'Barrow is to have the sophisticated entertainment of a night club - one of the most northerly of its kind in the country,' reported The Mail in November 1964.

The 99 Club, in Dalkeith Street, was opening that month for dancing, cabaret and tombola.

The club was the brainchild of Ronald Wilson, 31, and Raymond Curtis, 26, both from Barrow.

SUPERSTAR: Tom Jones pictured before his concert at the 99 Club

SUPERSTAR: Tom Jones pictured before his concert at the 99 Club

"Barrow has little or no entertainment attraction outside the cinema," said Ronnie Wilkinson. "We believe we can provide a true family-type night club which will have top-line stars at a price that patrons can afford.

"Our membership fee of three guineas per person works out that for a visit once a week throughout the year the cost is 1s 2½d. Where else in the county can you get such value?"

Membership of the club was to be limited to 2,000. The premises were designed and constructed by the two lads – with some outside help.

GAMBLE: A charity gambling event at the 99 Club in 1996, where players used mock money to try to win a variety of prizes

GAMBLE: A charity gambling event at the 99 Club in 1996, where players used mock money to try to win a variety of prizes

The décor was predominantly a cool blue with yellow and red contrast.

There were four-to-a-table groups in addition to alcoves where parties of visitors could be accommodated.

There were three innovations which should please, reported The Mail.

One was a balcony, complete with fitted carpet and attractive cocktail bar.

CHAIRS: The New 99 Cabaret Club in 1997

CHAIRS: The New 99 Cabaret Club in 1997

Secondly, there was a dance floor lit from beneath with a perspex surface.

And, thirdly, there was a 10-feet high staircase from which the star turn would descend to the stage from the dressing room.

To one side stood a long bar from which ten waiters catered to the floor. Prices were not exorbitant – "only the normal cocktail bar prices will be charged," said Ronnie.

ANNOUNCER: An undated photograph from The Mail’s archives of 99 Club compere Tommy Halfpenny

ANNOUNCER: An undated photograph from The Mail’s archives of 99 Club compere Tommy Halfpenny

Many top stars appeared at the 99 Club over the years, including Billy Fury, Jimmy James, Val Doonican, Frankie Howerd, Charlie Williams, Freddie Starr and Engelbert Humperdinck in the days when he was known as Gerry Dorsey.

Other performers included Sweet, Mud, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Tony Christie, Dana and Bucks Fizz.

One of the biggest names was Tom Jones, who performed at the club in 1968.