A couple of clothes shops I remember were PYGMALIA and JOHN MICHAELS. I remember we bought some of our stage gear at Pygmalia. I think it was partly owned by Eric Stewart of 10cc. (I thought it was Tony Mansfield but perhaps that was later - Paul).
The shop was situated up an ally way just opposite St Ann’s Arcade, it’s still there but looking a little desolate now.
John Michaels was in St Ann’s Arcade and was definitely up market. Rather than the normal tat we used to buy this place sold top of the range and style. I had a mate that worked there for a time and the effect of all that
quality clobber must have rubbed off on him because he started his own business making bespoke shirts. Check out frankrostron.com internaItonal shirt maker.
How many mods got togged out at Barnett for Men?
I went to the opening of Pygmalia on 6 November 1965. I'm not sure that Eric Stewart, then a Mindbender, was involved - he wasn't there that day - but I believe three of the Hollies were - Graham Nash, Allan Clarke and Tony Hicks. Others I saw that day were Long John Baldry, Mike Wilshaw and Lionel Morton from the Four Pennies, Ric Rothwell of the Mindbenders, 'Ugli' Ray Teret and Cathy McGowan, presenter of Ready Steady Go.
I worked at Pygmalia Boutique 1968/1969, Tony Bookbinder stage name Tony Mansfield own'd Pygmalia along with his wife Brenda, Tonys sister is Elki Brooks, The manager at this time was called Keith Plant.
It was a realy groovy time then with great stars just popping in, I used to have my hair cut at Harvey and Ruperts (I'm bald as a coot now) and the clubs were fantastic.
Jeffries Boutique New Brown Street
I used Jeffries on New Brown Street, then moved on to use Ivors on Butter Lane just off Deansgate.
I worked at Jeffries Boutique 1968/69. It was one of three shops he owned at the time, Paul Adams on Market Street , and another one on New Brown Street which was next door to Ivors but I can't remember its name , but it was staffed by Tony and Malcome both p/t dj's for Ugli Ray.
Martin, who I started working with at Jeffries, later went on to work at Pygmalion. It was a great time and often think of those days.
Site of Pygmalia
Back Pool Fold
"Top of the Town" back doors
would be somewhere on left.
How did we get the van down here?
I wasn't allowed high heels
So I got crappy low ones from
Timpson and then had the
shoeman add higher ones.
Killed me walking
but made me taller!
Kurtis Menswear was the first young man's gents outfitters to bring youth fashion to Manchester. Situated on Fountain Street and High Street they sold Hipsters, Wranglers, Levi, slacks and jeans. They also sold pin through and round collar shirts. I could go on and on having completed almost 20 years with the company.
Jimmy Savile brought gifts from America that he had received from Elvis Presley which we displayed in our windows.
George Best purchased his first leather jacket from me which started his interest in modern mens fashion. He went on to be a fashion icon himself!
Did you send the above article or other Kurtis stuff? Sorry, lost the other info - apologies, can you please resend?
I worked in the Fountain St. shop mid to late 60s. Workmate of mine at the time was Pete Whetton, ( Pete McClaine and Clan) lots of muso's around, Solomon King, Kevin Godley, Lol Creme, The Hollies, Graham Goldman. Business was owned by the Schneck family. Howard Schneck (the son) worked in the business, He had a sister but I can't recall her name.
Would love to know what became of them and any of the other folk who worked there about that time.
George Best Boutique
It was out of town but George Best opened a boutique on the main road in Sale, just down the road from Old Trafford, in early 1966. If you often hung about he was often to be seen and I hung about often!!
On the eighth day
"Originally in New Brown Street, the shop was founded with Mike Slaughter and Jenny, two of the nicest souls it was ever my pleasure to know.
Underneath the shop was a coffee bar called The Wishing Well which only a couple of years earlier never seemed to close and was therefore much visited in the small hours of Sunday morning by revellers from The Cavern all nighters in desperate search for something resembling a decent brew before plunging back into the dark , sweaty, loud cellar that gave us all a chance to enjoy a real change society as well as having a damn good time. "
"For my 21st birthday, my then boyfriend bought me a full length burgundy velvet cloak from On the Eight Day when it was on New Brown St. I used to buy embroidered indian voile from Oldham market and make smocks and long skirts and sell them sale or return in the shop. It was the best shop for hippy clothing, jewellery, bags, paraphernalia, etc. and probably the first in Manchester (that I remember).
They moved to Oxford Rd. and after a while, they fazed out the clothes and eventually turned it into the cafe/restaurant."
On the Eighth Day - I remember their first day, on New Brown Street: saggy settee by the counter upstairs, the hand-made acoustic guitars: beautiful craft work.
I knew that the hippie dream was all over in the early 70s: people from the 8th D on Oxford Road hired a coach to go see Stomu Yamasht'a and the Red Buddha Theatre in Liverpool.
It was a last minute thing, so I jumped on board. Year before it'd be no problem being on your own, you made friends easy. That night, there and back, no one spoke to me; they even took their own food: bread with swirls of colour through it, and stuck to their little clique, shared nothing. It wasn't just them though, it was everywhere, people closed in on themselves, shut off what had once been an open and generous lifestyle. Drugs and their toll took over, people became more involved in own worlds, own experiences. It was all finished.
Way Inn Kendal Milne, Deansgate
What a great meeting place, in the small coffee bar with music , chill and chat, then shop, fantastic.
Contrary Boutique Barton Arcade
Hi everyone, reading the messages about the great Manchester shops reminded me of happy times....I worked in an up market boutique called Contrary in Barton arcade next to the Westerner mens wear.Plenty of the beautiful people came to shop and buy expensive clothes there.I was only a kid but felt very grown up we would go for a drink in the Mariners bar after work.Does anyone recall the shop....I worked with Suzanne, Louise Pinder,Sue Burke and Lilian Matthews are any of these lovely people still in Manchester?.
Used to go to Top of the Town on a Saturday night....wonderfully happy memories of the great soul music....a lifelong love.Never had any money for the bus home so we used to keep our slippers in our handbags and walk home! ha ha.
All the best to everyone.
Christine Rogers (was Shipley)
Reading Christine's review about Contrary, brings back many happy memories of my time working there in the late sixties and early seventies. Mr Griggs was in charge (no first name terms for bosses then!!!) Mrs Griggss also came in a couple of days a week but mainly came in to check the shop was clean and tidy - (the hoover and duster were permanently attached to her - it would be called OCD today). We had lessons from Mr Griggs on decimalization in 1971.
Great excitement when a couple of the cast of Coronation Street came in to the boutique, Pat Phoenix in particularly, who use to take lots of dresses ''on approval''. It was a really fashionable upmarket boutique and very popular.
If Christine reads this - Louise and I are still in Manchester, speak on the phone regularly and see each other occasionally.
Susan Tudor(nee burke)
Hi Sue and Louise so good to be in contact with you. I have very happy memories of working with you both.I recall going on holiday with Louise and her mum and dad to Spain.We were only about 16 or 17 and I got really drunk and poor Louise had to get two blokes to almost carry me back to the hotel! how embarrassing for her....sorry Louise x.
I laughed when I read about Marie Griggs and her cleaning! ha ha....she once made us fill a dustbin with soapy water and wash all the hangers in the whole shop....yes! I am sure she had OCD big time.We did have some great customers real characters and lots of great clothes to sell...maxi coats with trousers to match,wet look tops,hot pants,split knee velvet trousers,maxi dresses, lurex tops ohhhh...it brings it all back.
I live in Herefordshire now but it would be lovely to meet up in Manchester. Best regards to all on Manchesterbeat.
Christine Rogers (was Shipley)
I noted the comment regarding the Coronation Street cast and I do remember selling clothes to various stars of the day - Julie Goodyear, William Roache etc, not surprising as the studio was in the locale. Also Mike Harding, Dave Lee Travis and several musician who were appearing at the Free Trade Hall. And, Rick, thanks for remimding me of the Capri, Capri 2000 as I recall, white ? great to hear from you. Regards Phil p.s. I will be scanning a photo of yours truely in the Westerner which was done for a promo for the Manchester Evening News.
Barbara Dee Market Street
Barbara D was a ladies boutique on Market Street in Manchester just along and on the same side as Dolcis and Saxone shoe shops. In the late sixties/early seventies they sold fab crochet dresses, tops, skirts and trousers. I've still got my pink, lurex, mini, crochet dress from there in the wardrobe. I often wore it at The Twisted Wheel all nighters in the late 60's.
The Barbara D window was very unusual as it was a red fascia circular window.
I was back in Manchester in the early 90's and the shop front was still there but it was an insurance/finance store. I was back in Manc in early 2000's but it had gone - any pics or memories out there you could post?
I remember working at Royce Menswear in 1969 when it was located in Police Street I think. We had a gang of youths come in one day and robbed the store after throwing us down the stairs.
New Brown Street
I remember New Brown St well, by then I worked at Millgate telephone exchange the GPO, over the bridge in Salford. Come pay-day we'd hot foot it to a shop at the end furthest from Market Street, owned by the Serene family. My friend and I bought second hand furs, new floaty dresses and hot pants there, then it was off to Annabelles or Mr Smiths in our new togs. Another favourite was Bus Stop Boutique, but we had to save up for a couple of weeks to go there. I still remember answering a call in the exchange and being asked for the number for Bus Stop Bouquet!
I also used to see Geoffery Cohen nearly every morning opening up his shops when I was on my way work down Market Street, he would drive from one to the other delivering stock from the back of his Rolls.
Those days were the best.
Halon, Newport Street
Hi to all you teens and men I dressed when working as a Saturday girl at HALON Menswear in Bolton, Newport Street at the end of the sixties /early seventies.
Ben Sherman short sleeved button-down collars in Oxford cloth or check was the thing for Mods along with tonic/two-tone parallel trousers,Harrington zip bomber jackets and Crombie navy or black overcoats. We also sold you braces, pocket handkerchiefs and Levi jeans.
We progressed to Black shirts with white ties, slotted seam flares in burgundy, matching patterned shirts and ties, penny collars, big collars, garish kipper ties, wide lapel suits and of course flared trousers!
Sorry guys I was probably responsible for your photos that your kids/grandkids laugh at! But hell I had fun doing it.
What was I wearing? Well I was into Biba, vintage, Chelsea Girl, Minis, Midis Maxis and Hot Pants. I never went out without full make up and of course thick black false eyelashes.
Halon was owned by a trio of Manchester Jewish brothers all known as Mr so and so but I can't recall their actual names. When they came with the new stock on Saturday mornings we unloaded it and had sold most of it by the Saturday night. At the end of Saturday I got my cash wages, caught the bus home got ready to go out and then danced the night away. Fab times and I went on to work as a Fashion Designer and I now lecture in the subject.
Got my first ever speckled jacket at Bendsons in Bury late 50's. Thought I was the bees knees.
For me the centre of the clothes buying scene in Middleton was Benson's boys and mens wear.
My brother Llew worked there, later to open his own shop a few doors down. Studd Menswear is still there today.
Go in and have a look at the picture collection on the walls - George Best, Mike Summerbee, Dennis Law, Colin Bell, are just a few of the names from footy history to regulary make the journey to the shop.
Peter Reid, Ron Atkinson and Howard Kendall also paid their respects and became regular clients.
Phil Wood, Pete Cowap, Pete Maclaine, Dave Barrow, Sad Cafe, Graham Nash and of course the Measles, Mickey Dolenz (Mr Samantha Juste) also made there way to the shop.
For a small shop it has a great history and one day maybe someone will take the trouble to write the story of Studd's place in dressing the stars of the 60s and 70s. Not forgeting the stars of today who still call in to say hello.
I rember Bensons shirt shop - it was on Old Hall Street, painted white. I remember Man City getting kitted out with suits.
I worked at Bensons for some time from late sixty-five.
At the time I started at Bensons the guy who managed the Peter Pell tailors shop in Middleton, was none other than the late Barry Norton who left to open a shop in Chorlton cum Hardy whom which I also ended up working with. " Norton Barrie menswear", which along with "Studd menswear", became synonymous with dressing the North west footballers and bands of the time and continue still to this day .
Bensons had four shops selling boys and menswear I worked between Bury and Middleton. In Bury I worked with Frank Rostron who left and went on to John Michael in St Annes arcade and then on to become a well known shirt maker in Manchester.
Llew Griffiths worked in Middleton and later became manager of the branch and to all intents and purposes was the guy who got me into the mod scene and fashion. The shop buzzed with just about everybody from Langley the Limit and the Middleton Music scene.
I left in 68 to go into window display and trained with Alexandre the Tailors until 71 when I went freelance and then started to work with Llew and his then partner Jack in theirnew venture Studd Menswear - great times.
Studs was the best shop ever. I had an account with them in the 70s. I had never seen such top class fashion. I remember buying a leather coat from Stud and the only other person I saw in one was Lewis Collins of the Professionals.
I have some great memories of Stud - I was in there every pay day that was once a week in the 70s.
Anyone remember Backtrack Boutique on Yarburgh Street, Moss Side, Late 60s/early70s ? There was a hanging sign outside with a huge headshot of Jimi Hendrix. My only purchase was a 'Free Angela Davis' T-shirt.
My one regret ? I never managed to salvage that sign when the shop was vacated.
Tiny but bang up to date. Run by lovely young couple. The first week it opened I bought a black crepe double breasted, wide lapelled coat/dres, a black stetson with white band and a grey/black feather boa. I was paraded around Oldham Market to show off the outfit. I was a very petite 15 at the time and starting my first job, felt dead glam.
Tragically, the young male owner died during a routine dental op. I think his wife's name was Chris.
Were GO Boutique and Crowthers original Oldham shop in Henshaw Street one and the same?
We were asked about the clothes shops on Oldham Street. I bought my Madras check trousers, pacamac, white denim jacket, etc, from C&A. Not very cool, I admit. But what were the other shops?
Bunnies on Oldham Road was if not the first, then one of the first youth shops to cater for the new teenage market. I first went there in about 1960, when still at school and was sent home from school a few times for jeans being too tight and shirts too colourfu.
For me, the real clothes shops for "yer urban mod" were the local stores that tried their best to match the fashions - while really only being interested in workwear and school uniforms.
Moss Side/Rusholme guys went to Baines on Claremont Road - probably started there by getting school pants and a cap, then progressed to fashion and then workwear, all from same shop.
I remember buying hipster pants, cord jackets, a reefer jacket, a Dave Clark Five shirt, cravats and a matelot t-shirt from there (thats the ones that were bold blue and white horizontal stripes).
Oh and the reefer jacket I cherished so much came from there as well. It had thick buttons on with anchors.
My coolest outfit, possibly 65/66 was a brown cord jacket, brown cord trousers, a cravat and cotton check (as in cowboy/lumberjack) shirt. Geez I was cool and all from Baines.
I think I got my pac-a-mac from there. Now, they were cool.
I remember going back to Manchester many years later and the shop had swapped sides but it was still Baines. Fond memories - great shop. I am sure no one will remember the atmosphere of shopping at Matelan.
Or the HUGE (well it seemed huge to me) jeans store on Princess Road, next to the Wycliffe Cinema and near the Nile. Got my Wranglers there about 1966 for three pounds twelve and six. Good place for Ben Sherman shirts as well. Opposite the Sports Depot, my fav shop for years as a kid. Now thats a whole new set of memories.
And what was the shop on the corner of Stockport Road and Kirkmanshulme Lane - was it Artizan (thanks Steve)? Great shop - great gear - lots of hipsters and striped tops.
In town, and around 1969, I used to go to the second hand clothes shop near the George Best hairdressers - The Village Shop? It was down some stairs and quite small. Second hand crushed velvet trousers with rips in the bum, and a fur coat. I looked so cool.
Seven Miles Out
A wonder fully 'trendy' shop with an eccentric owner. Selling clothes, furniture and quirky things.
The absolute BEST shop in Stockport in the 60's ---- must have spent a fortune there. Jo
I loved shopping at "7 Miles Out"...got some great stuff for my flat in Heaton Mersey..and a FAB pair of Royal Stewart Red Tartan pants that I wore to pieces.. Long before those Bay City Roller guys.
BUT..the best thing about the quirky 7 Miles Out was....They had a Mountain Lion walking about the store..!!! yep True... ask anyone who knows.
I was happily wandering around the furniture dept one Sunday evening and stopped dead in my tracks when I saw this Mountain Lion walking about as if he owned the place..so I scooted out quickly with me Red pants and lived to tell this tail..!!
The Toggery Mersey Square, Stockport
Branches in Bury and Bolton
For lots more info, including an interview with Mike Cohen, click here
Owned by Mike Cohen, who I think was the Hollies first manager. He also managed the 'Toggery Five' who featured Paul Young.
Yes! The Toggery! Sky blue AND pink, button-down or gingham collar - tab collar shirts. They had em' all!
Beatle Boots, by Annello and Davide , from London. Winklepickers galore - got mine from there and stashed them in the garden shed. My Mum did not allow me to wear pointed toe shoes 'said they were 'common'! So when I went out at night, I'd change into them in the shed , and back into my regular shoes via the shed when I came home! This went on for years!
The Toggery had leather waistcoats in all colours , leather jackets. Lots of leather, amazing trousers, suits , you name it . VERY well stocked shop - just like Carnaby Street, without actually spending the money on train fare to go down to London to get the 'gear'.
A great place to spot Wayne Fontana , or Graham Nash or Allan Clarke on any given day.
I worked at the Toggery in Bury and Bolton in 1964 till 66. I often wondered what happened to some of the other guys who worked there - Les Machin and Laurie Jaycot, both great guys.
I remember Michael Cohen. I will be intrested to see if anyone remembers me?
Hi Guy's & Girl's
I've just read your Clothes Shop page and thought I'd let you know that when Michael Choen had The Toggery my mate Linsey use to work they.
I've jsut posted a comment on The Toggery Five's You Tube Song " I'd Rather Be Out With The Boy'" about that big window on the front of the shop. It must have been 30 to 40 feet high ! One big sheet of glass ! I had never seen such a large sheet of glass that big ! Do you rembemer it ? It made the shop stand out!
The Goood Old Days ! I met Elkie (Elaine Bookbilder) Brooks in them days. I had a great but all to brief time with Elaine. Such is life.
Peace & Luv
Terry TelQuiero Robson
Anyone remember "HALON" in Stockport ? It was not as fashionable as the Toggery, but not bad either. They sponsored a group called "The Halons".
You could also buy "Allan Allen" button down collar shirts from there, which were made in Stockport by Alan Cheetham, who was an agent, and managed a few groups as well.
There was also a Halons opposite the Wimpey/A1 on Oxford Rd.
Almost sure there was a branch on Deansgate between Royce Menswear (where I pretended to work) and the entrance to Barton Arcade approximately opposite the cinema.
Remember it well - bought my black knitted Beatles slim tie there & still have it ! Next door was the Touchstone Pub plus a Fishmongers run by Pete (The Fish) Staples, who was drummer with Gordon Robinson Septet - regulars at the Bamboo Club Hazel Grove
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I was a rep in the late sixties selling to some of the shops mentioned. Georgie Best also had a shop behind Kendals. Anyone remember Boston Mans Shop? Brown Brothers in Chorlton?Halon's buying office was on Oxford Road. I'm now retired and live in the deep south of Western Australia.
Between 1969 and 1977 we used to buy our clothes from gashalters at the bottom of Oldham rd near the city centre where you could get all your mod clothes from . but to me a better shop was warren Andrew on church st , I can remember buying a top class crombie from there
Just a follow on from my previous post I started at steeds on new brown st in 1970,does anyone remember a chap in his twenties who used to walk around the area and go into workplaces selling shirts and trousers called joe ,he was quite a character always telling people he would meet them under the clock,!!! Also remember going in the sugar loaf pub in sugar lane(now buried under the Arndale) for my first pint
I started work as a apprentice hairdresser at steeds in new brown st.my bosses were Alan goldstone and another chap called Pete but I can't remember his second name another apprentice there was a lad called Andy haslam ,I wasn't there long but the area at the time was buzzing ,I remember a poster shop over the road the owner was a guy called Ray and his assistant was an American girl called Barbara,lovely people, the wishing well was over the road a great place
Hi Len ,sorry to hear about Peter I may be wrong but I think peters wife had died not long before I started there she must have been quite young I remember he had a very young daughter ,do you know what became of his business partner Alan?
Hi David Peters wife did die young,he was a long getting it .His daughter was Carla must be in her 40 now,he did marry again and ended up running a pub called the Whipping stocks near Knutsford,but sadly i had lost touch with by then..
I loved New Brown Street, i worked round the corner at Timpsons in the early 70s i bought a Mr Freedom coloured crepe satin suit which i still have and i used to buy mens velvet trousers as they fit better.
My late dad managed Kurtis for the Schneck's, so I'm guessing you knew him well? He was Eric Blume. Think there were three shops for most of the time: High Street, Fountain Street (where the offices also were) and Piccadilly. Howard's sister was - and indeed still is - Diane!
I recall Kurtis men's shops very well.I worked on Piccadilly Plaza in Polly's of Piccadilly.Loved going into the mans shop to "borrow" stuff and chat to the assisants.Recall a lovely man worked there called Eric and another bloke I dated for a while Called Dave Lamb.Eric I think went on to open a pub in Bury.We all used to go for a drink after work on a Saturday night at the Piccadilly Hotel or the Dive bars, with the staff from Kurtis. Great times and carefree days.Used to think Howard was very handsome but a lot older than me.
Hi Christine. Good times! My dad was Eric, but I think the Eric you remember must have been another man; as dad certainly never went on to run a pub. Think Howard was always thought of as rather handsome; and my recollection is that he used to do some modelling in the North West, as well.Great that you have good memories of your days there. x
Anyone remember Jack Toner shoes on the corner of Cross Street in Manchester? Also, Bus Stop next door and Chloe, an upmarket boutique opposite Marks and Spencer. I also remember Guys n Dolls on Oldham Street.Upstairs they sold cowboy hats, boots, jeans etc.
I remember Jack Toner shoes opposite Marks and Spencer's. I worked for Jack Toner when he was the Manager at Bata shoes in Oldham Street. Jack was a likeable Irishman fill of nervous energy! I feel sure he would have been successful running his own business.