How well I remember Stockport and Manchester in the 60s. I dated the DJ of the Twisted Wheel club ... Paul I think his name was ... from what I remember of Mr Smith's club it was rubbish (topless waitresses at lunchtime - put me right off my drinks) also had some money stolen out of my coat pocket there while it was in the cloakroom - had an argument with the Manager and got barred. ... Top of the Town was my STOMPING GROUND.
My best mate Patti and I went every Friday and Saturday night. I used to leave my psychedelic Lambretta at home because I knew full well I was going to drink drink and drink some more - then hope I managed to get the last train back to Stockport. One night I missed my train and was given a lift by a band called The Alan Bown Set ... they'd just finished a gig in Manchester and were going back to their hotel on Wellington Road in Stockpport. Had a very enjoyable few hours there at their hotel ... no hanky panky !!! .. then got home at dawn to get a well-deserved clout around the head from my Mum !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You know, it wasn't the sex in those days, it was the music and the fun ... and the clothes - OH, THE CLOTHES. Stealing flowers from Piccadilly Gardens late at night to replace the ones that had wilted in my hair. THAT WAS LIVING
Ahh!! Wow I have only just seen this website, I honestly thought every one of my age group had died, lol.
OMG I loved the 60's and 70's.
I was only just talking to my daughter about the music scene in Manchester when I was younger, everything came flooding back to me.
The Bar above Takis nightclub was the place to meet on a Friday night, when we could afford it or had a friend on the door went into the nightclub below, saw The Drifters, The Walker Brothers, ahh there was so many.
The Jigsaw Club behind the old Market Street next to the Salisbury pub (no longer there) won a dance competion with Stan Finni for "Ready Steady Go".
The Bluenote Club off London Road, next to the Waldorf Pub.
Went into the Queens Hotel on the corner of Piccadilly and London Road, "young Ladies" were not allowed to go the bar, a waiter had to come and serve us, (Ohhh Yehhh) not like that now.
I worked at the Portland Lodge and my sister Susan worked at the Cabaret Club on Oxford Street.
My sister Susan became a dance instuctor for the Court School of Dancing, she was fab.
Me.... I loved the Soul scene, I loved Sam Cooke, and still do (twistin the night away}.
Northern Soul has to be the best music ever. Dobie Gray (The in Crowd) was everyones favourite, and Doris Troy (I'll do anything he wants me to do), were the best dance songs of all time.
I could go on for ever. Holy moly, they were the best times.
My sister Sue was 4 years older than me, and she use to like to go to "Talk of the North" in Salford, Hey I'll tell you what we saw some fantastic Artist there, all live bands, they were fantastic.
I had a friend called Vivien Fox who lived on Ragland Street in Hulme, she was a tiny little thing, she played the drums (what a fantastic musician she was) I am only sorry I did not follow her career.
My own brother Johnny MacMillan was a talented musician, he played at different venues, always played in the Parkside Pub on Lloyd Street South every Thursday night after Jay Slattery gave the the local football team a talking to (Parkside Villa). Thursday night was a great night in the Parkside. (Even that has gone) If anyone remembers any of my shot story, please get in touch, would love to hear from you. xxx
Read with interest Carol Mcmillans story. I also knew Jay Slattery, from the Parkside Pub and the City Social. He sadly passed away a few years ago.
Went to the Twisted Wheel, Cavern, they would not let us in the Oasis Club because of our hippie looks. Used to drink in the City Arms, Rising Sun and the Mitre pub near the Cathedral. Manchester was the place in the early sixties. Great people and great music.
The 60's manchester, surely the best city in Britain at the time! Ok maybe London was a close second. We had the best clubs, coffee shops, shops ect. I would love to hear fron anyone who was a teenager during 1967-1969.
Who remembers The Gay Dolphin cafe on Piccadilly, Espresso Bongo near Victoria station? Pauldens, C & A, Woolies, the hole in the wall chippies?
I worked at Sparrow Hardwick, Lena Street Piccadilly from 167-1970 as a stitcher, best years of my life! The 60's was the best era ever, the music second to none!
I was a trainee journo in the mid 1960s. Part of the job was a one day a week course at St John's College. At lunch-time we sidled into the Old Vic pub, one of the first to provide decent pub grub, and spend an hour over half a bitter ogling the Coronation Street stars like Pat Pheonix (Elsie Tanner).
On Saturday nights we left the backwoods of Cheshire (we were straw sucking yokels dressed in Mod gear) and came into Manchester for the all-nighters at the Wheel, Cavern and Heaven and Hell.
My mate's dad ran a print factory in Ancoats. If we fancied a kip after being kicked out of the club we'd go there, climb over the gates, and doss down on a load of rubber sheets.
I remember the lines of Lambrettas and Vespas parked in Brazennose St, all polished to a magnificent shine and boasting piles of wing mirrors. The Wheel was our favourite for the dancing. I enoyed the American artists most. Anyone recall Screaming Jay Hawkins?
Saw Manfred Mann among others at the Cavern.
In August 65 we hitched down the M6, on the ring road around Birmingham, then the M1 to the Richmond festival, the last there before it switched to Reading after complaints from local residents. The Who and The Yardbirds were on the bill along with the Graham Bond Organisation whom we'd seen several times in Manchester. A memorable weekend. We had sleepng bags, toothbrush, change of underwear - not much else - and dossed down on the golf course until a greenkeeper copped us and then by the river.
When we got back we heard the Wheel was being closed down, although it was hoped to move to new premises in Whitworth St. It seemed like the end of something.
I worked in Manchester most of my life close to Brazenose Street and always saluted when walking past the old Wheel door.
Some of the stories remind me of the all-nighters at the twisted wheel in Brazennose St, going to our mates house in Miles Platting. If we left the club early in the night we would doss down in the train carriages in the old Central Station, as long as you kept clear of the regular residents, then in 65/66 when the Wheel moved, we got smartened up normally we looked like hippies. Times were changing so we started going to the top of the town, trying to be real grown up. I missed the wheel and the people, they were great days, love this site, it revives old memories.
Those were the very memorable days. The Jungfrau (behind the Cathedral)on a Friday night was great - I remember seeing Dave Berry clmbing up the back wall, the Undertakers and then The Wheel's all nighters on a Saturday. The music was just out of this world - all the best soul music - I remember going down the steps at Brasenose street being greeted by the four tops and all the Atlantic soul artists. Then remember falling asleep on the coffee bar couch at the new wheel to the sounds of Frankie Valli.
Does anyone remember the Who when the Jigsaw first opened. They trashed the place!!!
The Jungfrau, The Mitre, Top of the Town, Takis, Twisted Wheel, Jigsaw, Blue Note, Time and Place, Stax sunday morning session after the Twisted wheel all nighters, Pop Inn. Those were the days my friends and we thought they would never end.
Halcyon days which we thought would never end. Yes, I remember all the venues mentioned above - and then some! Sometimes its pretty hard to believe that all this took place a lifetime ago. Lovely people, a great scene. A wonderful world indeed - and I mourn its passing.
I spent all my early youth down town, Jungfrau, then the Wheel, old and new spent some great days at Blackpool with Joe Makin, friday night Town Hall Tavern, sat night Wheel all nighter, then either Blackpool, or Sunday night firstly Belle Vue, then later Top of the Tow.
Just returned to UK after 30 yers as long term expat. If anybody rembers dj Pete (Bongo) Van Dort, and the Wheel crowd, Ian Evans, Danny, Roger, big Dave, Denis, Mary Cossley, Sue & Angie, sister Sue, Jessie etc. We never missed an all nighter in about 6 years, great times?
I remember my days of coming to Manchester on the train for the bands and the all-nighters. I lived in Todmorden and Hebden Bridge so quite a complex night/morning out for a youngster.
We loved The "Twisted Wheel" saw Goergie Fame there and remember he never seemd to open his eyes when he played. also "Spencer Davis" Stevie Winwood was my heart throb. I rmember standing on a higher level trying to peer though the people..we never had alcohol and most of the venues were non alcohol venues.
Remeber seeing Lulu at "Mr Smiths" I think it was my 21st birthday and my dad took me my best friend and my two sisters out for the night. She was absolutely brilliant.
Also went to "The Blue note" well I think that was the venue. They had Spencer Davis on too.
I love those times. Thanks for the memories folks XXX
Linda Rigby nee Hirst
In the '60s, I worked in Whitworth Street, Manchester and lived in Stalybridge. Takis used to be open at lunchtimes, so it was good place to have a pint and listen to some good music. Evenings, I would travel in and usually end up at Top of the Town or Rowntrees. Virtually impossible to do any serious Northern Soul dancing due to lack of floor space.
Ashton Palais/Sale Locarno were the places for going daft!
Used to get my vinyls from Rare Records (near Victoria station). I also remember venues like Mr. Smith's (posher); Twisted Wheel (cracking music, shabby); Brown's Levenshulme (girls); Ritz (Sundays); Nile Club (Jesus!).
I used to get bespoke mohair suits made up at Alexandre in Ashton (remember the colours?) and these were complimented by a fishtail parka for cruising into town on my Lambretta SX200 (what a pillock!). Still got all the records, still play them. Don't dance so much though.
I have just read Paul Swarbricks account of when he was working on Whitworth St in Manchester and how he used to go to Takis at lunchtime and enjoy the music. I was really pleased to read that as I was the DJ during those lunchtime sessions. My DJ name was Pete Roscoe and as well as the lunchtime sessions I also did Top of the Town,and Rowntrees in the evenings.
Does anyone recall the Miss Supertakis beauty contest that we had, I arranged that together with Mr Paul Partakis who was the Manager and part of the family that owned the group of clubs.
In Wythenshawe in the mid '60s there were lots of venues ,usually based on church youth clubs. Many of the bands that feature in your A-Z played there.
We used to watch live bands 5 nights a week, our routine was Wednesday - St Johns,Benchill. Apart from the Manchester bands I saw Londoners "The Alan Bown Set" here.
Thursday - William Temple,Woodhouse Park. My first ever gig in 63/64 was "Paul Fender and the Tigers" ,I think Paul Fender was Paul Young pre Toggery. My favourite band was The Myaks with their signature song "Back Door Man". Also saw pre chart Herman here.
Friday - usually St Bernadettes ,Withington, but occasionally St Peters, Firbank Road. The Lemon Line (see A-Z) evolved from St Peters, another member of the line up was Paul Chantler.
Saturday - St Lukes, Benchill - mainly remember the fights here!
Sunday - St Anthonys,Woodhouse Park - There were three groups "The Oddments","The Odd Ones" and "The Odd Things" who, seperately, regularly played here as did Phoenix City Smash.
Another Sunday venue was Woodhouse Park C.A. where Dave Plum and the Stones were regulars.
At this time I was about 14 or 15,later on when we went into thecity centre more often Iremember I went to the New Century Hall to see Jimmy Hendrix and The Silverstone Set. My recollection is Hendrix had problems with the bands equipment and he did a 45 minute guitar solo whilst the engineers fixed it.
Great looking through the site.
Fabulous to read Carol Macmillan's and Mel Gage's accounts of nights spent in Manchester in the mid - sixties . I too was there , oh, the clubs , The Wheel , The Jigsaw , The " Frau " The Blue Note " Top of The Town and the music . Cromford Court , at the back of Seftons pub . You could have set a scene from " Jack the Ripper " in there , it was so atmospheric , straight out of Victoriana , Cannon St now all demolished for that awful shopping centre.
I would love to speak to either Carol Macmillan or Mel Gage again please please get in touch with me either Email or telephone me on 01204548847 so we can recall those times again.
Another gem someone might remember is Jethro Tull at (I think) the Opera house in about '74. A dull solo by Martin Barre was interrupted by a huge voice shouting "get off". Ian Anderson appeared from the wings and challenged the culprit to repeat himself.........nothing. I just remember Barre smiling sheepishly.
Anyone else remember all night queues for The Stones and Who at Belle Vue in '73/74. Rained all night for the former - got so wet I just threw up in the gutter in the morning - then bought a ticket.
Keep up the good work.
Hi everyone who made Manchester such a tremendous place.
I was in a band Art Nouveau that played all nighters at the wheel. Cor I have just met a lady from Boston Lincolnshire and we did two gigs one at Boston Gliderdrome and the Twisted Wheel - how did we have the energy then.
Unfortunately many of my friends from that era have left us but some such as Des from Sad Cafe are still gigging. I went into education so survived- just not very good with relationships.
Well such good times and brilliant live music from such as Alan Bown. I then became a star- he he working with many Tamla artists mainly Jimmy Ruffin so moved on. Well good luck to those who survived into their older years.
David Kenyon - now in Bournemouth.