10 things you didn't know about Bilston's Robin 2

By Kirsten Rawlins | Wolverhampton entertainment | Published: | Last Updated:

Landmark live music venue The Robin 2 has been rocking for more than 25 years.

10 things you didn't know about Bilston's Robin 2

In its time, the beloved Bilston club has seen some greats grace its stage - from the late, great Ben E King, to Blues Brothers icon Steve Cropper, The Animals, Glenn Hughes, Billy Ocean, Peter Green and 10CC, to name but a few.

Billy Ocean at the venue in 2014

But how much do you know about the venue?

Here are 10 little-known facts about The Robin 2:

The original part of the Robin 2 that opened in 1998, No28 Mount Pleasant, was the drill hall where First World War soldiers trained to go off to war.

The site was donated for the purpose of building the Drill Hall by Sir Alfred Hickman who laid a foundation stone at the front of the building on 10th April 1901. This can still be viewed to the left of emergency exit steps.

During the development of the building in 2005, the floors were ripped up and a First World War pistol was found under the floor boards.

When it was the drill hall, two large cannons were sited on the front of the building.


The former drill hall

No 20-22 Mount Pleasant, where the box office now is, was once a boarding house where Bruce Forsyth stayed for his first ever live show at the Theatre Royal, adjacent to the Robin 2 (sadly now demolished), with Marzo at the top of the bill, when Bruce was aged 14.

Bruce Forsyth, aged 14
The Theatre Royal


Inside the Theatre Royal

Owners believe Slade used to rehearse in one of the buildings at the rear of The Robin 2 in their early years.

Slade's Dave Hill and Don Powell first met in Caledonia Street at the rear of The Robin 2.

Blues Legend Bo Diddly was booked to perform at Robin 2, but sadly passed away prior to the gig.

Jim Lea performed his one and only ever show out of Slade at the Robin 2 on November 16, 2002.

Mike Hamblett, the owner of Robin 2, started his working life as a technical apprentice in mechanical engineering at GKN Sankey in Bilston and went on to become a project engineer, designing vending machines there.

Owner Mike Hamblett
Kirsten Rawlins

By Kirsten Rawlins

Online Entertainment Editor for the Express & Star, Shropshire Star and Native Monster. E-mail me, or phone 01902 319368


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