Manchester Cavern (Cromford Court, off Market Street Later to become the Jigsaw and The Magic Village)

The Manchester Cavern was at 11 Cromford Court off Market Street, Manchester 4 and opened on Saturday, May 23, 1964 with The Four Pennies and Little Phil Swaggers.
In The Evening News and Chronicle of Tuesday, May 19, 1964 it said Home Of Manchester's Beat Cavern Manchester's Biggest Cellar Club. Grand Opening Saturday, May 23, 1964 Top Of The Bill : Four Pennies Plus Plus Little Phil Swaggers Cash Desk Opens For Membership From 1 pm Thursday. Cromford Court, Market Street.
The Club's regular DJ was Dave Lee Travis (b. David Patrick Griffin, Friday, May 25, 1945, Buxton, Derbyshire, England), who was also D. J. at the famous Oasis Club at 45-47 Lloyd Street off Albert Square, Manchester 2.
The club later changed its name to The Jigsaw Club ​which opened on Saturday, November 13, 1965 with The Measles and The Mockingbirds from 7pm to 11pm.. It later changed its name again to La Bamba which opened on Friday, October 27, 1967. Later still it changed its name again to The Magic Village and opened on Saturday, March 9, 1968 with Jacko Ogg and the Head People.


John H. Warburg 1 March 2022

Long lost under the architectural glory that is Arndale! 



Cavern diary courtesy Bob Lee

Pete Cartner has asked me to send these photos taken in the Manchester Cavern in the 1960's - they have been added to the gallery. Though of poor quality they are the only pics I have ever seen in the Cavern. (no mobile phones, and very few camera owners in those days !). Hopefully it will bring happy memories of those fantastic times.

Mike - 8 Jan 2017


My clubbing began at " THE RINK " in Birchfields, a roller skating rink that was just dipping its toes in the entertainment water at the time. Here I saw " THE PRETTY THINGS ", "THE IN CROWD " and also had a ticket to see " TOM JONES " but he got a hit with " ITS NOT UNUSUAL " and bailed on the gig.

The first club I went to in town was " THE HEAVEN AND HELL " which was situated close to where Chorlton Street bus station now sits.

I never saw any bands at this club but the music was always the thing and there were some interesting times to be had for a lad of seventeen especially downstairs or " HELL ", what with the total darkness and all.

The next clubs were the ones that really turned me on to LIVE music were " THE CAVERN " in Cromford Court where I saw, among others , " THE GROUNDHOGS " (still gigging as far as I know ), " THE EDGAR BROUGHTON BAND " (out demons out !) and "THE STEAM PACKET " with jULIE DRISCOL AND THE BRIAN AUGER TRINITY , LONG JOHN BALDRY ,AND THE KING OF THE MODS ROD STEWART.

Then there was " THE TWISTED WHEEL " at that time on Brazenose Street where I first saw " THE GROUNDHOGS " supporting " JOHN LEE HOOKER ". There seemed to be legends on at some club every weekend in those days.

Just a couple of hundred yards away from " THE WHEEL " round the corner in Jacksons Row was " THE OASIS " where I saw a very young looking " IKE AND TINA TURNER " - not to mention places like " THE MAJESTIC " on Deansgate, " BEAT CITY " on Fountain street.

MANCHESTER was a terrific place to have spent one's youth - later getting into the seventies the main venue was " THE FREE TRADE HALL " but that is another story .

Jim Massie

I went to the Cavern every week, all nighters too. I remember the Pretty Things playing the cavern they where joined on stage by Mick Jagger. I think he did two numbers with them, could have been more.

Malc Hurst

Re Mick Jagger joining Pretty Things on stage at the allnighter at the Cavern. I was there, it was great ... Dick Taylor of the Pretty Things was one of the founder members of the Stones. 

They were in the Manchester area for a gig so Brian Jones and Mick Jagger called in to see their mates and Mick got on stage for a couple of numbers Wow ... trouble was it was a hard act for the Pretty Things to follow after that.

Incidentally my cavern card has Dick Taylor's autograph on the front from an earlier Pretty Things gig. I was there for the Kinks, Bo Diddley, 4 plus 1 and most of the other great groups.

I used to go every night and most allnighters too. Loved the Heaven and Hell and Twisted Wheel and Oasis.


Unforgettable nights at the Cavern included seeing The Kinks do a memorable performance of their most famous songs, 'You Really Got Me' and 'All day and all of thre Night' over and over again to a sweaty, packed-out audience.

Watching 'Little Walter' the Blues harmonica-player swig from a bottle of Gin whilst pausing to drunkenly rub, dare I say it, his organ all over his mouth.

Talking to Sister Rosetta Tharpe after a great gospel singing performance.

Witnessing The Walker Brothers walk off stage at a sparsely attended all-nighter, with Scott Walker throwing his microphone on the floor in disgust due to the handful of people watching not bothering to applaud.

Peter Bradford

Does anyone remember about 1963/4 an american film company MGM ? making a film about the English music scene and coming to Manchester's Cavern. We all were asked to go outside in groups of 3 or 4 whilst they filmed us. They also did Liverpool and London. Did the film ever come out ? It would be great to see it.


I remember going to to the cavern on a regular basis and being let in by the bouncers for a couple of embassy coupons and used to go the all nighters on a saturday night.

One of the best nights though was going to see The Pretty Things when Mick Jagger and Keith Richards came in and got on stage and played along with them - all for 2/6p.

Steve Burgess 

One of contributors mentioned the Cavern in Cromford street when the Kinks were playing, I remember watching the Kinks on stage stood next to the Rolling Stones.

Alan Fildes - 29/1/09

I well remember the night the Kinks played the Cavern, I was right at the very front and even holding Ray Davies's hand while he was singing, a rather jealous girl stood behind me took exception to this and proceeded to rip the arm off my leather jacket, but it was all worth it.

I met my future husband Pete at the Cavern and he remembers the night Bo Didley and the Duchess his glamourous sister were on stage when there were problems with the plug on Bo's amp falling from the roof socket, Pete stood on stage holding the plug in position while the Duchess gyrated around him, he has had a thing about black satin pants ever since.

Joyce Cartner - 5/5/09

I went to the Cavern in Manchester a few times and I remember seeing The Swinging Blue Jeans one night, they were fantastic, they had just released You're No Good,they sounded just like their records.

It was a small venue so one got a really good close-up view of the groups, I can still see the Blue Jeans in their blue denim! Saw Manfred Mann as well, Paul Jones stood near me when I was getting something from the cloakroom!I remember one occasion as I was going in the bouncer took my studded belt off me, so I was uncomfortable all night watching some group and trying to hold my trousers up.Oh yeah three of the Four Pennies,turned up they were supposed to play but they said one of them was in hospital so they just stayed around for a while then left. My mate went to see Eden Kane there and he said there were loads of coppers to hold back the expected crowds of screaming girls ,but hardly anyone bothered him!

A lot of these clubs insisted that you had to wear a tie, and a lot of them used to turn you away if you didnt wear one.I was looking forward to seeing Freddie and the Dreamers at the newly opened New Century Hall and one of the bouncers on the door wouldnt let me in because I didnt have a tie on, can you believe that.

Oddly enough sometimes it was our longish hair,and usually some of the groups had longer hair? Wearing a collar and tie in some of those places it used to be roasting. 

Philip Hindley - 13/1/10 

The Manchester Cavern was another of the clubs I went to in the early sixties All nighters were good although a pain waiting to get the firt bus on Sunday to get home. Pherhaps someone could help me as memories get cloudy. There was a DJ who had an ex army jeep and on one occassion in the early hours would take people for a spin around the City centre. I can remember he always wore a big parker jacket I seem to recall someone said this was Dave Lee Travis?? Chad

I and some mates saw Manfred Mann at the Cavern, I think near the end of 1964 sometime around the Stones played the Palace if my memory serves right.
We were yokels from the Cheshire backwoods and came into Manchester for the all-nighters at the Wheel, Cavern and Heaven and Hell where there was a police raid one night. The cops demanded that all weapons and pills were piled up in the centre of the floor - they made a decent sized mound. Good times!

Colin Evans - 2/7/11 

I remember the Cavern in the sixties. We went to see the Undertakers,with their coffins. The dj was Dave Lee Travis, he would turn up in his open top jeep. Big George was the doorman. It became popular when the Twisted Wheel closed and became a soul club. All us hippies had nowhere to go. Happy days

Peter Byrne - 21/1/12

I have great memories of the music in Manchester, in my youth (l960's) and I worked at the Cavern around 1964, 1965 and loved the groups. I remember Ginger Baker and a Blues singer from America whose name I unfortunately can't recall. Graham Nash, (a Salford lad no less) was great, along with the Beatles and Mick Jagger. And, I do recall seeing the Rolling Stones at the Oasis. 

Brenda (Costello) Braun - 23/1/12

I agree with Brenda, they had some great acts. After the Wheel closed (Brazennose St) we had nowhere to go, long hair and black clothes, the cavern was a lifesaver.

Still playing our music. Great days.

Peter Byrne - 12/2/12

Does anyone know what happened to Wendy who was the Cavern owner Davids' wife?

I was her neighbour and adopted 'nephew' and used to go down to the club with them. Being only 12, I had to stay behind he scenes when the club started to fill up but was privileged to have been the errand boy for many of the acts that appeared. I'd be sent to get the cokes and food,cigs etc from the bar.

I remember once being backstage with the Pretty Things and there were dozens of girls outside the fire doors which led onto Cromford Court. Somebody told me to get the autograph books and bring them in to be signed.'Course as soon as the door opened half an inch and they caught a glimpse of Phil May, they went wild. I was pushed out and the door closed behind me..." Oh please please give this to Phil, I'll do anything..". If only I'd been a just few years older.... ;-) 

Alan Lacy - 23/3/12

Peter Byrne, you spoke of Doorman BIG George ... 6'4" and 18 stone was very big then. That was my Dad, unfortunately he died early 2009, heart attack, running a pub, behind a bar and pulling a pint for a customer ... 69 years old.

In November 1964 he was running the Cromford door (with Jimmy "Swords"..anyway, one night at home I was sick, Doctor came out, gave my (8 months pregnant) Mum a prescripton, she got the bus into town where she went to the Cromford. Dave Lee Travis (of course wearing his parker) took her in his Jeep across town to the all night chemist.

I remember a photo of Dad stood in front of Mick Jagger (Guarding him) who did a guest appearance on a tiny stage about a foot high...their heads were about the same level even though Mick was on the stage. I would sell my soul for a copy of that photo.

David Lloyd - 27/7/12

Thank you David, it is very sad to hear of your dad's passing. I will always have great memories about our time at the cavern, and your dad, he was an important part of all our time in the sixties. Take care.

Peter Byrne - 28/8/12

The Cavern and The Brazenose St Twisted Wheel were my home from home' from '64 through to '65 if you 'ducked and dived' a bit and went to one of the all nighters you could stay in Manchester from sat afternoon (Lewis'record dept and The Cona) through to Sunday morning (breakfast at Victoria Station's cafe.) First band I ever saw at the Cavern were The Merseybeats.

The band I saw more than any other .. The magnificent and mad Pretty Things!!

The high spot? .. The Stones at the gig and Jagger getting up with them for a song.

And the low? Viv Prince absolutely legless and useless, so the support band's drummer (The Chasers?) sat in.

I remember The change of name to The Jigsaw and .. Horror !!! NO LONG HAIR !!! MODS ONLY 

Mike Sweeney - 21/2/13

Just found your page. Like many people I spent most of my youth in town. Best band I saw was The Pretty Things - my no1. Saw them at the Cavern and Heaven and Hell.

Happy days. You mention Graham Clegg a lot. I worked for him a few years ago but did not know his 60s connection - would love to hear from him and Pauline.

The Pretty Things are still going strong and are playing around the country. They are still amazing live - Phil May is still in the band.

John Doyle - 25/3/13

David Lioyd, I'm sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. I worked with him at the Cavern back in the 60s - I was on the Door with George and Dave Hall. Good times. Take care.

Bob - 28/3/13

From the section on the Cavern Club in M/c which Mike Sweeney wrote re Viv Prince being legless and the drummer of The Chasers taking over that was me - John Mills, Mike knows me as 'Mileo'. That was a lifetime ago and my memory isn't what it used to be but thanks M/c Beat. 

John Mills - 17/04/13

Who remembers owner of Heaven and Hell Greek George and the handsome doorman Sean Nugent ???

I did all the clubs in Manchester in the 60s. Breakfast on Oxford Street. Was given the Kinks drumsticks that night at the Cavern.

Brill! So many memories - so many friends now gone but not forgotten Xx

Violet Tyson - 23/4/13

I went to the Cavern Manchester with a crowd from Salford when it first opened. maybe Sweeny will remember Barry wilson (aka Willie) who was one of my mates along with Dave Mcmanus, John clarke (John cooper Clarke), or others from around manchester, John Knail (of STACKWADDY), Spike and his brother Dutch and Wolf. Hapy days.

Stan - 22/6/13

Hi, My late Father 'Big George' Lloyd worked on the Cromford/Cavern door in the 60's. If anyone has memories or gossip about him while he was there please email me, all lowercase DML1D @ HOTMAIL.COM If you're interested, in the early 70's my parents decided to try and get a pub, to do this my Dad went working at the "bottom Kings on Oldham Street (before anyone asks it was because there were 2 Kings pubs on Oldham Street, the other was at the top of the Street). Anyone remember him from there?

David LLoyd - 22/6/13

I read with interest all the comments about nights at the Cavern Club in Manchester.
I went there often with friends and saw so many of the groups mentioned. One mentioned DLT yes Dave Lee Travis driving around Manchester in his open top jeep.
I have many good memories of time spent in the Cavern I could write a book.
Here's to the swinging sixties!!

I was there that night when the Stones joined The Pretty things. Wow!!
I remember big George and Dave Hall.
What great nights we all had seeing all those wonderful groups. I have often told friends about the Manchester Cavern. The memories will stay with me forever.

Linda Bostock (was Morris in those days) - 18/8/13

Somebody must know. My late father was Big George (Lloyd) - the doorman. Whenever he spoke about this club he called it the Cromford Club, not the Cavern. Anyone know why? I suspect the staff called it the Cromford, the punters the Cavern.
If you know please advise.

David LLoyd - 8/10/13

Hi David, I worked with your dad at the Cavern on Cromford Court from 1963-64. with Dave Hall. The manager was called Dave Sledge his wife was called Wendy she was on the till.

I know your dad didn't work at the Cromford Club - the door man was Billy Gilmore from Salford. He worked the door on his own for years. he was a good friend of mine.

Hope this helps. Cheers!

Bob - 13/10/13

David, re your Dad, George, the Cromford Club he mentioned was in fact another club in Cromford Court - it was a Casino if I remember rightly and your Dad probably went there after his shift at the Cavern Club.

Grace Butterworth - 23/10/13

Wow, the Cavern Club, we had many good times down there in the sixties - me and my friends used to go six nights a week plus the all nighter and who can forget that night when Mick Jagger walked in and got up on stage with the Pretty Things.

Talking of the all nighter there was a coffee bar near to Victoria Station which was open all night (dont think it ever closed actually -we spent many an early morning in there after the all nighters warming up on a cup of coffee. Can anyone remember the name of that place

David Lacey asked about Wendy (the owner David's wife), the last time I saw her which must be about 10 years ago now she was working in Marks & Spencers in Manchester. 

I too remember George very well and am so sorry to hear of him passing. George was part and parcel of the club and to us young girls it was like having your Dad there to look after you. Lovely man indeed.

During this past year I have actually been reunited with my old friends from the Cavern days (after 40 years) - Jean Fairbrother, Denise Davenport and Janet Baines and we get together regularly which is fantastic.

Grace Butterworth - 23/10/13

Hi Dave - remember your dad, he worked the doors with Alan - prince to top man.

P Clarke - 15/11/13

I too have very fond memories of the Cavern Club, it was the first club I'd ever been to and really loved it. My mam and dad wouldn't let me go at first so I had to pretend to be going somewhere else, eventually they relented! but never to alnighters, I said I was sleeping at my sisters!

I remember Neil Ingham and Dave Woolham working there. Also remember Billy Reid and Birdie from Miles Platting.

If i'd got autographs off everyone I saw perform there I'd be worth a fortune!

George the bouncer was a lovely man he used to let us in for nothing if no-one was looking! We often used to see him on the last bus home, he was a true gentleman.

Jean Bradbury nee Fairbrother - 15/11/13

I remember Jean Fairbrother and all her mates in the Cavern. She went out with my mate Billy for ages. We used to meet you lot in stevie square and saunter on down to the Cavern.

I'm still in touch with Billy however Birdie passed away a few years ago. We used to go out once a week he never changed still had his mop of hair great lad. RIPS.

Joe Draper - 27/11/13

Hi Bob - I think you may have got the cavern managers name slightly wrong. I believe it was Sedgh and not Sledge, I understand he was Persian [now Iran] I remember he used to park his white Ford Zephyr car outside the club on Cromford Court.

They were some of the happiest times of my life at the Cavern and it was where I met Joyce 'Lester' my future wife. Has anybody got any memories of Lemmy at the Cavern?

Pete Cartner - 30/12/13

Hi Joe i remember you too, what great days they were! Hope you're keeping well. So sorry to hear of the passing of Birdie, what a shame at such a young age. If you see Billy Reid give him my regards. I'm still in touch with Grace, Denise and Janet and remember walking from Stevie square to the Cavern nearly every night! 

Jean Bradbury nee Fairbrother - 1/3/14
  • diary1
  • cavern_30Jan65
  • membership_card_LaBamba
  • cavern_dec_1964
  • cavernad1
  • C12  D
  • cavern64
  • C13, D.J. at the Cavern
  • C26 Cromford court
  • C9 ,The Pretty Things
  • cavern
  • cavern_15July65
  • C14 ,Cavern Club
  • cavern leaflet belonging to Pete
  • C10,  Pretty things
  • inside membership card
  • diary3
  • C6 , inside the manchester cavern.
  • cavern application 2
  • C11 ,coffee bar
  • cavern poster
  • R1 adrian lurch mike mags and john aug 65 rhyll (002)
  • C5,  coffee bar in the Cavern. jimmy gutteridge on left
  • membership card 356 rear
  • 18Dec1964
  • C2  Alan Richbell Mike Jud and Angela outside Cavern
  • C17, Pete Cartner,Jimmy Gutteridge and unknown
  • cavern car dicktaylor
  • C8 , Phil May on Mouth Organ
  • cromford court 6.  market st
  • cavern application 2 rear
  • diary2
  • cavern sign
  • cavern1
  • cavern-application
  • membership card 356

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