ROLLING Stones drummer Charlie Watts made a surprise appearance at the unveiling of a plaque honouring Ealing’s musical heritage.

The music legend delighted crowds who gathered to see the unveiling outside what had once been The Ealing Club, a rhythm and blues venue in the early 1960s where the Stones played some of their first gigs in.

The plaque, funded entirely by donations, was unveiled on SaturdayMarch 17 at what is now The Red Room in Ealing Broadway, 50 years to the day after it was opened as a music venue.

The inscription reads: “Alexis Corner and Cyril Davies began British Rhythm and Blues on this Site”, in reference to the two promoters who attracted a slew of young talent to the club.

A not-for-profit heritage group, also called the Ealing Club, is behind the scheme and has been busy for more than a year, raising both funds and awareness. A house band performed after the unveiling, featuring veteran musicians from Ealing’s original blues scene including Ali Mackenzie, Don Craine and Terry Marshall, son Marshall Amplifiers founder Jim Marshall, who used to sell his amps out of a shop in Hanwell’s Uxbridge Road.

Alistair Young, who is involved with the project, said: “Charlie’s attendance shows just how important this is. We had been looking at all the history of the site and we had been in touch with various people who knew lots of musicians.

“We managed to get word out to Charlie and he was able to make it. I think he had a fantastic time.

“I was the first person to greet him when he came into the venue. He was very nice but I just left him to enjoy the afternoon. He stayed for the unveiling and the reception

“This is just one example of the heritage we have around Ealing, there are many more examples.

“Hopefully if people find out more about the area that they live in then can take more pride in being residents of the borough.”

To find out more about The Ealing Club, go online at or visit the group’s Facebook page.