Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Imperial College Union

Immediately adjacent to The Albert Hall is Beit (pronounced Byatt) Quad: a big courtyard with an entrance from the road. Looking across the quad from the pavement Imperial College Student Union is just visible. The porter on the gate assured me that the internal layout of the Union has n't changed in 30 years. The main bar is still on the ground floor, with the concert hall (where Smile and Queen played regularly) on the second floor.

I was surprised and indeed thrilled to be able to simply walk straight in there this Sunday when I was in London. Here are some of the other photos I took...

Above is the main entrance hall (at ground level). The main bar is on the right going in (its door not visible in the photo). Below is the entrance to the Concert Hall on the second floor with the Concert Hall itself below that...

Back downstairs: this last picture is the bar as seen from the front entrance hall...It was here (or hereabouts), in October 1968, that Les Brown saw the 'drummer wanted' poster that Brian May had left.

UPDATE 25/1/11 Les Brown: Concerning the Union, the interior looks familiar, except that the bar I remember was much smaller: more like the snug of an old-fashioned pub (although, for gigs, I think they also opened a bar along the back wall of the hall). In my first year it was men-only, and mainly frequented by loud rugby drinkers. Then a woman got elected president of the student union so they had to let her in, so they cancelled the rule. Tough cookie, she was too. Probably knew all about the offside rule.

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