Royal Albert Hall ‘not just classical music venue’ as it is set to turn 150

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From left to right, Randolph Churchill, Roger Daltrey, Eve Ferret of Chelsea Arts Club, Eric Clapton and Katie Derham outside the Royal Albert Hall, London (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The chief executive of the Royal Albert Hall said the institution is “not just a venue for classical music” as icons of its history were honoured.

Plaques commemorating major names that shaped the history of the venue have been installed around the London concert hall.

Eric Clapton and Roger Daltrey are among the rockers recognised, and their names now appear beside those of Sir Winston Churchill and the suffragettes.

Chief executive Craig Hassall launched the project ahead of the 150th anniversary of the venue.

Royal Albert Hall 150th anniversary
A woman walks past an engraved stone recognising Eric Clapton outside the Royal Albert Hall (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The immortalising of famous names in stone around the hall aims to show the diverse history of the Victorian concert space.

Clapton, Daltrey, family representing Britain’s wartime prime minister, and activists carrying the torch of the suffragettes unveiled the honours outside the Royal Albert Hall.

Mr Hassall said: “We were really excited to release the archive of the Royal Albert Hall.

“Here we have amazing stories about people.

“This project is to tell the public what goes on at the Royal Albert Hall. The people that have been here.

“To have Eric Clapton and Roger Daltrey, and Winston Churchill’s grandson.

“We’re not just a venue for classical music. Adele has played here. These are icons.”

Stressing the contribution to history the hall has made, Mr Hassall highlighted the political influence of the venue alongside the musical legacy.

He said: “The suffragettes had many of their rallies here at the Royal Albert Hall. This was important for the whole country.”

Churchill made 16 appearances at the hall, delivering a number of speeches.

Queen Victoria and Dame Shirley Bassey were among those honoured with permanent plaques ringing the outside of the concert hall.

A series of events will be held there to mark the 150th anniversary of the Royal Albert Hall.