Nield and Hardy
There used to be a great musical instrument shop in Gortoncross Street off Hyde Road in Gorton Manchester. It was called Nield and Hardys and sold loads of guitars, amplifiers, drums etc. It was a sad day when Gortoncross Street was knocked down. In fact the whole of Hyde Road shops from Clowes Street right up to Gortoncross Street were demolished and turned into a 'Green Belt'. What a waste!
Belle Vue also came down around the same time or just after, if my memory serves me well! Another disaster!
Leslie Kenneth Marsden
Neild and Hardy was originally on Underbank in Stockport. They had a major fire and had to move.
Nield and Hardy, Stockport
Nield and Hardy's used to be on Gt. Underbank in Stockport. It was managed by a guy called Geoff. He was a great organist, and used to do demo evenings at the shop.
There was an old cockney guy who worked there called Archie. He was absolutely lovely to us as kids, and never tired of us trying out gear we could obviously not afford !! We would spend most of Saturday there, and he was always great to us. I also remember a studio being opened on the third floor, and sat in as Mike Curtis and the Estelles recorded a session. I clearly remember them recording "Lucille", but can't remember the rest of it.
I had a 2 track reel of the session given to me, and had it for years..it got lost somewhere. I remember buying 2 sound city 100 watt amps and 2 4x12 cabs, plus 2 jap 335 copies on hp from there for my brother and me. They were on hp, and good old Archie signed "guarantor" for us !! imagine that nowadays !! After a serious fire (I think in the early 80's) they closed for good.
Archie will be long gone now, God bless him.
Rob Parkes - 10/3/09
I bought a Hofner President Bass from Nield and Hardy's in 1964. I still have it and it is still in excellent shape even after travelling all the way across the ocean to Canada and crossing Canada and the U.S. several times: final resting place near Chicago, Illinois.
I used to go in Nield and Hardy's a lot, (at the time I lived in Denton so it wasn't far to come). They were always very helpful in there and as someone else said, there was never a problem about trying stuff out, even though they knew you could never afford it. There used to be a young guy worked there, (forgotten his name now), and if you bought something such as an amp or a guitar he would always slip a lead in or something. I used to think he was fiddling the store, but looking back on it it made good business sense. Most people would return to the store again and again.
I also bought a 'talking suitcase' there, (Vox AC-30 amp), and then later a Vox T-60 Bass amp. They are long gone. I wonder where they ended up? Anyway, I have to say I miss browsing and playing in Nield and Hardy's. It was an excellent music store!
Chris Birkbeck - 19/7/112
The Archie mentioned was my grandfather and the young lad who was free with guitar leads was myself. I worked there from 14 as a Saturday job and then full time for a couple of years before going into violin restoration with David Vernons.
It was an interesting place to work in that it was owned by Vernons Pools and was in effect a nice little tax loss for them . The fire in the eighties was the third that I know of - and my grandfather always said they were deliberate insurance frauds - he saw managers throwing guitars and brass instruments into the back of a truck - 'lost' in the fire - only to turn up as new stock later. I think everyone had an angle - the piano dept. at Oldfield Road were always buying pianos, restoring them in the workshop and then splitting the proceeds. The managers always had nice cars - the best instruments.
I'm pretty sure that 'fiddling' in the music business was pretty common in those days - other mates in the trade would tell me similar stories of making a bit on the side.
I learned to play on an old downstrung Nield Piano as a child.
Rememember in the mid 1970s going in there to try out and purchase a small 6 octave piano that I was going to use for gigs (yes really!! Now I have a Yamaha that I carry under my right arm!!). It was quite a daunting experience however as blind Jazz Pianist Eddie Thompson - who'd worked all over the place including NY was sat tuning pianos. Eddie played the Warren Bulkeley Jazz Cellar, Stockport every Friday night, and was just one of those guys you never forget. Anyway, I just played a few bars of something - Eddie stopped tuning and listened!! and I said "ok I'll buy it".
Within six months I'd sold it as bass player and drummer complaining of impending hernias - and bought a Vox Continental from the Rhythm House that to my pianist's ears sounded like hell on earth. But it was portable . . .
I also bought my first Philips reel to reel tape recorder from this shop as a teenager.
Tony Gayle - 28/11/13