The large shop was Guys and Dolls and the 'blokey shop' was I believe The Westerner, selling ... yes you guessed it cowboy boots, shirts, jeans, etc.
With regards to Guys and Dolls, I worked there in 1971'ish and later - 1972-1975'ish at the Westerner in Barton Arcade, Manchester - would be nice to hear from any other staff/friends from that era - Barry Shaw, Martin Carling, Dave and Mike (from the Westerner) to name a few. I may have some pictures of The Westerner which I will try and post. Also Roy James Dean who woarked at, I believe, Pygmalia in about 1972 - he also played guitar but can't remember bands name Regards
Didn't they have a live DJ on in there on Saturday afternoons?
I worked at G+Ds around 1971. I had an absolute ball and I rubbed shoulders with some of the most beautiful people in the world.
I remember Ged Sundquist (who went on to be a fine actor), Janet Fearns, Ian (The Westerner) "Bridie" The Manager and yes the great Al Dean ? who entertained us every Saturday.
So, there I am, sitting with Mike Bradbury (who I'd not seen for over thirty years) and we're talking about the old days at Guys and Dolls. I worked there and at The Westerner from 1970-74 and Mike from 1968-73. Mike asked if I ever saw anyone from those days, mentioning a few who'd been to visit him when he first moved to Wales, including Phil Nadin. Of course I've seen nobody in years. And then, for some reason, I decide to Google Guys and Dolls, and here I am, in Manchester beat and Phil Nadin is remembering me!
So here we go, here's a roll call of those whose names I remember. There are others whose faces I can still see, but can't remember their names. Maybe someone else can fill in a few blanks:
The Manchester boss was Alan Gallagher, supported by Tony Moores, who was married to Anne, the window dresser. And then, in no particular order, other than the people I worked with first; Mike Bradbury, Dave Wild, Ian Farrell, Ian Marriott, Ian Stewart,Susan Drazcuk, Christine Perritt(?), Janet Fearn,Barry Shaw,Phil Nadin, Noel Ahern,Kenny Cummings, Brian King,Mike Comber, Greg Vere, Gerry Sunqist, Bernadette (), Pat, Nick and Paul Cunningham, Alec Green, Al Zabiella, Keith Benson, Ian Balf, Bill Bacon, David Rhodes and Ian Muir. Good crowd - what are you doing now?
I could spend hours telling stories from those days and when I get time I will, but for now, here's a piece of totally useless information I'll share with you. Al Dean (real name Alan Pogson) did indeed DJ at Guys and Dolls on a Saturday - assisted at lunchtime by Andy Peebles! His final disc every Saturday was a special request for David Rhodes. The track was "Sanctus", the music running all the way through the film "If". Not a lot of people know that.
So there are survivors! I remember many of the names listed by Martin Carling and Phil Nadin, (including themselves), and like Martin there are many more faces to which I cannot put names.
After Royce Menswear on Deansgate I worked at the Westerner in Guys and Dolls, also on the third floor (going up!) - ground floor accessories and Westerner, first floor Dolls, second floor Guy (or was it the other way round?), third floor sale and cafes, fourth floor admin and display, and I also worked at Barton Square around 1974 I remember the girls shop next door although I wouldn''t have remembered the name, Contrary, but for Christine's post below.
I can add some names to Martin's list: Gavin Aldred (who I think left to work for Littlewoods?), Danny O'Connell (still very much alive and kicking!), and Phil Sergeant (last heard of setting off to walk to India); Bluey from Liverpool (who once downed a pint of Scotch in one and promptly passed out!). I remember happy nights (and days) in the Hole in the Wall was there a barmaid called Monica?, The Mariners and The Sawyers Arms.
Does anyone remember the mass tin lid battles in which we would frisbee the tops of promotional tin cans at one another across a crowded shop? Or the boarded up corridor we found on the third floor and, carefully concealed with shirt boxes, an ideal place to get over a little lunchtime excess, it even had toilets!
I remember dear old Alan Dean on Saturday afternoons and the first day of the sale when, in an attempt to limit the number of people in the store at once we roped the front doors shut, opening them by a few inches to hand out ˜first come/first choice" tickets (well, it sounded like a good idea at the time!). We slacked off the rope and opened the door slightly whilst one of the staff, I don't remember who, extended his hand through the doors bearing a ticket. The mob on Oldham Street spotted our mistake in a flash, the person holding out the ticket had all the others in his other hand - whoops! I wouldn't have said he would have fit through that gap but he did, like a cork out of a bottle! Then it was run like hell for the basement and side door to mount a rescue mission! We got most of him back but all the tickets had gone and the Police were becoming increasingly concerned about the size and demeanour of the crowd so we had to abandon the plan and it turned into a free for all - that was a fun day.
The last time I saw any of the old crowd apart from Dan must have been better than thirty years ago when I would play pool with Tony Moores in the Spread Eagle next door to Robinsons Brewery. I also went up to visit Phil Nadin (how' s it going Phil?) in County Durham where he had just moved from Stockport. I remember on that trip someone trying to steal my car, a MK1 Capri, which I suppose pretty much dates this little memoir!
My Mum Kitty Lomon used to work in Guys and Dolls on Oldham Street. I used to go with her on Saturdays (no idea why a store would allow you to take your child in for the day) and it was the most amazing place. Mary quant Makeup, and George Best had a concession in there. I remember seeing him there. His shirts were soo fasionable then, purple with big round white penny collars!!!
I also remember my mum buying me an Afghan Hound coat from there because she got a discount. I really was the coolest kid around, if the the smelliest, I have never known anything like that smell ... I'm surprised anyone came near me!!
Many thanks for all the posts regarding Guys and Dolls and the Westerner and Pygmalia (early 70's manager Roy James Dean) in Manchester, any of the lads and lasses who want to share memories of the time please contact me Phil at firstname.lastname@example.org - I will be trying to post some images of the shop to Paul@manchester beat - Remember the Hole in the wall? good drinker at the time - Mike Bradbury will remember ! Especially how he used to get free drinks LOL.
Reading through the comments about Guys and Dolls really put a smile on my face.
I worked there, I think in 1976, at the Sterling Cooper concession. I wish time had been a little kinder on the old grey matter because I just can't remember any names...apart from Elaine Jennings, oh and I think Sarah the window dresser who was dating one of the Stockport FC players at the time.
I was only 15/16 but felt oh so grown up...and yes we used to go in The Hole In The Wall regularly.
We used to hang out with the guys from the hairdressers on the second floor,anybody remember Dougie,I wonder if he is still cutting hair? We regularly went to The Great American Disaster...now there was a place...Tony Wilson could regularly be seen there!! Then it was on to "Slacks"...OMG I cant believe I was doing these things at this age!!! Oh...My name..Denise!!
Nice to welcome Denise to the forum with her comments on Guys and Dolls - especially with reference to the Hole in the Wall and the Great American Disaster ! If you ever frequented such places on Saturday night and say several unrully lads and lasses (mostly from G & D and The Westerner) then apologies, that was us. You couldn't miss Barry with his King Charles hair style and umbrella !
Anyone else remember The Great American Disaster pub in the early 70's ? regards