Talk of the North

The Talk of the North was converted into a Night Club from the old Majestic Cinema (where I first saw The Wizard of Oz').

I think this would be 1962-1963, I know that when St Pauls YC were running their monthly dances at Eccles Town Hall, that the 'Talk' was never that full. Joe Pullen started getting better acts on the night we had dances. With the demise of the YC in 1963, his competition had gone.
I remember lots of great nights at the 'Talk' for many years after. My sister worked there, so complimentary tickets were always available.

One evening I was stood at the bar with Tom O'Connor as he downed a couple of whiskies, 'dutch courage' before going on stage.

No matter what the venue it was always easy to rub shoulders with the performers before and after the show, there was not the madness associated with celebrity as it is today.

Albert Beckett

Before it was named the Talk of the North it was just The Majestic Club they had disco nights for youngsters.  I remember going there for the first time - I remember they played Cilla Black's Anyone who had a heart. It was 1964 and I was 13 years old

John Walker

I used to work at Barclays Bank next door to the Talk of the North and quite often went there - seem to remember it was OK to go with your mum and dad!!! and I think I saw David Whitfield there when I was with them - I have his autograph.... 

Janet Gregory

Does  anyone remember  my  dad? He  played  the  Talk of  the  North  on  several  occasions -   he  was  a  comedian  named  Ronnie [Cease] Smith.

I  would love  to  be  able to  get  a bill  poster  or  something  with  his name  on  it. I  have  not  got  any memorabelia  of my  father. Does  anyone  remember  him or  seen  him perform  and  is  there  anywhere I  can  get  a  acts  bill  poster  with  his  name  please help.

Mark  Smith

It must be 40 years since I was there, and I was in the area last week but could not locate a site where it might have been.

Somebody mentioned it was next door to Barclay's Bank  at 331 Liverpool Road, but the land is not big enough.

Please advise.

Keith Baron

Hi  Keith

I was the owner of this great club and  yes it was big enough. Please beleive me every time I drive past I even question myself to think that the international stars and the amount of people that this club used to get in is quite good. 

In fact it was  the brain child of Joe Pullin and Fred Talbot.

I often sit back and think about the artists that I had there and when Joe and Fred had it.

Thank you.

Roy Mozley

This picture was taken in  the Talk of the North office when Joe Pullen owned it.

I was in Tenerife recently and Barbara Law who was quite famous as a glowing singer  gave this to me.

On it, from left to right, is Joe Pullen, Matt Munroe, Barbara Law, Tom Jones & I think, Mike Newman (comic).

They had all appeared there in the last few weeks.

Roy Mozley

Hi  Janet Gregory

Am I correct to say your dad Ronnie C Smith was the comedian?  If so,  your dad was a great comic - well liked.

I am sorry to say I dont have any pictures or any adverts but will ask around!

Roy Mozley

Hi  Mark Smith

Ref your request were the site of the Talk of the North.

The club was pulled down about five years ago for appatrments that never got of the ground. 

The site was up for sale for many years  - it is an empty building site now   - still next door to Barclays Bank, Liverpool Rd, Patricroft, Eccles.

Roy Mozley

Advertised Sat, 19 Aug 1967

Joe Pullen and Roy Mozley
at the re-opening of the club

Roy Mozley receives the Club Mirror Award for The Best Club of the year from Drifter Johnny Moore. 


Image courtesy Roy Mozley

Another great pic from Roy Mozley!

He adds " I found this in my files one of the great summer seasons at Blackpool in 1964.  Tthe amount of star artists on this picture is un believable!  Here we go - Cliff Richard, The Shadows, Marty Wilde, Matt Munro, David Whitfield, Morcambe and Wise, Jimmy Clitheroe, Des O'connor, Karl Denver, Barbara Law, Eden Kane, The Dallas Boys, Sooty and Harry Corbett., Pinky and Perky, Peter Butterworth (Carry On films), Lonnie Donegan, Danny Williams, Edna Savage, Daley and Wayne, Jimmy Edwards, The Vernon Girls, Billy Fury (at the back of Cliff Richard, you can see the hair).

What a great photo!" 

Robbie Wiliams and Gary Barlow of Take That rehearsing  at
The Talk of the North  when I used to do some dates for them in 1992 - Roy Mozley

I worked at the Talk a couple of times with a duo called The Alexis Brothers before Roy took over. Joe Pullen was a stickler for tradition - ladies could not wear trousers and men had to wear shirt tie and jacket. We were told that we were welcome to have a drink in the club after our set but we had to put on shirt and tie etc!

We wore either white suits or hippie style kaftans and coloured jeans. One time we were told not to wear the suits because Frank Ifield was top of the bill and he wore a white suit. You may remember that the dressing rooms were under the stage and the stage rose on a hydraulic lift up to the club itself. On one of the nights the lift stuck halfway up and poor Frank had to climb up the last few feet to the actual stage, getting oil all over his suit!

He had a lovely young lady with him whom I eventually recognised as Ayshea Brough. I was told she was the daughter of Peter Brough, of Archie Andrews fame, and although Frank was pleasant with us in the dressing rooms she totally ignored us. I think she was a tv presenter on a children's programme but I can't be sure.  (She was, her program "Lift Off with Ayshea was produced by Granada and featured many local groups - Paul.)

The Talk was certainly "the" place to work.

Bob Ainsworth

Can anybody tell me when did Matt Monroe actually appear at the club. Myself and some friends went to see him but I can't remember when it was exactly.

Somebody told me that on one occasion a live animal circus act appeared at the club, can anybody verify that as a fact.
Thank you.

Alan Roberts

My father Jim Harvey  used, as a free lance photographer, to do  lots of work at Talk of the North and Joe Pullen gave the eulogy at my Dad's funeral in 2007.

Maybe his work would reveal some stars -not Robbie I'm sure; twas well before his time.

Deb Newell

I will never forget my mate's engagement at the Talk.  His name was the late Peter Walton - he turned up in a leather coat which in those days cost a few bob ,the bouncers Roy would not let him in, he ended running back to winton to change coats  - ruined the whole night.

Tony Bailey

I remember Roy Mosley when he lived on Grasmere Cresent over the road from my cusons Kevin & Steven Dunne starting up his own group, and later at the Brown Cow Pub Winton. 

Talking to my Mother today she was a cleaner at the talk for quite a while on about £3 week ha ha. in the 60s.  We talked about the old picture house and how it changed into a place for young generation to go to, queuing outside with Beatle boots, Dave Clark Five shirts, girls with bells sewn round hems of dresses.  It was the place to go massive queues down Liverpool Road. My Boy Lolly Pop number one ha ha how times change never to be seen again. 

Tony Bailey

Browsing this site brought back many fond memories of the Talk. During the 70,s I palled around with Rory Hadfield the Bass guitarist with the Images, they used to play at the end of the evening for folks to dance.

During this time I had the pleasure of meeting many of the acts of that time, and even to enjoy a curry with some at the Medina restaurant on the bridge.

At this time Roy Mozley was a guitar/vocalist,who used to do a very good rendition of Dont let the sun catch you crying, its good to see how well he's done.

Joe pullen left me a lasting memory, for which I still have a photo when he invited me to dress in Edwardian clothing and to accompany him on a Xmas tour of Manchester on a stage coach. The best of times 

Mike Steward

Many happy memories at the Talk of the North.  Lived in Patricroft and Peel Green. I married Roy Talbot - his father Fred Talbot was a partner of Joe Pullens and they ran the the club together.  Fred is still going strong at 93. 

We saw all the good acts, Tom Jones was brilliant, most of the good comedians were on stage including Ted Lune, George Roper and one of my favourites Tommy Cooper who could drink anyone under the table when we stayed behind after a show. 

The Strand Show Band and Maori Volcanics were fantastic.  I remember the steaks being cooked to perfection.  And yes there were live animals on - y father in law tells us funny stories about acts with animals,  those were the days.  

Ann Talbot

Hi Deb Newall
Sorry to say this but I feel quite sure you are mistaken about the rules reference leather jackets. When Joe had it these was his rules and then as times changed it was Roy's rules and leather coats were allowed in with the doormen  - we still have quite a few photos of people in the club with leather coats.

Sorry Deb  -  wrong person, right club, wrong time.


Roy Mozley

Yes Matt Monroe was at the Talk of the North - I saw him about 1983 (not sure) I well remember a young girl asking me who was he! I knew a compere and got a free pass. I used to lean on the bar eating the glazed cherries until they took them away. What a great club!

Ken Partington

I remember working with Bob Monkhouse at the Talk when I was in a harmony trio called "Piece of Harmony ". On the first night Bob came into our changing room, and asked if anyone of us had a white handerchief, to put in his top pocket, we had one and let him use it. On our final show of the week, we came off stage to our changing room,to find 3 white silk handkies on our dressing room table. Still remember him being one of the nicest, immaculately dressed comedians I had ever met. A true gentleman.

Ted Tuksa

Hi. Good to see a memory about the Maori Volcanics from New Zealand who performed at the 'Talk' in the mid 70's. I was the drummer in the band at that time and have many terrific memories about our times in Manchester and playing at such a great club as the Talk of the North. Of interest, the band is based these days in Sydney Australia and still performs in this part of the the world. I live in Auckland, New Zealand. 

Dean Ruscoe

I've loved reading all the comments about the Talk. My nana worked at the Talk for years as head cleaner  - she's called Alice Foy for anyone that would remember her. I'm going to visit her next week and I'll ask her about the club and post some of her memories on here for you to read .

I do remember going with her to clean on a Saturday morning after the night before to get the place spruced up for the saturday night and the smell of tobacco and stale drink. I must of been about 7-8 ish so were talking late 70s and I remember sitting in one of the "booths" on the left as you walked in to the main room and playing with my barbie dolls whilst Nana cleaned.

I also remember the pictures of famous people on the walls on the corridor. What a fantastic place to go to as a kid.. And even now if I smell stale drink and tobacco it takes me right back to the Talk . 

Vicki Russell

We were regulars every Sunday night and always sat with Father Dalston on his table (prime position on the balcony).

Johnny Mansell was the compere there for years, whatever happened to him ? 

John Ackerley

Does anyone remember Ronnie 'Cease' Smith - comedian at the Talk late 50's, early 60's? 

Wendy Mattioli

Hi Janet Gregory and Wendy Mattioli, I worked with Ronnie Cease Smith many times in the early 60s Manchester club scene, particularly when I was resident compere at The College Club in 1965 and resident compere at The Talk of the North in 1966/67.

He went to Australia with Eddie Grant (comedian) when I was already there after 1974. You should try and contact Al Showman (comedian) who is still working in Australia, likewise Noel Talbot.  You will get them both on Facebook.

Will be working in Oz myself in May,so will make some enquiries.

Good Luck!

Paul Stevens

Ronnie "Cease" Smith and I shared a bedroom Pro digs in the Argoed Arms South Wales and we worked together on a few occasions, a great guy and a great Comic, I was led to believe that the Cease was to do with Radio appearances, with only three minutes he didn't want the audiences laughter cutting short is time for patter.

We were also pals with another good "scouse" comic Al T Kossy.

Alec Owen

Went to the Talk of the North regularly as I lived in Higher Croft not far from the Talk. Saw all the main acts, remember the casino upstairs.

Had some great times. I used to work at the Rock Hotel and after closing used to go upto the Talk. Also remember the old Majestic, rode many range with old cowboy films. After the fire which burnt down the club nothing was ever built on it. Shame  - wish we had clubs like that nowadays.

Tony Bailey, your note on Rory Hadfield. I worked with him at Taylor Brother Steelworks in Trafford Park. What happened to him, would like to know.

Ken Walker

My dad 'Tony Evans' used to be the manager of the Talk of The North for some years whilst under the ownership of Roy Moseley. I have very fond memories of being woken up at 3am by my dad returning home with autographed pictures from the likes of the Drifters, Chubby Brown and the Grumbleweeds. I also remember various acts visiting our home which was quite unreal at the time.

I often drive past the site and its a great shame there lies an empty space.

Unfortunately, my dad is no longer in the best of health and if you read this Roy I'm sure he would love to hear from you.

Barry Evans

Talk of the North brings back memories from the 60's I remember working there early on in my days as a comic, Norman Collier was a great audience for a comic, and I first met an act called Edmundson & Elliot. Jimmy Edmundson did a great impression of Robert Mitchum, as did Dustin Gee, Peter Elliot went on to great things, and I remember them giving me some great advice, Thanks.

I worked there many times, I met up with The Strand Showband, great, and Ray Miller went into the Agency side and later into video production. They were great days, not a lot of money, but good fun. I wonder if night clubs will ever make a comeback, I doubt it, the so called 'new wave' comics are making big money, but I would love to have seen Jimmy Carr doing his act at Redhouse in Sunderland, and then climbing out the window at the back, give me the comics of the 60's and 70's,  saw Johnny Casson recently, still a very funny man.

Tony Dowling

My friends and I would quite often go to 'The Talk' on Friday nights during the seventies after the typical pub crawl down Liverpool Road ending at the Packet House on Patricroft Bridge prior to going into the club in 2's or 3's. The doormen wouldn't let groups of lads in.

Remember when one of us didn't have a tie and he had to take a sock off and wear that as a tie, it worked he got past the doormen.

Friday was singles or hen party night, all I can say it was a brilliant place. Remember bumping into Bernie Nolan as she and her sisters were going onto stage cos there was a rear staircase and walk through at the back of the stage that I would use. I was surprised to say the least.

Steve Percival

When it was the Majestic I lived on Worsley road, then I lived at Patricroft Working Mens club in 1968 and we went over the road to the Talk at least twice a week and through to 1974 when I lived at Stretford Trades. When Ivy Benson and her girl band was there they came to our place to practice. Ricky Lee and her partner? became quite good friends. Matt Monroe appeared often until he got tipsy and insulted Mrs Pullen while on stage along with clientele. He had a very high opinion of himself. Fab voice but that for me was where it ended. Did the Tony Evans mentioned have a brother named Peter?

I remember the manager in the late 60s' was called Evans and would have been about thirtyish. He went to school with my sister. Vera Lynn went down a storm when her backing group dressed as the civil defence. The Dallas boys, Lulu, Soloman King and Julie Rogers were brilliant. The last celebrity I saw there was Steve Davis doing an autograph session. Great times.

Vera Wilson

Has the world gone mad,no more Talk of the North, and the Packet House for sale. I worked at the Talk in the seventies, I worked on sound and lights,a great experience, with the acts of the day.(real talent, no band in a box, take note Cowell).

Always got a ticking off from Gerry Stockdale,whilst boiling on top of the amps and kitchen,the phone would buzz "put your bloody tie on", God bless you Gerry. I miss my old partners in crime,they were great days, even Charles the pianist who was that tall he set the fire alarms off igniting his pipe backstage.

Love and best wishes to my old mates, need a get together, maybe a bbq on the old site,whoops sorry Joe.

Mark Howard

I worked at the Talk of the North for about three years as a waiter working under Roy Mozley and Tony, best job I ever had.  Met some fantastic people, and worked with a great bunch of guys. Big John Reagan on the door with Rusty and Mark Naylor, brilliant times.

Stephen Nixon

I used to live at Brookhouse Avenue, Peel Green.  My brother still lives there.  We used to do all the pubs in Peel Green and Patricroft before going into the Talk.  Seen some great acts there - Bernard Manning for one and all top acts of the day on fri-sat nights.  My mam used to work for Joe Pullen at the Wendover Hotel in Monton which Joe bought from my mam's friend Bertha Potts.  What a lady she was.  All the acts that was on the Talk used to stay at the Wendover Hotel.

David Retford

When I went to the Talk of the North it would have been 1976/77 and they must have been struggling to fill it because They used to serve Chicken & Chips in a basket complimentary to try and get more people in. Jim Bowen was one of the acts and until that night I didn't know what dying on stage meant, but he did and I felt sorry for him. 

I also went around 1984 when I think they had changed things and it was packed again but don't remember any acts, it might have just been a disco but for some reason I keep remembering a transvestite on stage.

I knew Joe Pullen well due to working at Lee Lighting we used to book lots of rooms at his hotel the Wendover. We also had our wedding at his hotel and I had wanted their resident DJ to play at my wedding and for some reason the GM or someone had fell out and a few weeks before our wedding I was told I couldn't have him (Vince & his Nebula One DJ) it upset me and Joe found out and telephoned me personally to say, it's your wedding day and you can have what ever you want. He also said he wouldn't be charging for the room hire or the DJ because of them upsetting me. 15 years later we had Vince for my hubby's 40th, tried to find him for our silver wedding anniversary 5 years ago but couldn't. Vince was good and knew how to get a part started.  

Linda Tonge

I remember as a young teenager winning a competition at the Talk of the North. It was miming to Cilla Blacks song 'Anyone who had a heart'. My prize was £5 and a meal with Freddie Garritty (of the Dreamers) I was presented with my £5 on stage, but there was no mention of a meal with Freddie! As I was too polite to ask about it, I just missed out on it, I seem to remember the groups who were playing that night was Johnny Peters and the Crestas, and Freddie Starr and the Delmonts. Happy memories.

Barbara Ray (Crowe)

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Frank Hunter
Doe's anyone remember the Strand Showband i was with them in 1966 this was our favorite club played the Talk of the north regular ,remember Joe Pullen well had a few drinks with him . Maxton Beesley [senior] later became the bands drummer
one the best at the time Smile
19th November 2015 4:31pm
Ray Millar
Hi Frank, I have just seen your comment in Manchester Beat. What are you doing? I heard from Billy, I think, that you lived in Australia.
I am still an agent in London.
It's good to see that some people remember the band.
Take care and best wishes.
Ray Millar The Strand Showband
23rd January 2016 2:33am
Ron Turner
Hi Ray,
Only found out about Manchester Beat a few weeks ago from an old friend.

Then when I mentioned The Talk, I had a reply from Frank, who was your road manager.

Anyway you probably don't remember me, but I was head waiter at the Talk, from the opening night.

I used to know most of the band, as we all used to have a drink together, and your Mrs, (sorry cant remember her name) used to be a croupier in Stretford, and think you had a Dalmation dog.
So what are you up to now, still in the music biz? I am retired, having had 4 big pubs, and living in Newmarket, Suffolk.

I had some great times at the Talk, and met some lovely people and artist.

Hope to hear from you and say Hi to the Mrs.

Regards Ron.
9th September 2016 5:30am
Frank Hunter
Hi Ray ,Max Beesley was trying to get in touch with you ,ask me for your phone number you can reach him on face book
Cheers Frank
16th November 2016 1:09am
Frank Hunter
Hi Ray great to hear from you have been living in Australia for the past 44 years ,in touch with Billy & Max ,Jim through Facebook and email pm me through Facebook
Cheers Frank
23rd January 2016 8:35am
leonard smith from the vicarag
Smile p for barara crowe im still thick still with joan owen and she still owes me lived in spain 23 yrs cant beat it phone number 952051791 mob 625318334
13th October 2015 2:13am
Paul Stevens
Dont understand?
13th October 2015 7:56am
Rick McKay
Back in the late 1980's I played the lead role in a theatre show called "Forever Elvis". I was introduced by a very good friend Bob Helsop to comedian Wayne "Check" Allen around that time, who took me under his wing and helped me get myself a great agent and also introduced me to Roy Mozely. Roy is a great guy in allowing me, a complete unknown to open for country star Rose Marie. I also played at his other venue, The Bargee with Wayne and he even allowed me to live in a house that he provided for the venue's staff. I was going through a very bad time after my time in "Forever Elvis". Wayne and Bob did everything they could to help me get my act together and forward my career. Roy helped me a lot without even really knowing it, or knowing me. A great guy. If you're reading this... Thank you Roy.
13th August 2015 6:29pm
paul stevenson
paul Stevenson please my father Ronnie c.smith I am someone who mum never told me much about my dad and if I hAD OTHER SIBLINGS OR RELATIVES NOW IM ALONE WITH ONLY MY CHILDREN I NEED TO KNOW
14th July 2015 11:11pm
Paul Stevens
You should contact Al Showman on Facebook
16th July 2015 7:10pm
mark smith
i am the youngest of ronnie cease smith the comedian is that who you mean
6th September 2016 8:48pm
amanda jane fildes-smith
I am also a daughter of Ronnie.c.Smith the comedian I was born in 1974 july 12 in royal north shore hospital n.s.w. my mothers name was Elizabeth fildes from England born 1940.he played in cinderella on ice in brisbanes opera theatre 1974 with amazing actors eg;robert redfern Dianne deveray Jackie love just to name a few in july 1974 he starred as one of the ugly sisters
9th May 2015 4:03am
Do you have any pics or memorabilia you can share of Your father, Ronnie c smith?
1st June 2015 8:28pm
amanda fildes
ihavesome inmy mums things that my step father has but I know I need to know if I have other brother or sisters out there I was born july 12th 1974 in royal northshore hospital
14th July 2015 11:05pm
mark smith
yes i am the youngest son of ronnie cease smith my name is mark
6th September 2016 8:46pm
my name is Alex Martinez I remember the talk very well but not as a club. I spent most of my Saturday's there in the 80's helping my nana lay the tables for that night,me and my brother would then go and and help are selfs to free drinks from the bar haha (non alcoholic ) as we were only children. We would say we were playing hide and seek but really we would be looking under the tables to see what we could find from the night before many of times we came out of there with our pockets full of change that partygoers had lost on Friday nigh lol we probably new are way around the talk better than most. My mum Thersa worked there as well as all of my aunties and some cousins,they all worked for my nana Sue Lally xx
4th May 2015 4:18am
Alan Hardman
I am astounde to find comments from a great old friend, Roy Mozley. Roy also used to run an entertainment agency at the same time as I was a partner in the 'Berns Agency', we were based in Bury, and provided many of the 'Top of the Bill' for nearly every club mentioned in the list. The last time I met Joe (Pullen) was at the hotel he also owned in Eccles, unfortunately the name escapes me.I can also remember the time at the 'Talk' when the police came to arrest the one and only Karl (Denver), he had missed paying his maintenance. Fantastic Times.
15th November 2014 2:32am
peter willias
joe was very frendly with roy cottom wmo had a large bungalow at astley were some of the stars used to stay one day david whitfeild and pj proby were staying roy had this unbroken horse which pj insisted on riding to be thown in the mud that congrigates around the gate the young lady that was with D.W.thought it was very funny with the result that PJP dumped her in the horse trough
15th October 2014 8:09pm
Malcolm jones
I used to live in woodfield grove just past .t.o.n.behind the old fire stn.jerry used to park his car at the back of my house .and I kept my eye on it for him .so as a favour he said he could get me and my wife to see the shadows in a VIP seat /table at the side of the stage.but the upstairs one what a night that was with a free drink chucked in.bruce welch...hank marvin ...-------farrar..and another person who I did not recognise...on an other eavening we saw Shirley bassey...Tom Jones..mat was quite a pleasant time of my life .with this being our first house.and the start of our children growing up....but now the talk has gone so has the bank..up for sale..oh well happy times I suppose..
5th October 2014 6:51am
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