Stalybridge HIPPODROME (Sunday 31st October 1937)
Corner Trinity Street and Corporation Street.
Use – Auditorium and stage demolished. Façade used for shops and offices.
The Hippodrome opened on August 25th 1890 as the Grand Theatre, with a production entitled “Nowadays”. Prices were: private boxes 1pound 1s, dress circle 2/6d, orchestra stalls 1/6d, second circle and upper circle 1/3d, pit 9d and gallery 6d. The manager was Mr. J Walters. Many music hall stars of the day appeared at the Grand, such as Jack Judge and Florrie Ford.
Jack Judge is best remembered locally because the Grand Theatre at Stalybridge was the first place where his famous marching song”It’s a long way to Tipperary” was performed. Whilst appearing at the Grand in January 1912, Judge was challenged to write and perform a song within twenty-four hours. He was staying in the now-demolished Newmarket Tavern, across the road from the Grand, where he wrote it, and when it was completed he performed the song during his act that night. A plaque on the wall of the newmarket Tavern was moved to the wall of the Stalybridge Band building when the pub was demolished.
It reads: Remembering with pride Jack Judge. Who in this street and building was inspired to write and compose the Immortal Marching song “It’s a long way to Tipperary”. He was also the first to sing it in public, in the Grand Theatre opposite, January 31st 1912.