Del Sol club on Bootle St - owned by Harvey who I believe also owned the hotel next to Jaberwaky's on Wilmslow Road which was where the stars appearing at the Apollo stayed. The Del Sol had talent competitions on Tuesday nights. The police enforced "meals" law and so you got a ticket for 5/- (I think) for hotpot.
Mel was the pianist singer and Stan from Staleybridge on accoustic bass. All the acts went there after their gigs and it was hilarious, Al Nicols at one table shouting across to Al Showmand and Jackie Carlton. Jack Diamond shouting camply at the up and comig acts - bedlam, but what an atmosphere. Trouble is you have to be old to remember that. Became Slack Alice's.
I remember it well. Me & the boys used to end up there after finishing our gigs back in the early 60's. It had a sliding panel in the door a bit like the old American speakeasies, and to get in we would knock on the door & the panel would slide across, and a face would appear. There used to be a Compere/Manager called Cedric (I think). He was a Peter Lorrie lookalike, and at 1 minute to midnight he would say we are now approaching the bewitching hour - and then murder some Frank Sinatra ballad.
They also had a nice little casino in the back room, where me & my mate Stan Taylor won a fortune playing roulette. Until they got wise, and changed the wheel. Aaaaagghhh the good old days!!!
I often visited the Club del Sol after working at Mr Smiths Drokiweeny. I remember they had a later drink licence than other clubs as they served the print workers who worked throughout the night in those days. It was all a bit tatty. A lot of workers from other clubs were members. I well remember watching Al Showman and Bunny Lewis perform. There were also lots of "exotic dancers" such as Big Julie ( she was big in every sense of the word) !! Very different times and definitely not PC. All of this taking place less than 100 yards from Police HQ in Bootle Street.
Does anybody remember a tall Irish lad called Derry ? He was a gifted croupier in the casino. After talking to him and having a demonstration of his skills I never played card games in a casino again.!! He also worked at other clubs including the King of Hearts in Rusholme and the Queen of Hearts in Cheetham Hill. Happy Days.
Eric (Rockinric) Stanton
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I worked in the Club Del Sol in the 1960s..it was a leading club in its time, with live shows. Lots of personalies came in for drinks. I often think of it, Mrs Livingstone was one of the owners at that time...happy days...lol..