Stoneground / Mayflower (Birch St, Gorton)

Stoneground stood on Birch Street in Gorton and was originally the 'Corona' Cinema and The Southern Sporting Club. They had some good bands there. I do remember going there once to see some friends of mine, 'The Willie Eyfot(?) Band' who did CS&N type stuff. 

They were supporting 'Back Door' an amazing trio from Sheffield comprising alto sax, drums and the fantastic Colin Hodgkinson on bass and vocals. Colin plays chords on a Fender Precision like you're not supposed to be able to do. People like that make it hard for the rest of us. 

Pete Crooks - 19/5/09

I remember around 1974 ?? (correct me if I am wrong )going to see Leo Sayer at The Stoneground when he was wearing his clown outfit - was it 'The show must go on' I am sure this may have been the 1st concert I had attended....

The carpet must have been full of beer because I remember my feet sticking to it :-)

Anne O Keefe nee Donohue - 2/10/11

This is more a call for help than a memory:

Does anyone else remember a school hall in Gorton where Principal Edwards Magic Theatre played? It must have been 1971/2. I remember the event - but for the life of me cannot remember the venue.

Michael Murray - 15/11/11

Well G'Day, Skippy here,

Well that's wot they use to call me when I lived in Manchester back in the 60's & 70's. StoneGround, remember it well, I was a often stoned immaculate there.

Back then I was a motorcycle mechanic at Derick Johnson's Manchester then motor cycle center Stockport. Stoneground was straight opposite the speedway entrance. My mate big Mick from Reddish use to work the door (Be great to catch up Mick), I often use to give him a lift in and home, he used to watch the bike out the front for me and sometimes we'd stay late having drinks with the band, because I was micks lift home.

I think the managers name was Graham, I always remember the black lights just after you went in always a good sign to see wihich of the loveleys had dandruff or not. The bar was on the right, and the DJ just a little on just before the dance floor. We used to sit just round the corner up the back with Big Al, he used to build springer front ends down at Levenshume, just round the corner from Sivories cafe, also remember the Hells Angels and the Coffin Cheaters use to get in there.

Certainly was some great bands back then, Sensational Alex Harvey Band (who I just recently seen here in Australia), Pink Fairies, Groundhogs, Leo Sayer, (wot a clown), Necter, Golden Earring and many more, but it was a long time ago, oh! yes and the DJ always finished off with Lou Reed's Walk on the wild side.

Had my worst bike accident ever, leaving Stonground on my way home to Reddish some dick brain decided to turn in front of me into Belle Vue st , well, 2 months in hospital with concushion. Great days though, wouldn't change them for Quids. We also use to go to waves and Jillys, lots of fun back then, happy days.

Johnny Mees (Skippy) - 21/6/12

I moved away from Levenshulme for about a year in the early 70s and ended up living but a couple of stone throws from Stoneground.

We spent far more time there than perhaps we should have, from this distance it seems like every session, but probably wasn't.

We mostly ran the book stall which gained us free admission and drinks were taken care of by the bar staff. I once complained to Graham about the quality of the beer to which he replied "don't know what you are complaining about, you've never bought a pint yet" but said in a very matter of fact way that didn't suggest we should change our ways!
In our favour we did do much else apart from not selling many books, like the time the police came round to the house to tell us the dogs were out and what were we going to do about it?

Went round to Stoneground (on a hot sunny day!) to find one policeman sat in his car with the windows tightly closed telling everybody to stay in their houses. One freak climbs out of decrepit van, goes to the front doors to make sure they are open and then walked over to the dogs who must have decided that I was sound. As I got closer to the doors I started to run which set the dogs running as well until they were in front of me and saw the doors open. As they went in through the doors they reverted back to killer mode but I was waiting for that and had my shoulder to the door pretty quick.

I forget most of the bands that I saw there but a couple stick in my memory. Leo Sayer for one, the club had booked him many months in advance while he was still an unknown for about £30 for the night. His spot at the club was the week when he'd just hit number one and his management tried to pull him, unsuccessfully. The night was bedlam with crowds outside on the pavement trying to get in - those already in seemed inclined to hang about in the foyer with the result that nothing like as many got in to see him as might have done, and the club had a pretty lousy night.

At one stage I was talking to the guys on the door when we noticed a girl at the front of the crush in some distress so a couple of the bouncers pushed the door open enough for me to get out, grab the girl, push her in through the slightly open door and then close the door after her without too many others getting in. The operation was completed quickly and efficiently with only one problem - I was outside and wanted to be inside!

As the majority of people in the crush had no idea of what had gone on I found it fairly easy to make my way through, and over, the crush, walked round to one of the fire exits and beat on the door until somebody let me in! Glad nobody else seemed to think of that otherwise the night would have been even worse for the owners.

Another memorable night had Edgar Broughton playing. Eventually they got around to "Out Demons Out" and eventually almost everybody in that night, the hippies, the freaks, the bikers and everybody else, was facing into the back corner of the bar, where the police, in their suits and shiny black boots, used to sit, chanting "out demons out" and stabbing the air with their fingers. Fair does to the police, they made an almost dignified exit and didn't return for the rest of the night.

John Holden - 1/6/13

They also had the St Louis Union at Central when I was there ('65 - '70). I saw the Wild Turkey gig  and found the sloping floor, due to it having been a cinema, very off-putting.

Pete Olsen

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