Birdcage (Ashton under Lyne)

The Birdcage was in Gas Street off Old Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire and opened on Friday, September 20, 1968.
The Birdcage had started out as The Ashton Palais De Dance that had opened on Friday, February 20, 1920 by Meers W. H. Broadhead and sons. They had a highly polished rock maple sprung dance floor, which was said to be the largest in England, and also the new premier ballroom for local dancing.
The Ashton Palais De Dance closed in December 1961 for a refurbishment and after a £25,000 face lift was reopened as The Ashton Palais in January 1962 under the new owners Mecca.
It later became Wheels, a roller-skating rink with roller disco.
In 1985 it was demolished.
John H. Warburg 24 May 2022

We used to go every Sunday night in the late 60's for the disco which had loads of girls :) we were there the night they landed on the moon in 69, great DJ, cant remember his name but he played some rare soul stuff.

Kev Walker - 14/7/11

I was the DJ that worked the sunday nights at the Birdcage,actually replacing Ugli Ray Terret, playing all things Soul, used to go to The Twisted Wheel and picked a lot of music up there for my shows.

Also worked the Moon in Dukinfield, Barbarellas in Salford and The Apres Ski lodge up Mottram way. Remember working with Chunky Baby aka Fred Fielding, and what a riot he was.

The Birdcage managers name was Frank Melville, a geordie allways trying to sell you stuff rather than pay me wages what a character.

Allen Ford (Al Ford) - 13/8/11

The Birdcage took over from Ashton Palais on Friday 20th September 1968. It was my 21st birthday and also my friends batchelor night.

Mike Duffy - 3/4/10

I went there on my early "copping off" days (1974 ish) Played great music and a lot of Northern soul most memorable DJ was Bill Beard. Also remember Druffies (Dukinfield Rugby Club) on a Friday Like most pubs / clubs in the area it was spoilt by the local "hard men" (max age 19?) were out for a pint and a fight.

Kev Matthews - 19/1/13

Back in 1970, I was one of the opening and closing DJs at the Birdcage on Sundays, which was members only night.

I got this position quite by chance, when a friend of mine, Pete Williams and I turned up early at the club, to find the Manager in the revolving cage in the centre of the dance floor, trying to play the records and failing miserably.

Anyway, it transpired that the usual DJ had been delayed and, spotting an oportunity, we told the manager that we were DJs. (We weren't really, although I had won an amateur DJ competion at the Bower Club, Stalybridge on Wednesday the week before) We soon mastered the set-up, which, unlike the usual side-by-side decks, had one turntable at one side of the cage and one at the other.

I must have done alright though, because I was asked if i wanted to do this on a regular basis, which I jumped at.

Didn't get paid in cash though, instead I gave the club a list of new records each week and the club would buy two copies, one for them and one for me to keep. Got my colection off to a great start.

Loved the sound at the Birdcage, which was powered by two hugh speakers situated at the front of the Disco between the balcony and the dance floor. The Bar was upstairs in the balcony at the far end, and for those under 18, it was always a challenge to get past the bouncers. At the front end you get somethoing to eat and from the balcony you could look down onto the dance floor and eye up the available talent. Happy Days!!

After leaving the Birdcage, I went on the set up Soundsonics Mobile Disco, which ran until the mid 80s.

Dave Jones - 17/3/13

I used to be a dancer in the cage, i would guess around 1970/71. Wonder if anyone has any photos of the inside of the club. I remember doing a promotion at some point where we sat in a bath of bubbles outside the club, can't remember what it was for though.

Christine Rose - 5/8/13
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