The club was built under a railway line into Manchester. The acts were often interrupted by the rumbling and vibrations of the trains going overhead.
All the bands from around the Manchester area appeared there. Derek Johns the manager and compere was a family friend and I sometimes helped out on the bar.
I remember the first time I went in the club, part way through the entertainment there was a loud screeching of chairs being push back. My mother said Paul Daniels is on next, nobody likes him so we all go to the bar or play roulette. It doesn't seem to have done millionaire Paul Daniels any harm and it probably pushed Derek's takings up. Unfortunately Derek died some years ago.
Picture above shows from the right: my mother Hilda, Derek Johns, my mother's friends Joyce and Pat and the doorman.
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The Gainy was a great cabaret club. Derek Johns was a fabulous compere and singer in the Sinatra mould and was backed by the Syd Abrams Trio - superb piano ,base and drums outfit who could play anything, back the turns and entertain between acts . ... Read More
The Gainy was a great cabaret club. Derek Johns was a fabulous compere and singer in the Sinatra mould and was backed by the Syd Abrams Trio - superb piano ,base and drums outfit who could play anything, back the turns and entertain between acts . Little and Large were Sid and Eddie in those days! The Grumbleweeds and many others performed there and it was about 2shillings6pence entry for at least four acts as well as the resident entertainers. The waiters were also the best working up and down their own rows of tables with trays as big as table tops! Once you gave them your first order you only had to nod and your next round came on his next run and rarely a mistake. Great days that will never come back.
I used to live in the street opposite the Gainsborough Club which was called Higham View then. The pub on the other side of the road to the club was the Priory Arms and it is still there. I was told the club building used to be Salford Grammar ... Read More
I used to live in the street opposite the Gainsborough Club which was called Higham View then. The pub on the other side of the road to the club was the Priory Arms and it is still there. I was told the club building used to be Salford Grammar School and you could see a large stone at the bottom of the buiding with the words "Good Friday". This was a foundation stone marking the day, alas no year.
Derek Johns was a great compere and singer and always reminded me of Frank Sinatra. There was a resident three piece band with Sid on the drums. Loads of great acts appeared at the "Gainy" especially comedians like Jack Diamond, Freddie Starr and many others.
Living so close my friends and I went there every weekend as we could stagger home after a good night. As we thought the beer in the club was expensive we would go over the road to the pub to top up. In the foyer you could have a game of Blackjack or a spin on the roulette wheel. The cards were favourite as we used to encourage the dealer whose name was kay to twist on four cards with a high total and she would bust and lose. I often won on the cards due to her inexperience it would often pay towards the night out.
Derek had a great friend in comedian George Roper, they would be at the bar drinking together whenever he appeared on the bill. I can honestly say the Gainsborough was a great club and enjoyed with a lot of regulars. The occasional train could be heard as it was stopping at Pendleton Broad Street station but as the railway was a lot lower than the club and at the side it never caused that much disturbance. It used to be the Central cinema, commonly known as the bug hut prior to the club and the screen could be shaken with a passing train.
Sad to hear about Derek Johns as I always remember him as a friendly face and a warm personality.