IT’S hard to believe that Little Harwood was once home to both a casino and one of East Lancashire’s top cabaret venues which saw some of the biggest names in the business appearing on stage.

But the Starlight Club was, for a time in the 1960s, one of the area’s most popular nightspots.

The casino helped fund the entertainment and as a result artists such as Lonnie Donegan, Acker Bilk and Vince Hill graced the stage there. Top comedians could also been seen there including Tommy Cooper, Freddie ‘Parrot Faced’ Davis and Terry Scott.

These pictures from the archive show the club when it opened in 1964 having previously been a cinema. A giant neon sign was put outside and the whole club was decorated in art deco style. One of the main features was the impressive organ on the main stage.

Changes to the gambling laws meant the end of the casino and that, in turn, spelled the end of the entertainment. The Starlight became a Unit Four Cinema which would continue to operate until 1982.