Pub with 'no divvies' policy that's a Liverpool landmark

Mary Smith, co-owner of Orrell Park Ballroom
-Credit: (Image: Andrew Teebay Liverpool Echo)

If you're not from the area, you might be forgiven for mistaking Orrell Park Ballroom for 'just another pub'. However, this historic venue, which first opened its doors in 1927 and has seen the likes of Ringo Starr grace its stage, has been a cherished part of North Liverpool's community for generations.

The landmark venue, recognised as the city's oldest of its kind and still serving locals today, sits on Moss Lane, above a row of shops opposite Orrell Park train station. Soon after opening, the building quickly become renowned as a local landmark, thanks to it containing a spelling mistake in the brick.

It is believed that the bricklayer only left enough space for one letter 'L' in the word 'Orrell', so to this day the name on the building is 'Orrel Park Hall'. However, the venue soon became renowned for its sprung dance floor and its roster of entertainers, including notable Merseyside musicians such as Ringo Starr and Rory Storm and the Hurricanes.

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Today, it operates as both a pub and a function suite, known throughout the area for hosting birthdays, weddings, and other events, creating lasting memories for its guests.

Co-owner Mary Smith, from Huyton, who has been at Orrell Park Ballrooom for 28 years, spoke to the ECHO about why her establishment holds such a special place in the hearts of many locals. She said: “People feel comfortable here, that’s the main thing - we get a buzz out of that. There’s no divvies here, we’re too old for divvies now. We offer quality and security.

“This is a nice place for nice people. The key thing about any pub you go in is feeling safe. It’s more than just a pub though, it’s a little community."

An old picture from the Orrell Park Ballroom shows an orchestra on stage. The date is unknown.
Old picture from the Orrell Park Ballroom (date unknown) -Credit:Andrew Teebay Liverpool Echo

Inside the Orrell Park Ballroom, what was once a single large room posed a problem for regulars; they were left without their local watering hole whenever events took over. Mary, however, rectified this by splitting the space into a cosy bar area for the regulars and a separate, larger function suite.

She continued: “It’s like one big happy family here. We had a wedding in the function room last Saturday and the couple gave out the cake in the bar on the Sunday. Even though we’ve got the keys, it’s the people coming here who make it."

Talking about function events, Mary said she and her team do the upmost to make everyone's day special. She said: "From the minute someone books an event, we start organising their party. We’ll sit with them and plan their party with them over the course of a few meetings. Everything is done in-house.

“We make sure that their day is special, even if it's a small event. We have 18th birthdays all the way up to 80th, 90th birthday parties. We want everyone who books a function to feel comfortable and happy while they're here."

Orrell Park Ballroom's function suite
Orrell Park Ballroom's function suite -Credit:Andrew Teebay Liverpool Echo

The function suite at Orrell Park Ballroom can be booked for £500. However, owner Mary points out that not all events have a cost associated with them as she believes "it's not all about the money".

Expanding on their community ethos, she said: "Any charity nights are free and even funerals, we will only take a deposit to make sure they're coming.

“We like to help others. You can’t just take from a community, you’ve got to give back."

Orrell Park Ballroom, which is open seven days a week and hosts entertainment on weekends, can be found on Moss Ln, Orrell Park, Liverpool L9 8AJ. To visit their website, click here.

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