From the Bookings
Page, the crossBeaTs seem to have played
twice at the "Session" Coffee Bar in Chester.
Sunday 18 Decemebr
Sunday 3 March 1968
Little could be
recalled of these bookings until I received a number of e-mails from Stuart
Millar in late 2005. They are shown below - any edited parts are shown in
italics, or a series of dots.
21 December 2005
I have been fascinated to find your
website and to be reminded of the days when Coffee Bars were the front line for
Christian outreach. I was based in Chester, in the '60's and worshiped at
Kingsway Chapel, a fairly progressive Brethren Church. A group of us there
started a coffee bar work called "Session" which grew to large (and noisy) for
the church and we moved to the Blue Coats School and then to the Gateway
Theatre......... I know many of the groups mentioned on your site played
We had our own "house
band" called "The Sowers" (see attached picture and website address -
below). In the original line-up, Ernest McQuoid was the singer, Jim Porter
on rhythm , Brian Fawkes on drums and myself on lead guitar. We added a bass
player and a 12 string guitarist later. We tended to tour the Brethren circuit
(those that would have us) but we did play at gospel campaigns in Douglas Isle
of Man, Port Stewart and Port Rush Northern Ireland, and one in Chester Town
Hall. The nearest we got to the Liverpool Phil was to play at the Saturday
night youth meetings in nearby Gordon Hall. My memories of those days are not
as vivid as I would like but I do know that many were saved at these events. I
do have some recordings of the songs we sang back then but very little
documentation. Your record keeping was far superior to ours I can tell [grin].
I think I still have your vinyl LP and the Witnesses EP somewhere in the
Anyway, I thought I'd contact
you to say how much I enjoyed your site and it brings back many memories of
those times 40 years ago
The "Sowers" have a website which you can access.
If you want to stay with the crossBeaTs pages, use the top
buttons, or (better still) your back button. The following link will take
you to the current web site of The
This second letter of Stuart's has more details of
21 December 2005
I'm sure I can fill in some of the
gaps as far as "Session" was concerned.
Originally "Session" began in Kingsway Chapel, Newton, Chester always
on a Sunday night after the evening service. We very soon realised that an "out
of town" venue and church surroundings were not ideal for reaching the kids we
wanted to reach. So we looked around for a place in the city and at that time
the Blue Coats School had a secular coffee bar on it's upper floors but was not
open on a Sunday. Ideally we would have wanted to use those rooms but for
reasons best known to the Blue Coats School people they thought it would be too
risky to let us use the coffe bar. How,ever they did offer us their gym on the
groundfloor. They also let us use tables and chairs from the coffee bar, so
every week we carried chairs and tables down to the gym for our Sunday night
events. We had coffee making facilities just off the gym and we used to erect a
makeshift stage (on which you would have played). We had a team of young
christians who were trained to get along side those who came. There were many
youngsters who were saved on those nights and some have gone on with the Lord.
We later moved from the Bluecoats School Gym to the Gateway Theatre (which in
those day wasn't used on Sundays) and had monthly concerts with a variety of
groups and speakers.
I'll be in
touch when I have some more information. God bless
If you can help in any way, please get in touch.