A MUCH-LOVED nightclub steeped in music and memories has closed with an emotional concert.

The Luka State, from Winsford, headlined a farewell gig at De Bees and raised £500 for Papyrus, a charity for the prevention of young suicide.

Bar profits went towards a campaign to save the building as a live music venue and community asset.

Winsford businessman Damon Horrill is trying to raise £400,000 to buy the building after former owners Enterprise Inns decided to sell up.

Saturday marked the end of an era for the venue that has hosted shows over the past 22 years by many big names in music and comedians including John Bishop,Alan Carr and Russell Kane.

Beauty queen Eleanor Farr organised the gig to give something back to the community in her role as a Miss England 2019 semi-finalist.

The 24-year-old said: "It was absolutely packed out, there was a very special atmosphere. The bars inside and outside were full.

"It was really lively, everyone was having such a good time talking together. But at the same time it was sad in a way because it could potentially be the last gig of its kind."

Seabirds, The Grey Skys and Evan Kirwan teamed up with rock band The Luka State to make it a night to remember.

The musicians joined forces to help youngsters battling depression and difficulties in their lives.

"All the bands played for free which was brilliant," said Eleanor, who herself has conquered a severe chronic illness.

"I'd like to thank the bands all their support. There was a lot of stress bits and last minute things to sort out but the gig went really well."

Eleanor was diagnosed with an aggressive autoimmune disease when she was only 19, relying on chemotherapeutic drugs and daily morphine to survive.

But despite excruciating pain and temporary disability she never gave up hope.

After having a titanium hip fitted, she landed her dream job as a photographer and will be competing on Sunday in the Miss England 2019 semi final in Burnley.

De Bees owner Damon Horrill hopes to turn the building into a community-owned enterprise and plans to change the venue's name to The Hive.

Winsford Guardian:

De Bees owner Damon Horrill hopes to turn the building into a community-owned enterprise

He says various grants have been secured and Winsford residents are now invited to buy community shares.

Damon said: "De Bees' real value is not as a nightclub but as a venue for staging our creative community. It as been at the heart of a blossoming music scene for 20 years.

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"We hope The Hive is successful and is able to operate the venue for the betterment of this community for generations to come."