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

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
Charles Bibby
Sorry, I could get boring, but nobody mentioned Frank Rostron, who remains a
friend, but now lives in Naples, Florida, USA. He began his career at John Michael, in the capable hands of Alan Gallagher. did well didn't he?
24th October 2015 10:50pm
Charles Bibby
Just remembered the surname of the Girl I remembered in Dolls, Gillian Richardson and her husband was David. Great friends and great company. Alan Gallagher's Lawyer of course! Just read, was it John Bracewell, who began his music career in the Boys Brigade? I was for years in the Band of the Church Lads Brigade in Droylsden, but I ended up, dancing, not playing. My chosen career whould have been as a Hoofer. Yes, a Poofer Hoofer! I ended up dancing along with many of the Groups of the day, in presentation Demos. Groups like Herman's Hermits, at the Ritz Ballroom. Alan Clarke & Graham Nash were in those days, in favt in the earlier sixties, chasing several of my girlfriends at Art School in Ashton-U-Lyne, and would arrange great nights at the old Ashton Palais. My God they were the days. I remember being in the filming of some of those antics for "A Taste of Honey" at the Palais, too. I used to choreograph the girls in new routines to trendy stuff like, the ... Read More
24th October 2015 10:34pm
Charles Bibby
Can't help thinking this should all be on a Facebook Page, where we could get interested parties to put pictures to faces and stories to those!
I've got pictures , but have yet to work out adding them in this obscure way! Many of mone are already on Facebook, on my own page, but I hope it wouldn't impinge on this fantastic representation of the period.
Tony Wilson! now there's another story, and Front man of New Order,(Bernard Sumner), was my next door neighbour for a while!
24th October 2015 7:05pm
Charles Bibby
Noel's memories are so good, of those wonderful, sex filled and musically tinged, heady days of Guys & Dolls. He knew that the Great Al Dean, was in fact, Alan Pogson,(long time live in partner of Bill Bacon. Did you know them at the sticky end of Alan Pogson's life? There are so many names that I know and remember well and obviously I must have met many of them. Alan couldn't keep me under wraps completely. Tony Moores and Anne almost lived with us. They and Ian Muir and his Partner, Bill & Alan, were dinner guests regulars and we kept a lowish profile! I remember Lulu at the grand opening, along with many of the staff. I'm having trouble remembering the last name of Gillian, who was Dolls Manageress, her husband was David,(a solicitor), and they lived in a huge house in Dean Row Road, Wilmslow. What age does to the grey cells, indeed! They were good friends and did lots for alan & myself over the years. When I met Big G, as Alan was largely known, he ... Read More
24th October 2015 6:54pm
Charles Bibby
I've only just discovered this page, casually Googling, first the MSG (Manchester Sports Guild), then Guys & Dolls. As Alan Gallagher's surviving, and almost secret Partner, (the one he kept hidden at home), it was lovely to find all this history of his loyal and loving staff. I was contemporary to all of the Guys and Dolls years, having met Allan, whilst he was still Managing the John Michael Shop, in St Anne's Passage, off King Street. Who remembers, Meng & Eckers next door?
24th October 2015 6:09pm
Dee Chadwick
Ha great to read up on Guys n Dolls Oldham Street – didn’t the carrier bags have a psychedelic picture of a man in loons and platforms? Worked there as a Saturday Girl! and holidays etc. for a few years whilst at uni to late 78, when I moved to Swansea to work at the DVLC. Initially worked on the top sales (3rd) floor but soon became the cashier on the guys (ground floor) very occasionally on the dolls (first floor) and sometimes on the westerner (2nd floor). Great building, a real maze, elegant stairs from the ground floor then got a bit more functional as you went up from the dolls to the westerner - in style with the wooden / cowboy theme. I was on the till at the guys cash desk and Al was round the other side playing the music. Particularly remember in the Westerner, the boys! laying the customers on the floor and curving their hip bones in to squeeze them into the tightest jeans. Loved the leather boots there – very classy. Remember going for my interview in the office ... Read More
8th August 2015 8:14pm
Dave Kenigsberg
I worked in Guys and Dolls . I am French and my name is Dave. I worked there until the shop closed. I worked with Steve who was the floor manager.
13th April 2015 1:01am
Lorraine randall
Hi everyone
I worked there 1970's. Does anyone remember the store detective who wore a white trench coat and white boots? Her nickname was Tara King meant in a kind way. Also does anyone remember a young lady who had an accident there when a ceiling fitting fell on her head...she suffered a concussion.
Many nice people worked there.
26th March 2015 4:44am
Lorraine
Finding “Manchester beat” as I did, was really a pleasant surprise, although it was along time ago it does in all honesty seem like only yesterday. Gerry sundquist was one of my “fave” actors in the 70’s not realising that it was our friend Ged from guys and dolls. I still have the card that everyone signed when i left including a little message from ged which has always been a bit special. Sue from the ladies department, was as I remember, one of guys and dolls ”royalty” with her lovely “biba”outfits and stylish makeup – very Downton abbey. However in the westerner it was all about selling jeans, and who could sell the most, After a very busy Saturday it was usually a manager ric. The building was a bit like a Tardis with something on every level. From a staff canteen In the basement, to a drawing room at the top, for the young man who was resident artist and designer. I don’t think working has been ever the same since back then, along with the optimism of ... Read More
6th February 2015 6:35am
Barry
Hello Lorraine This is my first communique to this site. I was the aforementioned young man who did the art and design work from 1973 to 1978. The 'drawing room' on the top floor in fact measured around 5000 square feet - some drawing room, eh? I was there for just under eight years, at the store's birth in October 1970 until practically its demise. It's heart-warming to discover this site which I had no knowledge of. I'm not sure quite who you are as possibly there were several girls named Lorraine over the years. I remember most of the contributors to this site, particularly Phil Nadin who was a close friend. He was right about the Charles II hair; I was only 'out-Charlied' by Eddie Golga, guitarist with the Brummie band, Blackfoot Sue; his hair was about twice the length of mine, lol. I worked with Martin Carling at Barton Square which was a weird place. It's a surprise we weren't closed down or sacked because of the noise or stunts we pulled. ... Read More
6th February 2016 8:21am
lorraine
Barry so nice to hear from youSmile, we did share a few treks to and from Victoria station via guys and dolls you did always carry your umbrella on those dark winter mornings and nights. I worked in the westerner, wasn’t really the glam or trendy type and a bit of a shy geek my hair was probably longer than yours though and very dark at that time, usually wore flares and platform boots not very practical considering all the walking about. If you remember Paul Muir, Alan B, john aka Chunky and Jewish Stuart well Julie from ladies and myself were usually in there company in the hole in the wall after work.
You did sketch a lovely picture of Strider from lord of the rings on my leaving card.
I used to get the train from bury to Manchester
Enjoyed reading your comments many thanks
Lorraine in those days Greenall
21st February 2016 10:08pm
Barry
Ha ha! Good to hear from you Lorraine; I vaguely recall the Strider bit! No you weren't geeky and probably no more shy than I was. You were slim, had dark clothes and long dark wavy hair. You might have been a student. I never bothered too much about appearing trendy either; it didn't particularly go hand in hand with the concerts I went to at the Free Trade Hall and other places like The Hardrock. A case of my hair and clothes feeling OK I suppose. By the way, this is my second attempt at a reply; my first effort was wiped away because my broadband failed (rainwater in the outdoor equipment etc). Yes of course I remember Julie (Diane's sister) and Paul Muir. I last recall both of them in 1981 when I saw Julie in the Isaac Newton on the Arnedale part of Corporation St. I had an invitation to Paul's wedding to Anne but I'd already accepted a similar invitation to my cousin Mike's betrothal (Note: I'm trying not to repeat 'wedding'). I think the date ... Read More
22nd February 2016 5:37am
Anne For.
Anyone remember the trendy clothes shops, on Oldham St. 2007? That seemed so far in the future to be futuristic! As I remember it was cave like with a spiral staircase.
20th April 2014 6:40am
Paul
My mum worked in 2007 with the "spaceman"I've been trying to find contacts pictures for her but can't find anything
30th November 2014 12:24am
Lynda Chaisty
I remember a clothes shop on Oldham Street that was made to look like the moon surface or something like that, it also had a very narrow spiral staircase.
20th May 2015 10:16pm
Julie Hickson
I remember 2007, I had a conversation tonight about it with my sister. We both worked at guys and dolls in the 70s around 74/75 Diane Gardner was manageress of ladieswear she married Gavin Aldred
6th August 2015 7:45am
lorraine
were you julie hickson known as julie
womble i was lorraine greenall then
and worked in the westerner you went
out with paul muir in the end did you
go on to work in kendal milnes shoe
departement on deansgate
26th August 2015 6:33am
Dave Kenigsberg
Hi Lorraine, Do you remember me French Dave. We used to work together in the same department.
26th August 2015 2:45pm
lorraine
Bonjour French Dave.
Thanks for the mention.
Was there a Steve Henshaw or Dave Mason who were floor managers?
Dee remembers Quinto from The Westerner,he moved from London to Bury.
I remember Jackie a friend of Sue
& also an Irish girl called Cora.
9th September 2015 3:51am
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