Contrary Boutique (Barton Arcade)

Hi everyone, reading the messages about the great Manchester shops reminded me of happy times....I worked in an up market boutique called Contrary in Barton arcade next to the Westerner mens wear.Plenty of the beautiful people came to shop and buy expensive clothes there.I was only a kid but felt very grown up we would go for a drink in the Mariners bar after work.Does anyone recall the shop....I worked with Suzanne, Louise Pinder,Sue Burke and Lilian Matthews are any of these lovely people still in Manchester?.

Used to go to Top of the Town on a Saturday night....wonderfully happy memories of the great soul music....a lifelong love.Never had any money for the bus home so we used to keep our slippers in our handbags and walk home! ha ha.

All the best to everyone.

Christine Rogers (was Shipley) - 24/4/12

Reading Christine's review about Contrary, brings back many happy memories of my time working there in the late sixties and early seventies. Mr Griggs was in charge (no first name terms for bosses then!!!) Mrs Griggss also came in a couple of days a week but mainly came in to check the shop was clean and tidy - (the hoover and duster were permanently attached to her - it would be called OCD today). We had lessons from Mr Griggs on decimalization in 1971. 

Great excitement when a couple of the cast of Coronation Street came in to the boutique, Pat Phoenix in particularly, who use to take lots of dresses ''on approval''. It was a really fashionable upmarket boutique and very popular.

If Christine reads this - Louise and I are still in Manchester, speak on the phone regularly and see each other occasionally.

Susan Tudor(nee Burke) - 25/6/12

Hi Sue and Louise so good to be in contact with you. I have very happy memories of working with you both.I recall going on holiday with Louise and her mum and dad to Spain.We were only about 16 or 17 and I got really drunk and poor Louise had to get two blokes to almost carry me back to the hotel! how embarrassing for her....sorry Louise x.

I laughed when I read about Marie Griggs and her cleaning! ha ha....she once made us fill a dustbin with soapy water and wash all the hangers in the whole shop....yes! I am sure she had OCD big time.We did have some great customers real characters and lots of great clothes to sell...maxi coats with trousers to match,wet look tops,hot pants,split knee velvet trousers,maxi dresses, lurex tops brings it all back.

I live in Herefordshire now but it would be lovely to meet up in Manchester. Best regards to all on Manchesterbeat.

Christine Rogers (was Shipley) - 24/8/12

I noted the comment regarding the Coronation Street cast and I do remember selling clothes to various stars of the day - Julie Goodyear, William Roache etc, not surprising as the studio was in the locale. Also Mike Harding, Dave Lee Travis and several musician who were appearing at the Free Trade Hall. And, Rick, thanks for remimding me of the Capri, Capri 2000 as I recall, white ? great to hear from you. Regards Phil p.s. I will be scanning a photo of yours truely in the Westerner which was done for a promo for the Manchester Evening News. 

Phil Nadin - 25/1/13


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