Manchester Then

Manchester Then – in the Sixties – Matchstick figures, dirt and grim, black, black buildings, smoking chimneys and more smoking chimneys, and two football teams, the Reds and the Blues.

John Mayall was living in Cheetham Hill, soon he would have Alexis Korner staying with him whilst appearing at the Twisted Wheel in Brazennose street.

Mr Lowry was once my grandmother’s rent collector.

My granddad drove the number 17 bus from Manchester to Rochdale in the 1950’s as well as the 110 Trolley Bus that went to the Gardner’s Arms.

When I left school in 1962 the coffee bar scene was in full swing in Manchester. The best place to go was the Cona coffee bar in Tib Street.

Lunch time dancing was started at the Manchester Plaza (by Jimmy Savile).

(Ugly) Ray Terret was the DJ at the Oasis. The club that first had the Beatles in Manchester (22 February 1963). In fact they had been on almost a year previously but nobody knew who they were.

Dave Lee Travis became the DJ at the Manchester Cavern (He would drive around in an old USA army Jeep – a poor imitation of Jimmy Savile who had a ‘home made (modified) white, Rolls Royce.

But best of all Roger Eagle the DJ at the Twisted Wheel in Brazennose Street was introducing a generation of Mods into the the Blues and the Soul.

Rowntrees owned four clubs, Top of the Town, Sound, Stakis and Spring Gardens.

Dingwall the Chief constable said the city’s clubs were patronised by ‘Individuals of exaggerated dress and deportment, commonly known as mods, rockers and beatniks’
what all in the same club?

Later Chief Constable James Anderton  set about closing the clubs but he never investigated the Twisted Wheel being more interested in drinking dens. Eventually he became a figure of fun – an old testament prophet complete with enormous beard. Other policemen have stated that this was a misguided policy – they knew where all the villains hung out and could visit them at any time.