Guys n Dolls

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.

Mo Wright
6/6/09

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

Phil Nadin
17/11/10

Didn't they have a live DJ on in there on Saturday afternoons?

Salford Lad
6/6/11

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.     

Noel Ahern
28/11/11

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.

Martin Carling
24/4/12

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!

Ric Ford
30/4/12

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!!

Mandy Lomon
14/8/12

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 nadinphil@aol.com - 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.

Phil Nadin
25/1/13

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!!

Denise
1/12/13

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

Phil Nadin
1/1/14

 


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Comments

Baz
Just remembered

Pete at Steeds was named Pete Beardow if I have that right.

Baz
29th September 2016 6:08pm
David simmonds
Hi baz ,sorry to say this but I found out on another thread that Pete beardo had passed away a few years ago. Andy haslam who was an apprentice now has his own shop in didsbury apparently.
29th September 2016 9:27pm
Baz
Dave

Genuinely very sorry to hear that Pete Beardow is no longer with us. He had a great sardonic sense of humour which I found out when Steeds set up shop in G&D. He seemed to remember my visit to his other shop and we had quite a few laughs about things. I used to get the occasional freebie haircut or wash and blow because I made the occasional sign or poster for Steeds.

I think he became very disillusioned with things when the business at G&D eventually went a bit pear-shaped.

I can only offer my very belated condolences to his family and remember Pete as a great workmate and colleague.

With regards

Baz
30th September 2016 6:00am
phil
Hi Baz, don't blame the firewall when the firestarter usually does the dirty deed dirt cheap !! Sorry, was that a reference to Prodigy or AC/DC ? Ho. ho, anyway, how yer doin' mate ? I've just got back from Whitby with a pall on a tea dance wekend - o.k. boozy weekend. Was sat in a pub called the Wellington and a van pulls up opposite with 'The Pursuaders - sensational 60's@ on the side. So I ambles across and asked the (later to be found out) bass player when they were playing. 9 o'clock was the reply so in we go - bloody good too ! The white-haired, pony-tailed bass player had transformd into a long haired hippy with shades ! Still, they played an excellent set so if you get a chance ... Tea time, speak soon take care, Phil
30th September 2016 2:38am
Baz
To: the Born Again Geordie of North Manchester aka Zenon "The Electric Axe" Stafford Can't understand it! I built the firewall myself from three tons of refractory firebricks salvaged from a works boiler in Heywood. Used fifty kilos of flameproof cement, got through four trowels no less, but I think I used too much petrol for the fire! Anyway, whilst sitting in the A&E in Fairfield Hospital, I had to concede that my understanding of what a firewall actually was, left much to be desired. Which is when I discovered the magic world of Norton or McAfee. And lo and behold...I've just made my umpteenth effigy of the clowns that sold the McAfee to me because it has expired nine months before it should. Epilogue: I sold the firebricks and the computer wasn't too badly burned. I have of course embellished this tale in, erm, one or two places. And talking of basses; I should invest in a decent amp. A mate in Middleton has about nine or ten guitars now plus several amps ... Read More
30th September 2016 6:49am
phil
Only if you tell me the story of Father Poablo and the John Lennon guitar !! Have you noticed that the Manchesterbeat clock is wrong ? Still not heard from Dan - are you sure we didn't leave him in that nightclub in Manchester in 1973 ? Catch you soon, Phil
30th September 2016 11:27pm
Baz
Phil Tales from the Big Empty Space on the top floor at 35-43 Oldham St, Manchester 4 (or wherever) Ah yes that comes from somewhere deep in the past. Father Pablo and one C. Devine's juvenile excursions into primeval rock music of 1962/63 or whatever passed for that in those days. Basically it was all about Clef's misuse of a banjo (four strings; he thought it was a bass, you see), and being Clef with no knowledge of amplifiers etc., the unfortunate Master Devine wired the banjo and plugged it directly into the power mains. Managed to black out a sizeable part of South Lancashire (and the church sacristy) for thirty minutes with that stunt would you believe? Also managed to get smacked on the head repeatedly with an acoustic guitar by said Father Pablo, who it is believed, sent the bill for a new one to father and mother of the young would-be musician. If I'm not mistaken, the CEGB did something similar with a bill for replacement circuit-breakers at one of their ... Read More
1st October 2016 8:05am
Phil
Tale-Master, the reference to John Winston was that said musician wanted to emulate said Winston but alas, as you said, plugging into the mains was not a great idea. (That part of the story still reminds me of the late, great Winston IV which, I believe, still rides the ghostly train from Victoria to Little Lever offering rain protection to unwary travelers)
Bye the way, no-one seems to add to the Westerner thread (from main menu - Shops - Clothes - Westerner) Now I happen to know that a certain Barry Bertram Squire had a little to do with the décor and window design of said outlet. Not to mention finding any excuse to visit from the G&D mothership just to listen to the jukebox.
Somewhere I think I put an email link if you want to transcribe any more woeful tails. Cheers, Zenon Stafford.
21st October 2016 2:18pm
Baz
To the Power-Monger of Barton Square Methinks you are right about said ghost trains on East Lancashire lines in this case Rochdale-Bury-Bolton etc. which closed in around November 1970. I've worked with one or two mystics who maintain that the old track-bed is rife with paranormal goings-on. Not seen any myself you understand but occasionally there have been things which can't be explained. I'll mention this another time. G&D subject now: On the subject of the supernatural I remember when in 1973 we saw the film Night of the Demon(1957) and afterwards I made a FIRE EXIT sign with fiery type letters; well why not?. I think we could see it from Short St at the back of G&D. In September 1996, standing on the same spot I saw and met Hal Chester, the executive producer of Night of the Demon (Festival of Fantastic Films at Sasha's Hotel). I was amazed, he looked like a cross between Sgt Bilko and Woody Allen. He sounded like Columbo with his Brooklyn accent. Also, ... Read More
29th October 2016 10:51am
Baz
Phil

I think the Manchester Beat clock is possibly Australian Time because that is where the website is based. Must admit; it had me puzzled almost as much as the whereabouts of the errant Dan O'Connell. Daniel, where art thou?

I've looked inside the wardrobe - wasn't there. Don't think he fell asleep in Affleck's Palace. Could check all the left luggage offices between Manchester Picc and Euston I suppose. The Home Office in Whitehall said they hadn't seen him. The Home Office in Dublin wanted to know which country he was from with a name like that. My fault, that; I spelled his name Oak Honnle. Sorry about the confusion Dublin. He might have gone to Knebworth; he was usually good at that if you remember. What about the Dive Bar; is it still going?

Over to you Dan; the ongoing saga of G&D depends upon you.

Phil, it's currently 5.16 am GM Time but the MB clock reads 2.07 pm which doesn't sound right somehow
1st October 2016 2:14pm
Graeme Handley
Hi I worked at G&D in 1971 + Oxford St x 2 Trafalgar Sq Carnaby St & Regent St . It was a long time ago so not too sure if the stores were under the same name. I eventually moved back to Australia in 1973 . What great memories .
3rd September 2016 12:37pm
Barry
Hello again to everybody. It's gratifying to see such familiar names; of those I worked with and those I was close to. I hope that the years have not been too unkind to you all. It's perhaps a sobering thought that even the youngest of the initial staff at G&D in October 1970, i.e. fifteen year olds are now in the age group 60-61. So much for being young cool and trendy eh?. I'm surprised that the G&D store hasn't got a Wikipedia mention, given its significance but the existence of the Manchester Beat forum is heartening. How many remember that the store became Bezzo's after JM (retailing) went out of business? I have an additional grouping of personalities who graced the portals at 35-43 Oldham St from 1970 onward, in some case for a very short time. Like Martin, I can recall faces but not always the names so as names come to mind, I hope that anybody excluded will not be too put out at this stage. If some are repeated or have been mentioned previously ... Read More
14th February 2016 12:13am
Barry
Re: Great American Disaster, the Hole in the Wall etc. Belated reply to Phil Nadin's comment. Yes Phil, we had a few laughs in the GAD, that is, after you discount the posers and some of the malcontents that appeared later. I used to have one of the stylised book of matches with the American flag on the cover (a useful source of 'Americana' for my signs and arty stuff in The Westerner) . Also remembered fondly, the Hole in The Wall effectively under and beside our store where we adjourned frequently. The Hole was a Berni Inn and the food was really good and affordable, even to out-of-pocket G&D staff. Manager of the Hole was Eugenio Gomez Sanchez and most of his girls there were also Spanish. The assistant manager was Peter Hughes who was always a friend to us. Gomez didn't really approve of the noisy long-haired denim-clad undesirables from upstairs and immediately next door. That said we at least contributed not-insignificantly to his profits over the years. The ... Read More
6th February 2016 6:50pm
phil nadin
Nice to (eventually!!) hear from you. Hope you are well. As you can see my last blog was Jan 2014 - I have been intouch with Ric (Ford) but Danny (O'Connell) seems to be bemused by technology but is still knocking about Manchester. Will reply more detail now I have your email - and, by the way, I necer did get that polo mint back (my interview at the G & D store !!)Remember Tony Moores, G&D area manager ? regards Phil
6th February 2016 10:29pm
Barry
Phil Great to hear from you and you must bring me up to date with all your goings on. Of course I remember Tony; he was a great bloke and I couldn't forget the others. Incidentally when I got called upstairs to Alan Gallagher's office in March 1973, Tony Moores was there as was Dave Rhodes and Keith Benson. I knew then I was facing ritual execution for some transgression or the other. But - wait for it - I was offered the job of artist/designer etc. in the display workshop. As I wasn't at all certain but wanted the job I told Keith of my reservations. He was as warm and as kind-hearted as ever and said, "Barry, the job was made for you; it's what you want and you don't have to worry about things. Just go up there and enjoy yourself. If you're not happy with it, you can go back to The Westerner. Mr Gallagher and Tony assured you". Then you joined the team about a month after me (or was it a week?). I appreciated your Polo mints that day; you restored ... Read More
6th February 2016 11:13pm
Mandy Lomon
Hi, are there any pictures of the store? With my mum working there is the seventies I would soo appreciate any pics that anyone would have?
26th May 2016 9:18am
Barry
Moderator

I made no errors or omissions so I don't know what is going on here. If you have a problem with my mails for any reason then I would appreciate your pointing out why this may be.

With appreciation
6th February 2016 4:58pm
Neil Entwistle
The store was officially opened by Lulu and I think PJ Proby I was a 10 or 11 year old who was to be the next Flaxton Boy so I was part of the opening
Not many people know this
2nd February 2016 6:23am
Barry
This is the second attempt at this blog, seeing as the broadband packed up during the first attempt. The system I have should be burned at the stake and the ashes scattered but not in hallowed ground, lol! You're right about Lulu 'opening' the store in October 1970 though I have no recollection of Jim Proby appearing at any time. During the first few days there was a lot of hype involving several local celebrity acts. Unfortunately I can't remember any of these with the exception of Shep's Banjo Boys and rock band Stackwaddy. The latter did a creditable job with Led Zeppelin's 'Moby *****' but their sound volume tended to drown out was was being said as a part of the store's launch that day. Over a period, quite a few celebrities visited the store, footballers, actors, musicians et al. In March or April 1973, I sold a denim tie/dye suit to Del Shannon who I think was undertaking a tour of great Britain, probably in connection with the film ... Read More
6th February 2016 4:52pm
Barry
Neil Sorry mate but two previous attempts to reply have apparently not succeeded. You are correct in that Lulu was the principal celebrity on the opening day of the G&D store in October 1970. However I have no recollection of Jim Proby appearing there. During the first day or two several local celebrities appeared at Oldham St, of whom I can recall only two, i.e. Shep's Banjo Boys and Manchester rockers Stackwaddy. I think the latter's sound volume didn't go down too well with those delivering their not-altogether mind-expanding speeches. Personally I found Stackwaddy more entertaining; their rendition of Led Zeppelin's 'Moby *****' wasn't bad. The store saw quite a few celebrity figures over the years which included actors, musicians and footballers. I recall George Best, Mike Summerbee, Carlo Sartori and Steve Heighway at various times. In March/April 1973, I sold a denim tie/dye suit to Del Shannon which required some alteration. Del Shannon was ... Read More
6th February 2016 5:43pm
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