The Browns Organisation was originally set up by Tommy Brown and his first wife as dancing schools. They opened in Moston, Levenshulme and Stretford and they were
known as Browns School of Dancing.
They were all in ex Coop halls, mainly I think because the rents were cheap and it suited the Coop to get these halls off their backs.
Having been reasonably successful as dancing schools the intrepid Tom Brown twigged that what the kids wanted were disco’s, so pretty quickly all the dancing schools were swapped over to disco’s and called various names.
When you consider how early in the
disco scene this was maybe he wasn’t as mad as most people thought. In fact he most definitely wasn’t as he has only recently retired from the business having passed on his two establishments in Majorca to his children. He quickly rigged them all out as log cabins, which looked quite effective and was cheap as he had a deal going with the Forestry commission.
So out went the patent leather shoes and in came the twin decks operated by several different wannabe DJ’s and on the whole business was fairly good. He insisted to all his disc jockeys that several times a night they had to play the “Barn Dance and the Rich Rhythm”.
As can be imagined all the budding Jimmy Saville’s thought this was terribly uncool and tried to get out of it. But to no avail the word from Mr. Brown was play it or get out no negoition. In hindsight now I’ve got to say he was right because what it did was get the boys dancing and with constantly changing partners gave everybody a chance to pull.
People still talk to me 30/40 years later about the Rich Rhythm. When you consider what line dancing has done recently maybe he was 30 years before his time.
As time moved on things became a bit more sophisticated with the opening of discos
in the city centre and it was time for the clubs to go licensed, and this was really the beginning of the end for both Moston and Levenshulme. Stretford managed to carry on for quite a while but really Mr. Brown had decided to move on with the jewel in his crown which was Uncle Toms Cabin in Little Hulton and later Uncle Toms Cabin in Darwin near Blackburn.
I have written separately about Uncle Toms Cabin as this is the place I know more about.
Kevin Lane - DJ
Browns included barn dancing amongst the pop music - it worked, but not for me.
webmaster /Phoenix City Smash
"Sometimes we used to venture into Manchester to clubs like Mr Smiths, Top of the Town, Takis, Spring Gardens and Sound, (how we ever got in I'll never know, my mother made me wear short ankle socks most of the time !!) but Browns remained a firm favourite. They used to have a lot of live acts on and we saw groups like the Showstoppers, various versions of the Drifters and lots of good local groups like the Fantastics and a particular favourite Sad Soul. The Phoenix City Smash Band also springs to mind but can't think what type of music they played."
"You mentioned the barn dancing at Browns not working for you ........it did for us as you got to move round the circle with the anticipation of ending up with that certain male you really fancied...more often than not though it was, disappointingly, another girl . We also did a really fast dance in a circle that I think was called the Ritz Rhythm not a clue why ?? Danced to one of my first Northern tracks doing that........ The Radiants - Hold On."
I also remember Browns School of Dancing, but the one I went to was on Oldham Road, facing Monsall Road, I think it was over the top of a conservative club. Wow is it that long ago, about 1960.
I also remember going to Uncle Toms at Darwin to see an act called The Pickwicks, also I remember the resident drummer was a good skin basher called Fred Shawcross. Oh what memories, what would we do without them.
I went to Uncle Toms at Little Hulton in the 60s. It was a great place to go. Me and my friend Barbara met our husbands there, my friends still married, but I divorced my husband after 17 years.
I'll always have fond memories of Toms. I remember Jimmy Ruffin being on there but I missed him because I went on a date to Swinton.
I also remember being in a competition who could eat the most cream crackers, I lost.
I started going to Brown's 1967 (only 15, don't know how I did it!)
It was a favorite hang out for a lot of my friends from school/Levenshulme High School.
We used to go there 3 and 4 times a week as I remember. I loved the Rich (Ritz) Rhythm and met up with lots of cute guys ... I still remember how to do it especially when "Here Comes My Baby" is played on the radio.
I can't remember any live bands there but we all enjoyed the music the DJ's played. I can hear a song on the radio and be transported back to that club in a second! Those were the days!
Started going to Browns in Levenshulme during 1964 when I was about 14 & living in Longsight.
I was allowed to go was because my Mum knew it as Browns School of Dancing, & as a dancing school, she knew it must be "respectable".
Absolutely loved it...... What a fabulous place for a night out!
I was there every chance I got, usually with my schoolpal Bernard & my cousin Bill when he was home from the Merchant Navy. I couldn't get enough of Brown's.
Also couldn't wait for the Canadian Barn dance (progressive) to be announced, as it was a unique experience for me, enabling everyone to check out the talent at close range. Wow! Never danced with so many beautiful girls since.
As for the Rex Rhythm (pretty sure that's what it was called) a kinda jive version of the Canadian Barn Dance, well I never really got the hang of it, (sad to say Inever learned to jive), although it was great fun to take part in (when I wasn't trying to keep up with my image).
What an absolute brilliant mix of two generations. The '50s rock 'n rollers meet the '60s merseybeat/rhythm n blues/soul/pop scene.
Many thanks to Tommy Brown for creating such a cool scene for young people.
I started going to Brown's School of Dancing as it opened in Moston around 1962. It was absolutely great.
A respectable place to meet the opposite sex, but also a place where you could learn to dance properly, including taking medals.
Tommy later opened a branch in Levenshulme which is where I met my husband (we have been married for forty years!)
Thank you, Tommy, if you ever read this.
Catherine Russell (nee Hodgkinson) 29/1/09
Me & my mates use to go to Browns Stretford from 1969 - 71. Friday & Sunday nights were the best, allthough I was only 17, Tiny the bouncer on the door used to let you into the bar. Does anyone remember him?
After a few pints we would come out and join in the barn dance & the ritz rythmn as it was known. These dances, especially the ritz, were a ideal way of chatting up the birds as it was known then - LOL.
I remember seeing Jimmy Ruffin there and will never forget when he patted me on the back that night. I'm not to sure if Marvin Gaye was on there one night, singing with either Tammi Terrel or Kim Weston.
Memories of Browns and the later Inn Place will allways be with me - they were the best days of my life.
I used to go to Browns on Moss Road from around 1968 -1971. First junior Browns when you were not allowed in the bar, but we always sneaked in. Progressing to senior Browns (over 18's) I remember too seeing Jimmy Ruffin, he touched my hand. There were lads hanging from the rafters in the ceiling. It was packed. Great night!
I remember Keith Scholes used to be the DJ. The barn dance and Ritz rythm were the highlight. Great nights fondly remembered. Later changed to the Inn Place. Then the Sands opened in the precinct and a lot of us started going there.
Went to Browns a few times the dancing round the handbags rich rhythm tune was by the Glories "I love you babe but I gotta break away GIVE ME MY FREEDOM"
Oh wow what a treat to find this thread. I was just searching around on Google Maps to trace the steps of my youth and didn't expect to find this.
I used to go to Browns in Stretford on a Thursday night (I think) as this was the under 18 night. Probably started about 1967 when I was 15 and eventually progressed to the over 18 nights. Used to love the Barn dances and met my first boyfried there. Very fond memories. On the way back to the bus stop going home to Sale we would stop at the chip shop and buy a little tray of chips with gravy that we would share. Used to see Sammy McIlroy in there nearly every week and often wondered if he stayed with the girlfriend he had then.
Browns gave me my first taste of independence really and just thinking about the happy times I spent with friends there will put a smile of my face for the rest of the week!
I loved going to Browns in Levenshulme, I used to go with my friends Marty Tobin Ann Hamlet Kath Honey loved the barndance and ritz rythmn. Rremember lots of levenshulme boys that use to go there, fancied alot of them,Browns use to hold looklikes shows and my friend mary always won the Sandie Shaw look alike,Also remembered a live group playing at Browns The Zodiacs, the DJ was called Jonny. We used to finish the night of by going to the Don Fish shop.
Those were the great days in mt teens.
Pat Turner (Kerry)
NOW we're talking! lol. I spent time at 'most' of Tommy Brown's clubs, between '63 & '70. Firstly as a punter, but latterly as an employee.
I lived 100 yards from Browns Levenshulme, (Outside Inn) & ended up working the bars there.
I also worked at Moss Road Stretford, the Platt Lane Rusholme club occasionally, and Uncle Tom's Cabin at Little Hulton.
By the way, it's the RITZ Rythm! Not RICH. lol. The Barn Dance, ohh those girls. lol. We would dance the Ritz Rythm to 'Fortune Teller' by the Merseybeats, and the Barn Dance to 'She Loves You' by the Beatles, amongst other old favourites of the day.
'John Renda,' and 'Dave' were the regular DJ's at that time.
I was thinking of trying to get some kind of reunion going, but HOW is the big question, AND where? I'm still in contact with one or two 'old' buddies, & I know they'd like to be involved if anyone has any ideas? They were great times for all of us. If anyone remembers me, you can guarantee I'll remember you ! GET IN TOUCH PLEASE? Bring the grandkids! lol.
Browns Stretford (Moss Road) March 2004
picture courtesy Graham Pilkington
In more recent years it has been know as the "Stretford Banquetting Suite", but now sits idle. Even the car spares company down stairs have moved out.
Not sure what is happening with the building now
Sad to see the old building being demolished August 2009
28th Aug 1969
3 December 1965
3 December 1965
Hi John Stringfellow, are u still going to get a reunion done for all the Browns fans I think its a great idea.
Do you still live in Levenshulme - my two brothers live in Levenshulme Tony and Roy Kerry they drink in the Levvy. Do you know them ?
Yes I remember Johnny Renda, we started at CPC in Trafford Park on the same day !!! Friend of Keith Scholes. Remember Sammy Mc being at Browns, he was only 15... yes he eventually married the girlfriend at Browns.... Cyn !
Anyone heard from Rob Tongue, Harry Khan, Nigel Vey, Ronnie Bannister ????
During the 3 day week in the seventies I ran The Inn Place Stretford, with a mate of mine Brian Tomlinson.
I wonder if anyone can remember the nights when the electric went off, and we carried on with the help of 12 volt bulbs and low voltage disco decks ! The whole lot of them were powered from a car parked outside the club and cables connected to the battery. We took it in turns to sit in rhe car with the engine running.Those were the days !!!
Hi everybody who remebers the great times at Browns in Stretford. What a shame the building has gone. I used to live on Moss Road practically opposite and was a member of the co-op club which inhabited the building before it became Browns, then I took ballroom dancing lessons with Mr Brown and his wife who had silver white hair with pink kiss curls at the front. I thought she was very glamorous!, I watched the World Cup 1966 there as I was a member of Junior Browns, drank my first coke and kissed my first boyfriend - Roy Austin.
Names- Nige Vey Adrian Dowd Gary Hepellet, Tony Brommley, Barry McCafferty, Tommy Moore, Jean Rushton Harry Khan.kathy O,Shae, Rhona and Mike Gillespie.Phil SaxSpud, Dabber Pauline Columbine, Barbara and Liz Portas.Joan Priest, Les Wyatt ! and many more
PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE a reunion to be held early 2010 at the Greatstone Hotel Stretford. A great venue...contact via facebook Janet Holden-Ross or Janet Williams. See you there! Many 'Browns' faces are at Greatstone Hotel over 35s nights - every other Friday at the hotel. A fab night with all the old tunes and some new ones too!
Went to Brown's Stretford from about 67 when I was too young but managed to get in. Saw Jimmy Ruffin, Rufus Thomas, Fontella Bass. Carried on going there for years, Inn Place, Stretford Lodge etc. Few pints in the Melly then on to the Lodge!
The early years were the best, barn dance, ritz rythm. I was pretty short and too young and the faces on some of the girls when it was their turn to dance with the baby faced little kid were priceless.
Remember the miming contests; Eddy the rocker used to mime to Elvis. Terry McCafferty used to mime to Motown. The prize was a bottle of Pomaigne!
You'd really made it when you got your card to get into the bar. Funny how the under aged girls never had trouble getting in.
Some names; Barry McCafferty and all those mentioned by Janet. In Oz these days but getting back in 2010, will definitely get to the Greatstone.
I was a social cripple in those days as I could not do the Ritz rythym or the barn dance but great days and astonishing that nearly FORTY years on we are still talking about it !!!! Any body who saw Jimmy Ruffin still remembers the night I suspect the Fire regulations were ignored that night.
There was a big team from Davyhulme that I used to knock about with, the Gillespies, the McMahons, Hank, Kev McManus, Dave and Paul Archer. In the later years do you remember Bingo on a Monday night ? Please please come to the reunion at the Greatstone Hotel we might even do a barn dance. And yes I remember you Tommy Moore.
I remember going to Browns in Stretford in the mid 1960s. Before that the room was used for kids it was called The Co-op Club.
I remember we all went to Rochdale to take part in a competion with other Co-op clubs from the north west. We had to answer questions on the history of the Co-op. I remember we came last.
I went to Browns in Levenshulme from 65 until it closed after it lost its drinks licence about 1970.
The DJs were a guy called Dave and I also remember Ray (RAZ) Birch spinning some discs.
I met my first girlfriend there Barbara Reece and my best pal Billy Hyde married her friend Sue.
Browns was a big part of my teenage years and we even had coach trips to Blackpool and other Browns clubs.
I dont think there were many live acts at Levenshulme but the dancing was fab.
I remember going to Browns around 1968 when I was 15 but we called it Splinters. I am sure it was the same place...perhaps somebody can confirm? We used to do a dance called the Splinters Waltz. I remember we would get the 169 bus from Droylsden then had to walk past a rockers cafe to get to the club...we used to be terrified!!
Loved the music they played...mainly Motown and Northern Soul. Remember dancing to Band of Gold when that came out.
I used to go to Browns Llevenshulme then on to the bowling alley on Stockport Rd with friends Angela Attwood and Angela Galloway. Great days. Remember having a snog on Levenshulme station - my then boy friend lived in Cheadle.
Tina Hutton (nee Noone)
I loved going to Browns in Levenshulme. Have great memories. Jim Kirwin did you live in Marley Road, Levenshulme? x
I have just come across this web site and it has made my day. I was a Browns devotee from the age of 14, going to Junior Browns where we bought Mars bars and soft drinks!. We were desperate to be with the grown ups and eventually with a face full of makeup succeeded.
It was without doubt the happiest time of my life, being 15,tamla motown playing, my first boyfriend Dave Butcher and not a care in the world!!!
Seeing Jimmy Ruffin was a highlight, the place was packed to the rafters, oh to be back there again.
So many old names mentioned here,hi to Barry McCafferty, Rob Tongue,Robin England,and Dave Butcher.
Trish Craxton formerly Trish McPhilbin
My friends and I used to go to the Levenshulme Browns after school, we cut little nicks out of our cards to fake over 18 cards so we could go in the bar! Remember Alan Brown and Johhn Redna well, also Raz.
Also used to go to Kostas Cross Street and Takis, remember Gary Laine? dj too we all liked him. Most of the girls went to the Hollies - A lot of fun.
Later went on to Town clubs. Manchester is the city of soul.
We enjoyed many a good night in Browns in Moston. Mind you we would go into Browns then get a `Pass Out` and go for a few pints in the Pubs opposite. Later we would return to Browns in the hope of chatting up a nice girl. Strangely they were not that interested in me and my mates....i wonder why.
Browns was a great place to enjoy good music in a good environment ... happy days.
I was a fan of Browns on Moss Road, Stretford too. I to was only 14 when I first went. A bunch of us from Partington travelled together on the 222 bus. I also saw Jimmy Ruffin, BB King and many more. I also remember Tommy Moore, Bobby Brown, John Cryne, Barry McCafety, Harry Khan (his dad used to work with mine at GEC) - Sammy McIroy and Brian Greenhough gave me and a couple of friends a lift home a few times, which we appreciated. Does anyone know when the reunion is (if we've not missed it).
Pat McNulty (was Ancliff)
When I started going in 1969 it was called the Outside Inn, that's the one in Levensulme. It was my very first club and was only telling my girlfriend about about the barndance and she thought it was really funny. I've continued to club ever since going on to the Twisted Wheel and when that closed on to the Blue Note in Oldham for an all day sessions, and then started to go to a club called the Moon in Dukinfield on a Sat then to a place called Smokeys in Ashton on a sunday.
Needless to say always late for work on Mondays. I've continued to club ever since - never stopped for some reason.
I'm 57 now and loved clubbing so much ended up buying my own place in Manchester city centre called Venus the club, we won Club of the Year in 2010, and it all started with the Outside Inn - who would have thought.
Re: Mike's comment about DAVE ALLEN of Levenshulme.
I went out with Dave from 1966-1968 and went to the Wheel with him. Have often wondered what happened to him. I moved to USA in 1974 so difficult to track people down- this is the first I have ever seen reference to him. Would love to know if anyone knows him or knows where he is. I will keep checking the comments. thanks.
p.s I worked in the coffee bar at the Wheel for a short time on Sundays making sandwiches also!
Wow! was browsing, and came across this site.
I haunted Browns in Stretford from 67-71 ... what a great place, and what fantastic memories! I loved the Ritz Rhythm...still remember it! It was a good dance because, not only did it get the guys dancing, you only needed 1 guy to 2 girls! And the barn dance ... used to love it on a Tuesday and Wednesday, when we virtually had the place to ourselves.
I remember the live bands too...and Tiny on the door (Bob was the other)...used to go through to Darwen a few times, too, after hours...thanks for the memories, Mr Brown...sorry I missed the reunion...would love to attend another, sometime.
Susan (O'Farrell) Lythgoe
Another comment from me on this site as I loved Browns - thought we were the bees knees when we were in there. Can I say we actually went to the Northern Soul Night at the Greatstone Hotel last Saturday and we had a great time. I believe they have a Mowtown Night also, so hopefully we will be back there. I can definately recommend it.
Pat McNulry (nee Ancliff)
Cannot believe I just found this site, It brought back great memories of browns levenshulme the barn dances and ritz rythm. I was still at St Marys school on clare road when I first started going there my mate and myself met most of our boyfriends there (I ended up marrying one of them in 1968)
Does anyone remember the Pop Inn at Fallowfield also Oceans 11 on Anson Road. Longsight? Great times and great memories.
I'm 62 now but still a teenager in my head - shame there is nowhere in Manchester for our age group to get together to relive those days. Is anyone up for a reunion [ by the way I can still do the ritz rythm].
I was Margaret Kennedy in those days anyone out there remember me.
Browns was my childhood - my cousin and I went to Browns School of Dancing on Oldham Road and did our ballroom dancing medals taught by Tommy and his then wife Jackie. It was in the old Conservative Club and after the lesson was over we would have a bit of a disco (although that name wasnt used in 1960 as far as I remember). That is where the Barn Dance and the Ritz Rythym started which we carried over so successfully to the disco's when they started.
When I was about 14 I started going to Browns in Levenshulme with my school mates. I lived in Ancoats and it was a fair trek to get over there. Used to get the 76 bus into Manchester and then the 94 up Stockport Road. Met my first boyfriend at Browns - we used to sit up in the corner in a little raised area which was railed off - it was considered that you had 'pulled' if you went to sit up there with a lad!! Browns in Stretford eventually became Stretford Lodge owned by an old friend of my late husband called Eamon Longmore - he also owned the Kabin Club in Chorlton (later the Lamplight) and I well remember a lot of Man U players of the time spending time in there and Stretford Lodge.
I mostly remember Gerry Daly who married an old school friend of mine from Ancoats - he was a great singer and could sing Simon & Garfunkel's The Boxer with no musical accompaniment - brilliant days!
This page has brought it all back for me as well! I started going to Outside Inn in Levenshulme in (I think) 1968, after a suggestion from my friend that it was a good place to meet girls, especially important as we went to an all boys school.
I loved it from the start, used to go 2 or 3 times a week. I met my first 'proper' girlfriends there. I don't remember the Ritz (?Rich) Rhythm, but what I do remember is Funky Street by Arthur Conley and the dance that went with it.
Another one which stands out is 'Return of Django' by the Upsetters - I can't remember why!!
I still love dancing and am always first on the floor, though I don't go clubbing too much these days.
My older brother Chris Batt used to frequent Browns and was quite well known. We were a Levenshulme family and My other Brother used to frequent the "Ten-Ten" The cafe where the Bikers/Teds used to hang out.
I used to go to Browns on Saturday afternoon and Tuesday nights (under 16's) when it became Splinters/Cabin. I must have been about 12 at the time. I won quite a few dance competitions there and it gave me a taste for clubbing and dance music.
Great times, great place, kids dont have anything like it these days, shame, would give them something to do and keep them off streets where they get a bad name for just hanging about!
Used to go to Browns/Outside Inn in 1969/70 - great times.
Born in 1954, it was never licensed when I was there, but some of those who could pass for 18, would sneak a couple of pints in one of the pubs on Stockport Road. (I was thrown out more than I was allowed in). From there, I progressed to the Wheel - just two or three times - and then Top of the Town, Takis, Spring Gardens, Sound etc... where did my youth go?
Out of interest: Karen Batt... did your brother Chris, have a Lambretta? (Big sideburns, too, if I remember?)
My G/F at the time reckoned he looked like a teddy bear.
I spent my youth going to Browns 1964-1969 3/4 nights a week. Does anyone remember getting the discount tickets for Weds and Sunday nights?
Used to go out all week for 12/6 including a drink (Lemonade and Lime) and bus fares. Happy days!
Met my husband in the Barn Dance still together 46 years later and living in Cornwall.
Pauline Hurst (nee Johnson)
I lived 3 doors up from Browns/Splinters at 1058 Stockport Road. I could not wait to grow up to get in there.
I was 14 when I first got in, I was in with THE crowd, that was my first steps into the northern soul scene, what a place, the dirty greasy cafe down the road was the 10/10, and we were chased by by the dirty greasers more than once, usually for banging on the window and giving them v signs, great fun then, had a pint with Roy Kerry a couple of months back in Fiddlers Green, don't get over that way often, but have great memories of it.
I went to Browns Levenshulme in 1967 - I was 14 at the time. I thought it was the bees knees, so many dancers. I did the barn dance - I thought it was called the mixed rythim but it was 45 years ago.
Best times of my life - would love to revisit those days again. There was a great dancer there called Bernie. He later went out with my sister in 1968-69. He met her at BellevVue Top Ten Club - hope your still dancing Bernie.
I remember Uncle Toms Cabin very well. I was one of the 'many and various' bar staff and was actually working the bar the night Jimmy Ruffin was there.
Audrey Dugdale was Douglas
Hi to all you guys n galls out there,I for one at 14 years old a bit shy of girls due to no sister just older brothers who were teddy boys form the rink and sporting club days,well me and my mates all from burnage fed up with hanging around around the streets heard about brown school of dancing, to young to booze nobody could dance, we went ther first time up the stairs, me best mate dave oldfield, his brother ray, billy hewlett, mike ivory, johnny shemilt(shemi), pete and les ord, ronnie, dave walsh, and a few local lads, we got in and we never saw so many crackin girls, we were stomped, got our soft drinks and just stood there staring at all these girls dancing and laughing with each other, no dutch courage them days, so after a few visits we joined in the fantasic barn dance and rich rythom, and the chatted up and was chatted up, then the start of dancing one to one and the rest is history, anyone know us, from then it was on the stage for the crackerjack type games and the smartening yourselves up and the girls in mini skirts and string vest type tops that were see through whith the ultra violet lihgts and our dandruf was a nightmare.
All pep pills were banned but the fast strobe lights gave a simmular effect and sent you batty. Later we sneaked into the bar for our Watney's red barrel pints with borrowed passes off the older lad.
I would luv to contact more people who grew up in these times. There was a guy there who had a Ford Zodiac I think and he used to fill it full of girls and roar off down Clare Road with his fancy horn blasting and his rear sparking on the road. It was named the Bat car, so I got a car done up like a mexico rally car and had air horns blasting out wolf whistles, all from Browns.
I think I also remember Jim Kirwin from, I think, Marley Road. Levvy had a friend called Alan BENNY Earith???
I think Benny got killed in an accident.
They used to go to Rays Place on Wilbraham Rd in 1970??
My Brother Chris Batt had a couple of scooters think one was a vespa possibly had a lambretta? He used to knock about with Dave Mckinney, Chris Malloy, a couple of the McDowells, there was a lad called Tommy Boda that bought one of Chris's scooters, Tommy sadly died very young.
Any one remeber Paul Worrell who used to manage Browns Stretford?. He used to be a good freind.
Also had great times there, remember Jimmy Ruffin when we were all sat up in the rafters no fire regs then. Dave Butcher, Tommy Hawksworth were are you know?
My dad used to be steward at Stretford Legion he used to go out on a Tuesday and a gang from Browns would come to my house on Moss Road and party.
Great times good memories
Hi to Karen Batt,
I think my friend Pauline Maroulis went out with your brother Chris Batt, did you live next door to Alison Beaton on Cromwell Grove?
Alison and I were in the same class at Chapel Street School.
My friends, Pauline, Susan Jones, Michelle O'Brien and I loved Browns and the Ritz Rithym, we used to go from 1966 when Jon Renda was DJ. The bouncer was our next-door-but-one neighbour Tony Derbyshire, so we had to watch out as he would tell on us! Also recall running past 1010 as we were terrified of rockers, couldn't cross over as scared of Smokey and the teddy boys outside the Levvy pub as well, happy days!
June Ward (Hulstone)
I used to go to Browns Stretford between 1966 and 1969. I loved the ritz rhythem and loved the idea of dancing with those lads ! Those days still hold great memories and should another reunion arise Let me know and does anyone remember me.
Met my wife, Susan Flood, at Browns, Stretford. First time we went out was the night Jimmy Ruffin was on. Need to know the exact date as we're coming up to our 40th wedding anniversary! Still see the Bromleys and keep in touch with Harry Khan's sister Jackie.
Anyone out there able to help with identifying where exactly in Darwen Lancs was Uncle Toms Cabin situated - ie address then and now? This was the venue I believe where the group SLADE played in !970/71. Thank you. It is the venue at that time I am interested in locating.
I used to go to Brown's, Moss Road, Stretford when I was about 14/15. I used to go with my older sisters at first. Denise and Sue. I remember dancing most of the night. I loved the Ritz Rythm but called it Mixed Rythm for years. The Barn dance was a laugh. After one record they made it progressive. Used to get some sweaty hands to hold on to.
I remember some of the people that went to Moss Park Primary School and Lostock Girls.
Moved onto Clubs in Manchester 2/3 years later but Brown's will always be special.
Toni Macfadyen nee Chadwick
I used to visit Browns on my Lambretta scooter in 1967/8 met lots of bril chaps at the time I was on studies at Salford Tech and lived in Altrincham.My memories of Soul music began and revolve around dancing to the likes of the Elgins and many others whose music I have since downloaded and listen to frequently.Correct me if I am wrong but does this not predate this overly hyped northern soul thing..
I only once got over to Stokport Road,Levenshulme to the other club so have no real memories,but certainly Stretford Browns forever is in my memory when I hear soul music,but always
To be fair to Smooth 70s on DAB it is listening to their program right now that got me looking and posting.So to all you soul people out there happy Sunday..
I used to be in a group called The Zodiacs and remember playing many times at Brown's School of Dancing in Levenshulme. We changed our group name to The Confederates at one time and may have been called that also when we played there. Loved the atmosphere and the music was brill! Brought back lots of good memories reading about Brown's!
Hi Les, hope you are well.
We were called The Confederates when I was the drummer in the group and played there, I am still playing to date in working mens clubs. It was a great venue and my local as I lived in Levenshulme and went to Alma Park School.
My step dad roy used to be on the door at Mr Smiths , he once thumped Gary Glitter you can guess why , The Ten Ten Cafe I used to know well and Browns was only a dream asI was too shy and the girls could be a little cruel.
The music influenced me to learn guitar , great days , nothing left for the kids today.
Hi Les and Kevin. Blast from the past. I was Maureen Buckley and Sandra, Winnie and I were your "groupies"...Kevin you and I were a little bit more for a short time. I live in Canada and am thrilled to hear that you are still playing in your group. How the years have flown ...
Hi Maureen - its very nice to hear from you, I heard from Winnie you had emigrated.We had great times in those days, hope you and yours are all well.
Wish the kid's here in Canada had a great place like Brown's to hang out in. We were all safe and had such fun with all our friends.
Ben Earith was my best buddy and my Mum and Dad were appalled when he would arrive at my house with actual bells on his "bell bottom jeans" he was a great guy and died far too young. I visited England 3 years ago but unfortunately did not get to Levenshulme.
I lost touch with Winnie and Sandra but have such fond memories of watching the Confederates as they performed, and darn good they were too. Kevin all good here, hope Josie and your family are keeping well. Cheers to England from here in Canada.
No name given
Hi Maureen, I have not seen Winnie for about 5 years the last time I saw her she came to the Club were I was resident at. Roy, Denise, Anne & Bob came as well. Unfotunately I have some not so good news on my family, Josie passed away in 1997 after a trip back from visiting her sister who lives in Florida.
My two children Nichola and Jason are fine. I have 4 grandson's and Nichola is adopting a little girl in the New Year.
Hi Kevin. I was very sorry to hear about Josie, that must have been horrible for you. She was a great girl. Very glad that the rest of the family are well. I also have 4 grandson's that I adore. I am thrilled that you are still playing, the Confederates were an awesome group back in the day. I met with Winnie and Sandra about 12 years ago when Dennis and I were still married, unfortunately I have lost touch with them. I visit my cousin in Scarborough every two years, and love to hear all about jolly old England. It is lovely to hear that you are well and wonder often about the old gang. Take care and stay well.
Maureen White (Buckley)
Browns Levenshulme was my indoctrination into adult hood. I loved every minute of it. I remember my mates (Tom France) sister Christine teaching us the Ritz Rhythm in her mums kitchen before we went so that we could join in the fun.
From that 1st day we couldn't get enough of the place, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday nights for as little as 2/- shillings! 1/6d with a concession ticket & fabulous 60s music played by Raz the DJ.
When I think back all those 50 years ago at all the different types of music that was out at that time it's no wonder they were great times, Rock n Roll, Blues, Soul, Tamla Motown groups. Like the Beatles , Rolling Stones, the Drifters to the 4 Tops, the Hollies, the Move & oh so many more!
Fabulous, Made some great mates at Browns Levenshulme Jimmy Kirwin & his sister Christine, Kevin Coyle who I still share the odd pint with., Phil Sharples, Ronert Linfoot, Liz Grasby (loved that girl) even met my first wife there, "Diane Taylor"
So it doesn't surprise me in the least when people say to me that Browns was the best time of my life... It certainly was for me.. Happy days..
I went to Browns Levenshulme 1966/67. I was friends with Don Hinchcliffe who sadly died very young at 21 of leukaemia. There was also his two brothers Arthur and Harold and the girls I remember were Ruth and Judith Stockton.
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Just found this site, loved reading all the comments. My friends and I use to go to Brown's on Stockport Road, about 68 before progressing to the clubs of Manchester. Loved Brown's the very first dance place we ever went to. We were all girls from Spurley Hey, and would go a couple of times a week. Was the first place I heard and danced to soul music, loved it! Mary Flood (as was)
Love this group. I too went to Browns at Levenshulme in the late 60's. It was called 'Outside Inn' and then 'Splinters'. We all all went there every evening we could. I lived about 500yds away, on Albert Road and my friends included, the late Alan (Benny)Erith, Jimmy Kirwin, Christine Kirwin and her friend Gillian, Kevin Coyle, Graham Ryder, Graham Blood, Dave Oliphant, Arthur Inchclife (I've still got a picture of hime and Graham). I was called 'Jock' then, due to my arrival in Levenshulme, from Bonny Scotland.lol. If anyone remembers me or any of the others please contact on here.
Just found this. We used to go to levenshulme Browns, also stretford and Sound and Spring Gardens & Coop Balloon Street, while still at school (Ardwick) & Hollies. Remember Johnny Renda, Allan Brown, Raz, Pete Way, Brian North and Smokey Joe in pub opposite, and big scary bouncer. Pure Life on Mars!
I only went to the pop in once I was friends with Lesley fitzman from ancoats and Kathleen lee from fallowfield who went there and also went to my school, great times I often wonder how they've fared in life
Is there anybody who would like to have a chat about outside inn or belle Vue in manchester during late sixties or early seventies, then please by all means drop me a line or two. Life to short not to reminisce. You never know we might even know each other. Regards from Eddie shepherd originally from Buckley road in gorton . I went to old hall drive junior and Nichols ardwick high from 1968to 1972.
Hi all , I used to go to pop inn on platt lane , blazers in Stockport , vaudeville rollerina off Stockport road . My favourite was splinters . Does anyone remember hilly . I could dance but he was brill. Do you remember jay with the white suit and shoes . Lol .
I came across this board after googling Browns A friend met a guy I used to know from Browns so it brought back memories I see a few comments about the night 'Jimmy Ruffin' performed Sorry to burst the bubble but Jimmy was a US airman based at Warrington A promoter named Roy Tempest came up with the con he booked any airman that could sing resembled Tamla artists and had them playing at small clubs all over the place I was fooled like everybody else as I recall he was a good singer anyway lol
Message to Brian. As the man who promoted both the Jimmy Ruffin appearances at Uncle Toms Cabin and Browns at Stretford I feel I need to correct you on your thoughts. You are correct about Roy Tempest who put out untold number of "Moody Groups" ie: Drifters, Temptations, Marvellettes and loads of others. But Jimmy Ruffin was correct and was booked through Kennedy St.Artists who I am sure you will have heard of. In fact I still have the contract somewhere (a little sad I know). In fact I was still in contact with Jimmy until his untimely death recently. So on this occasion he was the "Real Un"
Hi Brian - sorry but totally agree with Kevin re originality of Jimmy. We worked with him twice, the second time was around the same time he was at Browns. Definitely the real one. But you are spot on re Roy Tempest (and London Attractions). His acts fooled Kennedy St who ran/booked New century Hall. Remember them saying they thought the addition of "Fabulous" between "The" and "Temptations" on the contract was just an embellishment. No - it was a Roy Tempest con. Three of them were the Incredible Isley brothers some weeks later. Don Covay was also a fake around that time.
Around about 1958 - 59 I went to Browns on Moston Lane and took ballroom lessons with my sister Sylvia and my mum and dad. Tommy and Jackie were great teachers.We all got as far as getting our Silver medals. Then we used to go to the Elizabethan ballroom at Belle Vue on a Monday night to take a turn around that HUGE ballroom. I felt amazing dancing with my dad!! Later as a teenager I remember going to Browns in Levenshulme and going out with a lad who was the image of Scott Walker, my idol at the time. The co-op where I took my lessons is still there but for how long, who knows. Great memories and I still have my medals and my certificates!!
Message to Ann 9/4/13 Uncle Tom's Cabin Darwin was on School St, just off the main road near to the market. Not sure if the market is still there but the Toms building is. You're right Slade did appear once. Take care.