The Matthäuskirche Buer-Middelich, © Jule Körber

Mat­thäuskirche Buer-Mid­de­lich

The ori­gin of beat

The red-brick building hidden behind trees, with ist detached, squared bell tower can only be identified as a church at second glance. You can spot a few little common rooms in the rear part while walking around the, at the time, architecturally bold protestant church, which was inaugurated in 1960. This is where the “Temple” was located in the mid 1960s. Skiffle and the beat of Liverpool, which emerged from that, were skipping over the Hamburg Reeperbahn and into the remotest corners of the country at the beginning of the 1960s. Suddenly, young people all over grabbed instruments and started bands, which were supposed to sound like the Beatles, the Stones or the Kinks. Dedicated churchmen frequently provided support. Pastor Wichmann in Gelsenkirchen-Buer, for instance, who turned the youth and common room under the church into a meeting point and place for recreation, as a result of the youth riots in the late 1950s. In doing so he agreed with the youth protective services, who assessed the virtuous Skiffle- and Beat-music-making (as oppose to the mangy Rock ‘n’ Roll) as an activity against juvenile crimes worthy of support. Therefore, the premises of the Matthäuskirche became one of the first venues for beat bands who came about in the entire Ruhr area. All this ensured, that the remote location in Gelsenkirchen-Buer became a hub for the beat-movement with up to 1,500 bands. The church was given the nickname “Tempel” (=temple) by the scene that developed.

Further information
Cranger Straße 81, 45891 Buer-Middelich