Sir Cliff Richard’s Ripley date features in new book

NRHNBE111101d2, The regal, Ripley is due to appear in a new book called the rock atlas of great britain. Sean fields
NRHNBE111101d2, The regal, Ripley is due to appear in a new book called the rock atlas of great britain. Sean fields

POP legend Cliff Richard’s historical Ripley performance has been chronicled in a new book released this week.

The Rock Atlas, which hit the shops on Monday, contains 600 must-visit locations across the UK for music enthusiasts.

And alongside the former home of Jimi Hendrix, famous album cover locations and Penny Lane itself, the Regal on Nottingham Road in Ripley has made the list.

The pub once bore witness to Summer Holiday star Cliff Richard’s first gig under his now familiar stage name.

Essex-based author and former Guinness publisher David Roberts said Sir Cliff’s debut Ripley performance on May 3, 1958, was a turning point in a now multi-million album selling career.

Mr Roberts said: “It’s a fascinating story it really is. I was staggered to find that this change had happened in Derbyshire and that there was a plaque at the venue to commemorate it.

“After that point he never looked back. He was successful up to the night he played Ripley, but after that his career really took off.”

The book took five years to complete and saw David travel the length of the country picking out 689 locations for the atlas.

Also included is Cromford Railway Station, used as the backdrop for 1994 Oasis hit single, Some Might Say. The cover sees the Gallagher brothers pictured standing on the platform.

Then called Harry Webb, Cliff Richard was convinced to change his name by the former owner of the Regal, Harry Greaterex who died on September 14, 1989. Mr Greaterex persuaded the pop star to ditch his less commercially - friendly previous name over a drink in the Rose and Crown pub over the road.

Pop star Sir Cliff, 71, recalls that night in Mr Roberts’ book.

He said: “I was so unused to the name that when I was introduced I was waiting for someone else to walk out on to the stage!”

Current owner of the pub, Sean Fields, 56, is proud of the Nottingham Road establishment’s part in rock history.

He has worked there for 35 years, including under Mr Greaterex himself.

Describing the former owner, he said: “He was 100 per cent genuine and trustworthy. Changing Cliff’s name like that was so true of the man. He was a businessman, but he was a gentleman.”

The Rock Atlas is available now in all good book stores.