The Northern Sporting Club (Harpurhey)

 The photos are of an apartment block that stands on the site of what was The Northern Sporting Club.

During the "beat boom" of Salford/Manchester during the swinging 60's, "The Northern" was an integral piece of the jigsaw in clubland venues. It was part of The Moss Family group of entertainment venues along with The Devonshire Sporting Club, later refurbished and renamed The Georgian (Salford), The Southern Sporting Club (Levenshulme), The Domino (Openshaw) and The Princess (Chorlton).

Am sure there were other smaller venues as well in their empire but time and memory plays tricks now and venue names evade me.

Anyway, "The Northern" was a terrific venue to play, which I did many times as drummer in The BeatLeague. The accoustics were brilliant, as other friends of mine who played there in the 60's will testify to. Brilliant compere and resident musicians as all the clubs had at the time.
Can anybody remember names of compere/resident musicians?

The venue was approximately 100 yards away from Bernard Manning's Embassy Club and both clubs prospered in those heady days of "live" music where you could see local and national well known groups/artists of every facet of cabaret. |

The second photo shows The Embassy, with white painted walls, as it still is, nestling behind the trees in the foreground just up the road.

Dave Anderton ( Drummer with The BeatLeague and The Principals) - 7/7/12

I remember playing the Club in the early 60's & I vaguely remember The Principles. At the time my group (T K 5) were appearing there, the owner was Jack McCall, who also owned Lee Road Social Club, not far from the Northern, near the Dog's Home. We were local lads and Jack used to let us rehearse in Lee Road Club, in return for doing the odd night (when we didn't have any bookings) at the Northern.

I remember us supporting some great acts of the day _Gerry Dorsey (later to name change to Englebert Humperdink) Matt Munro, Dusty Springfield and of the groups, I recall Freddie & The Dreamers, Freddie lived just across the road from the club, next street to me. The Hollies were very popular & Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders were regular visitors. The compare was another 'local' guy, Tony Hume, a really good ballad singer, who wore some fantastic stage suits, before anybody had thought of them. One was a purple, velvet suit that felt like satin!

What was a regular thing to do at the time was to go to the Embassy Club first, and as that closed at normal pub hours (10.30/11pm)- go on to the Northern, just 300 yards down the road, because they had a 'late supper license'. You had to pay at the door 10/- and get a ticket. Go upstairs to the club (it was above a cinema-The Cintra) queue up for your supper (fish finger (only one !) & chips, sausage (again only one) & chips or a pie ! Nobody ate them, they were piled up at the side of the serving hatch, but you got your hand stamped, to show you had got your 'supper' then you showed that at the bar before they would serve you.

When I have a bit more time, I'll write more, because we probably played most of the clubs in & around M/cr in the early 60's before we went abroad. From the Oasis, Wheel, Beat City - through to the 'licensed' clubs like the Domino, Embassy, Mr Smith's etc.

I've only just come across this website, after finding it by accident ! And a great piece of work it is too. Congratulations to all those involved.
One final thought - Jack McCall, in later year's also had the Stage & Radio, and the last I heard, had the Press Club, just off Deansgate.

If any ex member's of T K 5 are still around, it'd be nice to hear from them, or indeed, anyone who remembers the Group.

Bill Sullivan - 07/8/12

My Dad played organ at the Northern Sporting Club in the 1960s. I remember going to a kids Xmas party there and getting the biggest ever present from Santa.

This must have been '64 or '65. If anyone out there remembers Dave Roberts, I'd love to hear from you.

One of the family stories revolves around Bernard (Manning) and one notorious New Years' Eve ...

Nigel Roberts - 23/11/12

As a lad my Mother and Father both worked for Jack McCall and later Duggie Flood. Mum was on the door and Dad worked in the cloakroom. my job as a lad for five bob was to wash and polish Duggies Ford Galaxy 500 in my street where we lived (Brewster Street). My Dad had a shop facing the club next to Bernard Mannings Dads green grocers shop.

We had a two up and two down house in Brewster Street and I was allowed to watch the groups warming up before the club opened. One day I came downstairs and found a young lad asleep on the couch. I woke him up and asked his name and he replied "Georgie Fame". I then had two Galaxy 500s to wash and polish later - the other belonged to Geoff Reeves who I think was Duggies partner. 10 bob a week - I was a loaded. Duggie bought me a brownie 127 camera and a police car for Christmas. Happy times - I miss them.

Andrew (now 59) - 1/4/13

The "Northern" was owned by Dougie Flood who also later bought the Warren golf Driving Range in Bredbury Stockport which became the Warren Club and then Quoffers. It had a circular stage which could rise out of the floor. It is now a supermarket.

He later bought Bredbury Hall. Dougie died in 2001, leaving £14 Million in his will.

The Northern was not connected with the Moss Empire they owned the Domino in Grey Mare Lane and the Princes Club in Chorlton cum Hardy, facing the small bus station there.

The doormen at the Northern had a bad habit of refusing you entry (Males) on a whim. You could go 6 weeks on the trot and the 7th time they would not let you in because "They did not like your face" even though you were smartly dressed. This behaviour continued at the Warren Club and also Bredbury Hall where they refused people with tattoos or hair that was too long or short. etc. 

Trevor Booth - 8/6/13

Agree with most of the above comments.The club was owned by Jack McCall until he sold it to Dougie Flood who later opened the Broadway and then Blightys.

Worked it many times as a solo artist when Jackie Carlton was compere. Worked it again with that terrific band when David Layne (ex Mudlarks) was compere, his brother on Bass, plus Piano, Guitar, Drums, Tenor/Alto Sax and the fantastic Eddie Warburton on Trombone. What a band!

Worked it again when I was lead vocalist with Australian recording group The Gibsons (Magic Book on You Tube). Pics of the club on my site under SINGING section.

Worked it again with David and Jonathon (Roger Greenaway and Roger Cook) who wrote Magic Book and produced my first single on Page One Records and did backing vocals along with Tony Burrows of Edison Lighthouse, White Plains etc. and Madeleine Bell (Blue Mink).

Regards Paul Stevens - 5/9/13


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