Hi-Fi Coffee Lounge 


My first introduction into the Manchester scene was aged 16 going to a coffee bar called the Hi Fi in what is now the Gay Village.

It was small downstairs place run by a greek guy called George (wasn't they all) and they sold frothy coffee.

Later I was a regular at the Twisted Wheel. The one gig stuck in my mind was Long John Baldry.

I also remember the lunch time sessions in The Plaza where I saw Hermans Hermits and many others.

I was working at the time at Thomas Armstrong Opticians on Deansgate and had 45 minutes for lunch, used to run down Deansgate to Princes Street, queue at the Plaza, get a packet of crisps and a coke for my dinner, have a dance and get back to work on time.

Heaven and Hell - wow that was rough and I was under age I was always frightened it would be raided and I would be taken home to my mother in shame! 

l also went to most of the other venues the Bodega, etc.

My friend and I met Dave Dee, Dozy and the rest of them, she had a good time with them (you know what I mean). I was a good girl and did not participate.

I am desparately trying to remember all the other places and people but the lights are dimming if you know what I mean.

My main claim to fame is dancing with Tom Jones when I used to work in a gambling club - 1968ish. I used to go to a late night club after work, Tom Jones had just achieved his first number one and he put his own record on the Juke box and started dancing with me and my friend.

Interestingly I didn't really know who he was but he made certain to tell me.

Also I was chatted up by Alan Clarke of The Hollies who was in the cafe my Aunt worked in, on Mount Street. 

I had called in to cadge money from her for my dinner and he was stood at the bar. He started to talk to me and I completely clamped up and treated him as though he was beneath me. The truth was I was absolutely crazy about him and had his picture on my bedroom wall, et. There he was trying to talk to me! I regret that day for the rest of my life! There's lots more but cannot bring most of it to mind just now.

Carol Lyle

The Hi-Fi Dance Club was at 28 Richmond Street off Sacksville Street, Manchester 1. The Hi-Fi was a coffee dance club near to Chorlton Street Bus Station.
Kirk Daniel and the Deltas played here on Friday nights in 1962.

John Warburg
14 April 2020 


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