Blinkers
Previously Le Phonographe
King St West

My older sister was a regular here and took me along as a teenager in the mid 70's.

It was a pretty sophisticated place for the time and I was a bit too young to make the most of it!

Many of the pop/rock stars performing in Manchester would be in there after their shows, it was just along from Besty's old shop premises...

Salford Lad
6/6/11

The entrance use to be on the side street with a small peep-window in the door so that Steph the doorman could see who wanted to come in.

All the major artists appearing in Manchester use to unwind there, Tom Jones, Danny Larue, Des O'Connor, etc.

The tables in the alcoves were exclusive and I held court in one at least three times a week!!!

Boghound
15/10/11

Blinkers was previously called the Phonograph and was the ultimate trendy place to go. The membership was £5 and that was when £10 a week was a good wage. You can guess the sort of people who became members. Riff-raff like me could only get in with a suitable companion.

Julie Driscoll got me in one night and then went off to sing with the Steam Packet at the Twisted Wheel. I couldn't even buy a beer at the Phonograph but that nice, rich lady Julie had dumped me:).

Stephen Wolstenholme
29/12/11

Nice to see the old me !!. I worked briefly for Selwyn at Blinkers on Sunday nights. I had a full time day job in the car business and worked at Mr Smiths 6 nights a week with "Jumpin" Joe Makin. Little wonder I didn't stay long at Blinkers. !!

Still see Selwyn around in Wilmslow and Alderley Edge. He has an animal sanctuary at his home and does lots for charity. Good Guy.

Eric Stanton
3/7/12

Joined as soon as it opened as Le Phonographe in 1965(?).  The manager was also manager of Lulu and the Luvvers. 

J Savile, G Best, M Summerbee there often, the Hollies occasionally.  Never saw the Stones there myself but I believe Mick Jagger said he liked it because it was the only club in the UK where he could go and not get mobbed by teenyboppers.  Membership was age 21+.

Le Phonographe did US disco groups such as Jr Walker, Temptations, Jimmy Ruffin, Four Tops, Sam the Sham, Arthur Conley, Smokey Robinson. 

Still remember Frank's bacon and egg butties. 

Moved to Canada about the time it changed to Blinkers and they put Norman Thelwell's ponies on the walls.  

Chris Jones
17/12/12

Had the pleasure of Meeting up with Selwyn Demmy last week. Still the same, sharp as a tack !. Was shown around his animal sanctuary. Amazing! Didn't stay in for too long having met Bruno the Rottweiler. Selwyn looking good and generous as ever. Thanks for the Easter Eggs.

Eric (RockinRic) Stanton
3/4/13

My mate was DJ there in the seventies, Dave Faversham, and he used to get me in there free, it was a bit expensive for me at the time and I would normally never have gone in a place like that. I met the owner, Selwyn, but I never saw anybody famous.

My mate was on early and Dave Lee Travis came on later, that's probably when all the "stars" came in. I was hoping to have seen Bestie but never did, until many years later when I met him when he played for Stockport County.

Dave Moore
28/4/13

Was working at the Manchester Evening News, had never been to Blinkers. Showed up for a blind dat e(local model Joanna King) at 1:00 a.m. Sunday after a freelance gig at the Sunday Express. Got nixed by the polite and gracious Stephan at the front door for not wearing a tie. Suit from Aquascutum, but no $#%$#$@ tie!

Got to know Selwyn later despite that (and "black sheep" brother Harvey). The place was a great dance spot; George Best invariably in descending stages of inebriation in a booth - what a WASTE of major talent; Wayne Fontana and others parading through; lubricious bartender ladies always up for a romp. Time is fleeting, madness takes its toll ...

Jack Grimshaw
18/5/13

Hi to readers

I worked at Blinkers Bistro, French, + Blinkers night club.

I was a young teenager working the kitchens, PACO, Bistro PACHI, French MORICE, was at French + club . They were superb chefs and all taught me a great deal especially Paco. lots of important people frequented all three places.

The DJ at the time was Eger Beever Dave. I recall the night when The king of r + roll Elvis Presley died I was the one to tell D J Dave, he then stopped the music and 1 minute silence fell upon the club.

Blinkers was a special place to work the staff were the best HOSEY, PAULO, FERNANDO,, ANTONIO, WHAN, MICHEAL.  MORITHIO. The manager. Tthey were fabulous.

Selwyn Demmy himself was by far the best person I have ever met in my life ,he was so generous and considerate a real man to look up to I owe him so much gratitude. 

My 2 years at blinkers I will never forget .       

CB UK
24/12/13

My ex wife Pauline worked at The Phonograph when it first opened. I was in there one night with Wayne Fontana, Lulu was sat on my knee having a laugh, when Pauline came over and told her to "F Off", or else. 

Frank Renshaw
19/2/14


Eric (Rockin Ric) Stanton at a Chraity Do with Selwyn Demmys (Blinkers) Christmas ladies!






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Comments

Neil Stretton
I still have my "Le Phonographe" membership card. I've scanned and saved it, but can't see how I can attach it to my comments. Any ideas?

AKA I.T. illiterate.
27th February 2017 8:52pm
Paul webmaster
Hi Neil - the comments system does not currently off the ability to upload an image. I would love your card for the site - please send as an email attachment to me at paul@manchesterbeat.com.
Thanks!
27th February 2017 9:21pm
Paul webmaster
Thanks Neil - added to the page (above).
Much appreciated!
27th February 2017 9:50pm
Dave
I was the chef at Blinkers for two years until 1972. The managers were John Stoy and later Max Brown, the DJ was Keith Simpson. Harvey and Selwyn were hard taskmasters but very fair and generous. The staff, Tony, Jacinto, Jose Rios and Georgio, used to play rummy while waiting for customers. The barman was Evandro Barbieri, but he left to open Isola Bella.
10th January 2017 8:08am
Arnold Seddon
Hi Dave, if I remember rightly and you are who I think you are; you used to be a big Pink Floyd fan. Living in the Timperley area as I recall.

Had many a good meal at Isola Bella up until 1980, when I left Manchester.

Bumped into John Stoy in 1975, aboard a Minesweeper in Poole Harbour. Had a few drinks together in the Wardroom, he was in the Naval Reserve at that time.

Keith Simpson alas is no longer with us. He was killed in a road traffic accident many years ago. Have fond memories of him, he was a real character.

I used to be on the Door around 1969/1970, only there for 12 months then went back to running betting shops for Selwyn.

I remember Rios and Georgio, but lost touch when I left. Not seen Evandro for many years. Last time I was in Manchester (about 15 Yrs ago) Isola Bella was all closed up

Selwyn now lives out in Prestbury and runs an animal sanctuary. He will be 87 now, as I am 70 and he was 17 years older than myself...still feel 23 though !!
10th January 2017 5:33pm
Tony Hawkins
I used to go in Blinker's a lot as I worked in the
cellar vie wine bar Lloyd street for Max brown
who used to work for Selwyn as his manager
I used to hide a certain footballer when he went
on the missing list back in the day .the good old
days
26th October 2016 11:06pm
Jennifer McFie Curiel
Does anyone know or remember a guy called ***** Salem ? Used to own or manager of the Phonogragh? I used to go there early mid 60's
3rd May 2016 6:38am
Neil Stretton
Ah, Frank's bacon butties. I remember them well. Never went to Blinkers, but I was a penniless student who managed to wangle his way in, lying about my age and occupation, of course. It was great when Frank, the chef, used to pick up a tambourine and play along with whatever Tamla Motown song was playing at the time. I still have my membership card, would you believe!
16th March 2016 8:02pm
Steven A. Lomas
Is this site still being moderated? I was hoping to contact the person who has put this site together.

I am 44 years old and from Manchester. I've just graduated with a Broadcasting Degree in July this year. I've produced and shot two short Films so far. They are on my YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbSPuMOeiWI39E_zps3hrWw/videos

It is my intention to make a TV programme next year about Manchester and it's music venues circa 1958-1965. I need all the help I can get in finding people from Manchester who will be happy to talk in a relaxed situation on camera (I guess they will be in their 70's now).

If anybody is interested (and has stories to tell about those days) I can be reached at:
steven.lomas.productions@gmail.com (all lower case).

Kind regards,

Steven.
23rd December 2015 4:15am
Bernard Basso
Played in a group 1959. To. 1965 the whirlwinds and the Mockingbirds had Kevin and gragham Gouldman from 10 cc in the group loads of stories
If you want to contact me 07912639208
14th January 2017 5:34am
Jan Sheffield nee Wright
My friend Suzanne & I met Selwyn one night on the way back from a party. He gave us free membership into Blinkers for life. I still Cryinghave my membership card. We were both at nursing college so I think Selwyn took pity on us! But he was always a gentleman. We use to dance till early hours with George Best Dave-Lee and many others. They were the days ........ what fun we use to have.
11th November 2015 9:45am
NormanCarhart
Met many famous people in that club working as Selwyns chauffeur and Minder singers ,footballers,, met and shook hands with George Best..many good memories of my days working for Selwyn and still keep in touch with him..
29th May 2015 8:28pm
Phil Roberts
The Phonograph club is featured on Youtube, under the title. Swinging Britain Print (1967) starts around 2mins 55s, can't attatch the video for some reason ?
29th May 2015 7:58am
NORMAN CARHART
First me Selwyn in 1976 when I started to work for him as his chauffeur have been to some great places as his driver ie Paris, Monte Carlo,, Nice, really did see a new side of life,met some great people as well boxers footballers and pop stars,,and he is still my friend today after all these years pleased to call him my friend and the godfather to my three sons..
26th May 2015 1:28am
David gray
My uncle Peter Thornton used to manage blinkers and my godfather is Harvey Demi
10th April 2015 4:20am
KC
William Hulme Grammar NOT Hume.
XXxx
31st March 2015 10:24am
KC
Stretford Boys Grammar School was NOT on Granby Road at the time quoted! The Girls Grammar School WAS. The Boys Grammar was on Great Stone Road, completely separate schools at the date!
31st March 2015 10:21am
brenda hannay nee wilson
I worked at the phonograph in 1968 briefly it was a fun place, great music
24th March 2015 1:53am
brenda hannay
correction on the date I worked there in 1966
24th March 2015 7:53pm
Gabrielle Sherwin nee Gorna
I used to go to the Phonograph and also when it became Blinkers. Became friends with Selwym and met oeople like Lulu, Goergie Best, Mike Summerbee there. It was a fabulous club, way ahead of its time. The music was out of this world and the dance floor was sprung so you could dance for ages. I was a member as Selwyn knew my father and my sister. He was a lovely guy.
8th January 2015 3:04am
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