Birch Park Palace aka Oceans 11 (Rusholme) 

The Birch Park Palace was in Anson Road, Rusholme, Manchester 14.
According to the book 'The 10cc Story' (1976) by George Tremlett The Birch Park Palace was called The Birch Park Roller Skating Palace.

Advertised in The Manchester Evening News on Monday, April 15, 1963 as Birch Park Palace, Anson Road, Rusholme. Bus 40, 53 to door Jiving Mon. 1/- Fri. 2/6, Sun. 3/-.

In The Evening News and Chronicle of Friday, August 27, 1965 there was a small article that read Special Announcement ! The New Birch Park Club Anson Road, Rusholme, will open on September 4, presenting The Four Pennies Supported By The Mighty Avengers (advanced bookings taken).

John H Warburg

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.

Jim Massie

I remember playing in my first group "THE DEPUTIES" from Stockport. We were only kids, and one of our first gigs was at the Birch Park skating club (later Ocean's 11). The DJ was called BILLY QT, and he tied a mike lead to a chair, whilst walking on and miming to "Sea Cruise". The record stuck, and he got booed off!!! Happy days!!!! 

Rob Parkes

I was once taken to Ocean's 11 as the guest of a supplier. The supplier paid for everything, including Life Membership of Oceans 11. A couple of weeks later I received a letter from Oceans 11 to tell me that my life membership had expired...

Pete Crooks - 16/6/09

I remember being booked at the Oceans 11 ex Birch Park skating rink as a solo guitar vocalist and topping the bill was Freddy Starr who had just split from his group The Delmonts and was very nervous when I walked in the dressing room and introduced myself.

The first thing he said was" Give us a fag, Al".

I gave him a fag and I watched his act from the wings. He went down so well that they gave him a standing encore. He panicked and said "Shit I haven't prepared for this, what do I do?"

The compere came in and said "Come on, Freddy, they are waiting".

He went on stage and did the voice of a boxing mc and started boxing with himself falling on the floor springing up again it was hilareous and completely unrehearsed.

The guy was a one off.

Al Richie - 9/3/11

First time I went to the Rink as it called, was in I think 67. I was surprised to see two old schoolmates in a group. Pretty much rubbish but a girl I met, Angela, knew the singer, said his name was Kevin Godley and was capable of better things. They did do a reasonable version of Get Off My Cloud.

Mike Cooney - 21/7/11

My first club I experienced was the Rink, Birchfields ... I was 11 years old. During the day it was a roller skate venue ... my friend and I would hide in the loos to catch live bands at night.. We partnered up with teds who rock an rolled us on each hand throwing us about like rag dolls it was excelent.

When groups performed we were allowed to sit alongside on the stage..we were both titches and spoilt rotten by the in-crowd. 

Our tall stories and wild nights came to an abrupt end when our safety was the priority for a group im sure the Pretty Things when they demanded to see our chaperone...of which there was none.

Duely  they took us home and grassed us up to our parents ... each presuming we had a sleep over. Older and wiser I now know how sweet that consideration was. I was livid at the time cos my happpy feet didn't beat at the rink no more!!!

Phyllis Keegan - 12/6/12

I did stag shows there when I was 18 - 20 with strippers. Although the customers were waiting for the girls they 'listened'. They liked all the zany off beat stuff - I guess now they call it alternative!

It was a great scene then and part of a weeks work for Johnny Smart of then JT Promotions on a nett deal.

Steve Barclay - 2/9/13

Yes I remember Jim Massie and Barry and Malcolm Stone, we used to watch loads of bands (groups) remember walking home to Kingsway in the snow. They were rockers and loved jiving.... then we turned into "mods" in 1965 and progressed to Browns School of Dancing Levenshulme.

Susan Edmunds - 14/2/14
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