The Devonshire
Devonshire Street, Higher Broughton, Salford.

 

The photos are of an apartment block that stands on the site of what was The Devonshire Sporting Club on Devonshire Street, Higher Broughton, Salford.

It was more commonly known as The Dev.

During the "beat boom" of Salford/Manchester during the swinging 60's, "The Dev" was an integral piece of the jigsaw in clubland venues.
It was part of The Moss Family group of entertainment venues along with The Northern (Harpurhey), The Southern Sporting Club (Gorton), The Domino (Openshaw) and The Princess (Chorlton).

The Devonshire Sporting Club, or The Dev was later extensively refurbished and renamed The Georgian.

Anyway, "The Dev/The Georgian" was a terrific venue to play, which I did many times as drummer in The BeatLeague/The Principals.
The accoustics were brilliant, as other friends of mine who played there in the 60's will testify to. Brilliant compere and resident musicians as all the clubs had at the time.

Age and passing time has resulted in my memory not telling me the names of the resident compere/organist/drummer at The Dev, but do remember when it changed name to The Georgian, that the compere was a good friend of mine, Ray Dean. Can't remember the organist's name but the drummer's first name was Jerry.

The grand opening night of The Georgian was headlined by Lonnie Donegan. He did a two hour spot. Brilliant! This has stuck in my memory for over 40 years and the club was packed. Lonnie announced his last number and sang solo without his backing musicians. Sang and played guitar to the most haunting arrangement version I have ever heard of the old standard "The Party's Over"

It was mindblowing to hear a club full of people who had been drinking all night, sat silently listening to him sing this. When he sang the last note, the place just erupted with clapping, stamping, table banging, whistling and shouting his name. A never to be forgotten night.

Now in the name of progress, I think not, the photos show Devonshire Street as it is now with two views of the same apartment block on New Devonshire Square.

Looking down Devonshire Street, the photo shows a high rise apartment block on Bury New Road, turning left here, only two hundred yards down the road on the right hand side was The Whiskey-A GoGo/The Riverboat Club over The Rialto cinema.

The Dev/Georgian was a wonderful club during those heady days of "live" music in the 60's where you could see local and national well known groups/artists of every facet of cabaret.

The Moss family sure knew how to promote cabaret in it's clubs to the masses of eager punters during The Swinging 60's.

Dave Anderton
Drummer with The BeatLeague and The Principals
17/6/12

I played at the Devonshire/Georgian a few times with different acts. The organist I remember was Mark Cole who was a really nice guy. He and a friend of mine, my partner in "the Alexis Brothers" duo, got quite friendly with him later. He became a neighbour of mine when he moved into Sale and his two daughters were friends of my two daughters.

He eventually moved to Brixham in Devon and although I met him once when I went down there I haven't heard from him for years now. He used to play hotels in Brixham/Torquay area singing and playing portable organ. I think he went to Spain doing the same.

Bob Ainsworth
18/4/13

 




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