Bury Palais (Bolton Street, Bury)
Probably my favourite place in the mid-sixties! Situated next to the railway station, the Palais was perfectly located for Mancunians like me without a car. A quick trip on the train from Victoria - plus the bonus of sitting in the luggage rack if no-one else was in the carriage!
Outside the club, the scooter boys displayed their Lambrettas - probably too scared to leave them.
Inside was a dream - three or more bands, Dave Lee Travis as dj, great atmosphere. I can remember the Yardbirds, Paul and Barry Ryan and the excitement of Rev Black and the Rocking Vicars at the Palais.
"Our roadies somehow managed to be involved with the closing down of the Palais and grabbed a couple of things they thought might be useful. The next gig we were at Hill Stores, Oldham, a fairly large hall but our roadies were well prepared. They had acquired these huge, bloody huge horns - they must have been 3 foot across - and they were perched on top of each PA column.
Remember that this was in the days of the Marshall 4x12 PA cab, no mixers, no foldback - so it was somewhat unusual. We either looked incredibly impressive or bloody awful - not sure which.
They only lasted the one night!"
Paul Mlynarz - Phoenix City Smash
What about "Frankenstein's Monsters", The Small Faces, Nev the Rocker? Surely everyone remembers how the Rockers stood on one side and the Mods on the other? Then the dancing began and the glares stopped. No trouble, just music.
Vanessa Major - 21/8/09
I don't know about mods one side and rockers the other, Vanessa - but my memory is of boys one side and girls the other (at least at the start of the evening!). Whenever there was a fight, the lights used to be switched on and off to alert the bouncers. I saw all the major Manchester and Liverpool beat bands there (except the Beatles, who never played there).
Apart from the amazing Saturday nights, we used to go along from school for the Friday lunchtime sessions - for a hot pie! Very fond memories, and of the Princes Ballroom almost opposite, for their Saturday afternoon DJ sessions.
Fred Pipes - 11/11/09
The Vincents played the Palais on a number of occasions supporting some of the headline acts of the day. Most notably supporting the 'Walker Brothers' during their 1965 UK tour - Saturday 14th August 1965!
The Dave Lee Travis Saturday nights at the Bury Palais were amazing events -- always packed houses and great, appreciative audiences.
Great days, great memories.
Peter Royle - 10/3/10
I was a frequent visitor to Bury Palais and the "Prinny" in the middle to late 60s. In the Palais we used to walk around the dance floor anti clockwise. There were plenty of fights and the girls were worse than the fellas lol Big Joe Howarth was a popular bouncer and the smell of cherry b sick is still in my nose!!!!
Oh happy daze
Joan Carol Kiernan - 14/7/10
The Palais and the mods and rockers, happy days.
Always riled us that mods got in dressed however they liked but we had to take our leather jackets off. the mods on one side with their backcombed hair (all Steve Marriot wannabies) and rockers on the other side looking like they'd been dragged thru kay gardens but being well entertained by Phil Brown doing The Bop.
Great place, great times.
Terry Coulson - 3/11/10
My dad used to sing with the Jack Cannon Band - his stage name was Paul Denny. His real name was George Crook. Many years ago but wondering if anyone remembers him.
Marc Shaw (was Crook) - 29/1/11
Does anyone remember the DJ in the 70's "Nutty Neil" was also the DJ at the former Ramsbottom Youth Club, when all the Motor bikers from Bolton used to attend!! Brilliant nights to remember.
Irene Haslam - 28/2/12
I have been prompted to write on memories of Bury Palais, met Jack Cannons Grandaughter yesterday,1st Time in over 52 years, and all the memories came tumbling back.
Fabulous place,worked there from 1957/1962 loved every minute,The curlers in the hair on Saturday afternoons queuing for tickets.The excitement of who you would meet,disapointment if you didn't,Berts tap on shoulder if jiving to a quickstep.
And the sound of the band, nothing like it.
Anne Carroll (Heyes) - 14/11/12
- 7/8/65 - The Four Pennies, The Vincents
- 9/8/65 - The Citrons
- 11/8/65 - The Weys
- 14/8/65 - Walker Brothers, The Vincents
- 9/4/66 - The Kinks
- 14/5/66 - The Who
- 25/6/66 - The Yardbirds
- 6/8/66 - The Merseys
- 17/12/1966 - The Rockin' Vickers
- 13/5/67 - The Small Faces
- 27/5/67 - The Tremeloes
Bury Palais in the Fifties
The Palais-de-dance, known as the ‘Palais’, was Bury’s best Dance Hall, and was the place were most young Men and young Ladies went between the ages of 14 through to the time when they got married, it was the place were many courtships began, and was probably to blame !!!! for most Marriages during the 50’s and 60’s.
Tuesday and Saturday nights were very well supported, with Dancers coming from Manchester, Bolton, Rawtenstall, and sometimes the ‘ Dance Hall Full’ sign would go up, and, as I am writing this, I still can’t believe how people managed to get to, and go home from the Palais, with very minimal transport, as described below
The Dance Hall was opened every night other than Sunday, not to sure what was on Monday’s and Thursday’s, but Tuesday & Saturday were the most popular nights and were classed as Modern Dance Night’s, with Foxtrot, Quickstep, Waltz and Jive, being the main Dances.
Wednesday was and would be for age groups 15 to 17yrs. with the same format as Tuesday & Saturday.
Doors opened at 8.00pm: last Dance was at 11.00pm or 11.30pm .
Friday was a private booking night and was for local companies to have their works party night, this was the only night that Alcohol was served on the premises, via a private bar.
Doors opened at 8.00pm: last Dance was at 1.00am.
On all nights there would be no entrance allowed after 10.00pm
Two very well known Bands, Bill Hawkins and Jack Cannon presented music over the years; these would normally be a 10/12-piece Dance Orchestra, with supporting Singers.
In those days, the Men would arrive around 10.00pm, and the highlight of the evening would be a Ladies Choice Waltz at around 10.25pm, this meant the Ladies could approach the Man she liked for a Dance. I was never to sure who was the fortunate one here, the Lady choosing her preferred partner, or the lucky Male who had been chosen!!!!!!.
Some points to note about this era:-
- There was no Alcohol allowed in the Dance Hall.
- Probably only 5% of the People had Cars,
- The last local Bus Service was before 11.30pm., but there was a one hourly, all night service to Manchester.
- Nobody ever thought about getting Taxis,
- If you found a new Romance you would have to decide if you wanted to rush and get the last bus and make a date for later, or walk her home no matter how far, sometimes walking up to 6-7 miles before getting home.
- Nobody had Mobiles or any kind of Portable phone.
I am not to sure when it first opened but I started visiting the Dance Hall when I was about 15 years old (1953) until possibly around 1961. It was around this time that the Big Band Sound Era diminished, and the Palais was taken over by new personnel, who brought in the Groups to start a new Music Era.
Many groups appeared through this time namely, Hermans Hermits, Walker Brothers, The Clash, The Who, The Kinks, The Yardbirds, and many more who became famous.
Pete Dillon - 1/4/11
In the 60`s my brother-in-law Michael Russell (known as MAD MICK) along with my ex-husband John Walker, Neil Brockbank, Mick Dollan and Christine Gilbertson where Bouncers at the Palais, Christine was one of the first lady bouncers in Bury.
I remember one Friday night being asked to help her as two women where fighting in the toilets got in to find to girls with knifes, very scary, but we managed to sort it.
Joan Scull was Walker maiden name Howarth - 9/12/11
ROMANCE AT THE PALAIS
- Peter Dillon -
IN THE 50’S & 60’S, THE PLACE TO BE
WAS BURY’S BEST DANCE HALL, CALLED THE PALAIS
ON SATURDAY NIGHTS, YOU’D GO THERE FOR A DANCE
HOPING TO FIND A NEW ROMANCE.
ALL THE GIRLS WOULD ARRIVE, WITH THEIR HAIR ROLLERS IN,
CARRYING A BAG, WITH HAIRBRUSH, AND MAKE UP WITHIN.
THEN TO THE CLOAKROOM, THEY WOULD ALL RUN,
TO BRUSH OUT THEIR HAIR, AND A NEW FACE PUT ON.
THE BOYS WOULD ARRIVE JUST AFTER TEN,
FOR THAT WAS THE LATEST, THEY WERE ALLOWED IN.
THEN, EVERYONE WOULD GATHER, AROUND THE EDGE OF THE FLOOR
HOPING THE NEXT DANCE WOULD BE ROMANTIC AND SLOW.
THE PROCEDURE WOULD BE, FOR THE BOYS TO REQUEST,
“MAY I HAVE THIS DANCE”, TO THE OPPOSITE SEX,
IF THE GIRL ANSWERED ‘YES’, AND HIS CHARM SHE APPROVED
TO THE MIDDLE OF THE DANCE FLOOR, THEY’D SLOWLY MOVE
HANDS WOULD THEN WANDER, AND THEY’D STEAL A KISS
BUT THE DANCE HALL’S BOUNCER DISSAPROVED OF THIS,
A TAP ON THE SHOULDER, AND THESE WORDS THEY WOULD FEAR,
“PLEASE LEAVE THE DANCE FLOOR, THAT’S NOT ALLOWED HERE”.
IF THE ATTRACTION STILL THERE, TOGETHER THEY’D STAY,
AND DANCE THE REST OF THE NIGHT AWAY
“ I’LL WALK YOU HOME ”, HE WOULD THEN SAY
HOPING SHE DID’NT LIVE, VERY FAR AWAY
NO THOUGHTS OF TAXIS, BUSES OR CARS
HE’D STILL WALK HER HOME, NO MATTER HOW FAR.
. FOR A KISS AND A CUDDLE, OR MAYBE MORE!!!
A QUITE PLACE OR DARK ALLEY, IS THEY WOULD GO.
AT HER FRONT DOOR THEY’D SAY GOODNIGHT
NO INVITATION THOSE DAYS TO GO INSIDE!!
IF FEELINGS WERE MUTUAL, THEY’D THEN MAKE A DATE
AND GO FOR A NIGHT OUT, SOME OTHER DAY,
THAT WAS THE WAY MOST ROMANCES BEGAN,
WHEN YOU WENT ON A SATURDAY, TO THE