Manchester Cavern
Cromford Court, off Market Street

Later to become the Jigsaw and The Magic Village. Long lost under the architectural glory that is Arndale! See also The Cromford Club

 

Cavern diary courtesy Bob Lee

Pete Cartner has asked me to send these photos taken in the Manchester Cavern in the 1960's. 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

Pete Cartner, Jimmy Gutteridge and unknown

DJ

The coffee bar

Coffee bar, Jimmy Gutteridge on left

Pretty Things onstage  at the Cavern



Pretty Things onstage  at the Cavern

Phil May in action

Those who went to the Cavern will remember the architectural splendour well.

Alan Richbell Mike Jud and Angela outside Cavern

Cromford Court

Unknown group of youngsters huddled in a doorway in Cromford Court.

Adrian, Lurch, Mike, Mags and John - Aug 65 at Rhyll - show everyone their favourite club.

Courtesy - The British Blues
a personal recollection by Alan (Fred) Pipes
click to visit website



18Dec64

18 December 1964

30 Jan 1965

30 Jan 1965

Courtesy Pete Cartner


Memories

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.

Mike


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.

Mike


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.

Geat times.

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.

Good times  

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
11/2/11


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

Rremember 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


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Comments

Barry belfield
Hi, Bob, yes it's me, you ok, must meet up soon, are you on Facebook. I'm not but my wife is, chat about our adventures haha
4th May 2016 7:31pm
Barry belfield
Met my mate Bob lee today, not seen each other for fifty years, since cavern days, cheers to everybody at manchesterbeat
31st May 2016 5:29am
Kevin omalley
Great memories of the cavern never out of the place it took over from the Old Twisted Wheel club.Does anyone remember the allnighter with THE WHO Mick Jagger and Keith Richard came in later it was incredible the folling day on Sunday GEORGIE FAME was on WHATA WEEKENDS
10th February 2017 1:55pm
Ken Lawrence
HI my name is Ken Lawrence and I was the drummer with the Four Plus One and the In Crowd. We played a lot at the Cavern and made some good friends. I would like to get back in touch.
30th March 2014 2:04am
bob lee
Hi ken
Just like to say thanks for all the pleasure you and mr west and co gave me during 64,6,6 without doubt on e of best live bands I've ever seen.
I have many books magazine articles about 60's groups but I've never been able to find a picture of 4plus1 do you have any? I have some of ln crowd.
Best regards
5th May 2016 4:21am
Ken Lawrence
Hi , nice to hear from you , email me on kblawrence40@yahoo.co.uk and I will send you some pics, best regards Ken
5th May 2016 4:37am
Geoff Parkinson
We played at the Cavern/Jigsaw a few times. Not only did most clubs not sell alcohol but you could park on the narrow alleyway leading to the club with no fear of the warden Gestapo clamping your vehicle or even noticing that you even had one. On one occasion we loaded a Hammond in,went back and chatted to girls,loaded an ac30 in and repeated the process half a dozen times leaving the Ford Thames completely unoccupied and still nothing got nicked.Imagine that these days?
25th March 2014 9:32pm
Billy Reid
i went to the cavern most nights met some great people denice davenport,grace butterworth jean fairbrother who was my first girlfriend faz and roger who sang and played guitars there were on Granada reports one night,George the doorman who I worked with years after, it would be nice to be in touch with these people again hopefully.
15th March 2014 7:21pm
Billy Reid
i jean it was nice to see you are on the cavern page italk to joe on face book i have looked for you on face book but can not find you it would be nice to talk to you sometime hope you are keeping well bye for now billy x
11th March 2014 10:11pm
Jean Bradbury
Hi Bill,

Wow you're a blast from the past!! I'm really well thanks, hope you are too. I'm meeting up with Grace, Denise and Janet tomorrow in Manchester, we managed to track each other down about a year ago after about 40 years and its been great catching up, nearly every sentence begins with 'remember when'.

I was so sorry to hear about Birdie passing.

Yes i'm on facebook, my names Jean Bradbury and my profile picture is of me and my husband Steve, i've got a white top on and Steve has a black & white striped tee shirt.

Look forward to hearing from you,

Jean xx
15th March 2014 6:26am
billy reid
i would like to thank the people who run this page it enabled me to get in touch with people i have not seen for nearly 50 years and speak to them thank you again x
7th May 2014 8:37pm
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