The Masque (116 Chestergate, Stockport)
With reference to the one and only mention of the Masque on Chestergate Stockport. I was begining to think I'd dreamt it all!...couldn't find any reference or photos anywhere, but what an amazing place and atmosphere there.
It was I recall two terraced houses knocked through into one club. The front was black T&G panelling with a single recessed doorway, then once inside, the lighting left a lot to be desired ,I seem to recall red lighting? and then you was greeted by smell of 'hot dogs and onions', it was over powering, there wasnt any alcohol available (except what you brought in yourself)...just Fanta and Coke (the fizzy sort).
Upstairs was a kind of lounge area with sofas and a tiny dance area, ground level was the bar and downstairs was the cellars where the bands played...it was so steamy and airless down there, but what a great atmosphere.
This is where my early Mod days began. Then onto the Sinking Ship, Manor Lounge, Sargent Peppers (formaly The Tabernacle) and Mr Smiths on Cathedral Street Manchester. I remember four of us driving there from Stockport (and back) one night in an open topped 'two seater' E Type Jaguar. Two of us sat on the tiny front seats and the other two sat on the boot with our legs tighly pushed down behind the front seats hanging on for dear life!
Once in Mr Smiths I remember a sunken cirular dance floor filled with polystyrene bits to a depth of about 12 inches...can you imagine the fire risk?
Does anyone have any photos etc of the Masque
Brian Rogers - 12/12/10
I well remember two of the venues mentioned in Stockport.
Chez Fred's coffee bar was the very first 'grown up' place I ever went to. We'd buy one bottle of coke each and stay there all evening. The downstairs was painted black and had hard wooden benches round the walls and we used to listen to music and dance. I well remember Fifi as my friend had a massive crush on him and in the end got warned off by his then girlfriend when we went to the Masque one night. The mate I remember him hanging around with was known as Toddy.
The Masque opened quite a bit later and was on Chestergate as previously mentioned, down near where the bus station is now.
I don't remember ever seeing groups there, it was so small down in the cellar, but once or twice they had a couple of guys with guitars who playe folk music and were really good.
As you went in the front door, there was a window on the left and a big window seat where everyong dumped their coats in a big heap, it's a wonder we ever got our own coats back at the end of the night!
The little bar along the lefthand side wall sold soft drinks and tea or coffee. I thought I was very sophisticated sipping my red hot Russian tea (black tea with a slice of lemon), something I'd never even heard of before.
The toilets were out the back in the yard, like someone else said, the Masque was just either one or two old terraced houses with back yards backing onto the River Mersey.
Jen Barnes - 8/9/11
The Masque in a world of it's own, what great days! Eve of Destruction, Barry McGuire was always being played.
I was one of the scooter freaks out in the back with Paul Rodgers, John Deplede, Jim Collins, Dink, Aden Britton, etc, then off to The Wheel in M/C and yes, Blackpool,
Mike ran both Masques with mum Renee. We used to go up most nights to Rochdale, coming back with no lights, or helmets. He then took over the Sinking Ship, where I got my bloody chrome side panels nicked! He was a cool guy and died tragically. Guess what - I still have my Masque Club Card - how sad is that!
If you can remember the 60s you weren't there, what a decade.
Bernie Long - 4/2/12
Remember the Masque as though it was yesterday, also remember Margaret & Dave Earnshaw. Rennee & Pat Carr lived on Dewhirst Rd. Syke, sadly Mike was killed in a RTA in Stockport around 1969.
Jean Ridings nee Brierley - 5/5/12
Michael Carr who owned the Masque in Rochdale was my fiance. He also ran the Medici in Drake Street, the Three Cellars in Milnrow and The Tender Trap in Bacup. In 1965 he opened the Masque in Brinksway, Stockport then went on to open the Sinking Ship in Undergate, Stockport. In 1965 there was a massive fire at The Ship - everyone escaped unhurt but the club then closed. He had many great groups on there including the Jimi Hendrix Experience amongst others. Sadly, Michael was killed in a car accident in March 1968 just 3 months before our wedding, but left his mark on the lives of many people. Good times, great memories.
Brenda-Marie Costello (was Whittam) - 24/3/13
Following my previous note re The Sinking Ship in Stockport, non licenced for alcohol. Michael Carr used to manage a group "The Four Just Men" from Liverpool, who later changed their name to "Wimple Winch". When the club burnt down in 1967 some members of Wimple Winch were involved in the fire namely Demetrious Christopholus and Larry Arends. Michael also had a partner at The Ship - Dave Robinson, who had lost a leg in a car accident.
Brenda-Marie Costello (was Whittam) - 24/3/13
I remember with fond memories the Masque is Stockport, I spend many a night just listening to the juke box and having coffee or drinking coke a cola. I remember the folk singers who performed down stairs in the cellar and Mike the manager, what a nice guy he was. Very sorry to hear that he was killed.
After the Masque closed he opened the Sinking Ship which a bit more up market, again very happy memories.
Les Hopkinson - 14/11/13
Great news, due to my contribution regarding the Masque Stockport, I have been contacted by a friend from 50 years ago, brilliant, would love to hear from anyone else from the Masque who knew me. Many thanks.
After setting up an FB group called "Stockport Scooter Gang 1960s" I have got in touch with lots of my old scooter friends, as well as friends from Chez Freds, Masque, Sinking Ship, etc etc. Having another reunion next week!!