912111649 - Terry and the All fours Band

0801121350 - Above Adrian Inman (The Drovers) on Hofner Violin Bass.
In 1963, The Drovers played regularly at the Catacombs. The line up was John McCoy (lead guitar/vocals), Ray Blackburn (rhythm guitar/vocals), later replaced by Graham Philpott (harp/vocals), Adrian Inman (bass/lead vocals) and Kevin (Mov) Mulvihill (vocals/drums).

The Drovers at the ABC Cinema. They had the same dressing room as The Beatles.

John McCoy from the Drovers pictured above and with the full band.



0801121357 - John Robshaw on vocals with Johnny on drums.












Above: Dino and The Travellers playing in the Catacombs in the 1960's.
Below: Dino and The Travellers playing at Johnny's Nightclub in the 1990's

Dino and The Travellers are celebrating their 50th anniversary year of gigging from May 2012 to May 2013




1201121509 - Above Graham Philpott, staff member at the Catacombs taking a break in the Blue Lagoon Bar which was a part of Top Ten Night Club.



Below is the trip to the Cavern in Liverpool in 1964

0501121646 - Johnny took the customers of the Catacombs in 1964 to The Cavern in Liverpool. A Huddersfield band, The Atmosphere's came as well and played at The Cavern.

The cards below belonged to Mary Gibson who can also be seen standing outside the coach in 1964 ready to set off from the Catacombs to the Cavern in Liverpool



Do you have any photos of the Liverpool Cavern Club trip to share with us?





Above are pictures of Catacombs members on the way by coach to the Cavern in 1964.

1001121458 - The Atmospheres a local band and the most popular band at Johnny’s Catacombs Cellar Club in the 1960’s locally famous for their Monday nights Rhythm and Blues. See above from the left, front row John, Kevin, Dixy and Shaun seen here playing at the famous original Cavern Club in Liverpool on the night of the Huddersfield Catacombs Trip to Liverpool.

All Catacombs customers on the trip were issued with a Cavern membership card. If you didnt collect yours, Johnny still has over 20 still waiting to be collected !