Beat City/Three Coins, Fountain St, Manchester 

 

The Beat City at 64 Fountain Street off Market Street, Manchester 2 opened on Friday, August 28, 1964 with Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, The Traders and D. J. Jimmy Savile.
 
The Beat City started out as The Three Coins which opened on Tuesday, November 29, 1960 with Eduardo Martinez and his Steel Band. The venue was a coffee bar cellar club, with the stage at the far end. The club was run by the Kennedy Street Enterprises and was part-owned by D.J. Jimmy Savile (b. James Wilson Vincent Savile, Sunday, October 31, 1926, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England d. Saturday, October 29, 2011, Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England).
 
In 1964 The Three Coins had been taken over by new owner Barrie Collens in partnership with Jimmy Savile and renamed The Beat City. Collens also owned The Top Twenty Club, Tollbar House, Ashton New Road, Droylsden, Lancashire now Manchester 41, Greater Manchester which opened on Friday, March 6, 1964 with Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders. Collens was also manager of The Factotums.
 
The Beat City was not successful and became derelict and about two years later in Late 1966 Roger Earle (b. Thursday, July 15, 1942, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England d. Tuesday, May 4, 1999, Llanfairfechan, Clwyd, North Wales of cancer) a famous D. J. at The Twisted Wheel at 30 Brazennose Street off Albert Square, Manchester 2 took over The Beat City and re-opened it as a Soul Club called The Soul Staxx, but it did not last long as again it flopped.
 
John H. Warburg 3 July 2022
 
I first met Jimmy Savile there when I played with the band Dave Eager and the Beavers. It was through that meeting that I became a disc-jockey.

Jimmy owned the club in partnership with Barry Collins. Jimmy used to bring all his "pals" down there late on Saturday night...he turned up one night with The Stones.........."

Dave Eager

What a great gig the Three Coins was, we used to play there a lot with the Fourtones. It always had a good atmosphere (and was always full), also a good pub (the Crown) across the street where you could cool off after doing your set.

John (Butch) Mepham

I remember a couple of DJs at the Three Coins, can any one remember "Penny " and later Graham McMagonigal Lacy ( hope I've spelt it correctly ) they were from about 1962 or 3.

John (Butch) Mepham

Penny is my elder sister and I have memories of my father pacing the floor when Jimmy Saville dropped her off at home in the early hours. In the course of my own career in music, I later had the pleasure of meeting Jimmy Saville and learning the art of smoking cuban cigars from him. A great, great guy !

Another good thing about the Three Coins was that they presented some great jazz players including Don Rendell and the great Manchester trumpet player Bert Courtley (who died at the young age of 35) and George Melley of course. The 'All Night Jazz' featured on a Saturday night. Wonderful Days !! In the 60s I played with a few of the local Manchester Soul Bands including the A-side (Ugli Ray Teret recorded us) and The Dreamweavers. Does anyone remember these groups - or play with them ?

I carried on in music to end up conducting and arranging music for the BBC and German Radio Orchestras - a far cry from those early days in the Manchester clubs. Anyone who remembers me (the skinny good looking trumpet player ..ha ha) can email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Greg Francis

I didn't attend any live gigs at the Three Coins but I remember seeing Jimmy Savile's "Roller" being parked outside when I nipped over to The Crown for a swift couple using the pass-out facility. If memory serves me correctly The Crown was a "Gentleman's" pub (not a gay bar) and you could only buy beer in half pint measures. Can anyone confirm this?

Tony Dixon

I frequented the Three Coins from 1962 to around 1967. It was orginally opened by either Kennedy Street Enterprises or some of the owners and intended as a showcase for groups managed by them. Regular live acts included Freddie and the Dreamers and I recall one night, Freddie in his running from side to side of the stage kicking a fire extinguisher off the wall and causing mayhem with the live equipment on stage.

I recall seeing Screaming Lord Sutch, Lulu, Hermans Hermits and countless other live performers many of whom we later enjoyed drinking with in the Crown over the road. Just how big/small it was I can't recollect, I know you went down a narrow stairway to the stable door pay booth come cloakroom sometimes manned by DJ Jimmy Savi££e as he signed his autograph. An arched roof led through to a small stage.

On the right were some light boxes with the weeks top ten listed on them pretty much like a chinese chip shop menue and a few coloured underfloor lights were scattered around.

A coffee bar was on the left side and with limited seating early arrival was a must. Midnight on Saturday or was it 11 saw the premises emtied and from the twisting to popular music the atmosphere changed to Blues for the legendary all nighters with the heavy pall of smoke hanging in the air.

I seem to reccollect the Beatles appeared there on one occassion but I could be confusing that with a similar club I frequented in Southport around that time.

Irvin Mehlman - 18/2/09

I frequented the club also during the sixties period. Most of the groups appearing for the first time had demo discs out and used to throw them into the audience in which I got quite a few, if I still had them now they would be worth quite a bit to collectors.

Thomas Lomas - 20/4/10

I used to fill in at the Three Coins as a DJ and I remember Penny very well. I dated Ron Clarey for a while, the drummer in the Big Three ( Deke Rivers and the Big Three).

I loved that place, I was down there all the time. I left Manchester when I graduated from College in 1965, those were great times.

Jennifer Call - 26/2/11

Hi Jennifer - Nice to know you remember me and like you I just loved the place. I went to a reunion in 2006 and had a great time although I only met a couple of people from the Three Coins. I actually met up with John (Butch) Mepham through this site after 44 years! You'll probably remember Butch from the 'Fourtones'.

I also loved the all night jazz sessions on a Saturday with the fabulous George Melly.

Penny - 1/4/11

Not to mention an unforgettable night with Cleo Laine and Johnny (as we called him then) Dankworth. Happy days indeed.

Sue - 6/9/11

Hi Penny - I don't know if you remember but you spent the night at my house in Derby road, Fallowfield one night. Don't remember the circumstances but I thought you were so sophisticated.

I attended Sharston Secondary School back then. My name was Jennifer Conroy. My friend was Amanda Statham and she came to visit me here in the USA in 2010 and she got a brain hemorage and died this year. She was only 64. She had been my friend since I was 11. We kept in contact all those years. We had some great times.

Jennifer Call - 23/10/11

I have happy memories of visiting Beat City on Saturday nights.A bunch of us used to go to the Co-op hall on Market St Droylsden which was of course owned by Barry Collins and the late Sir Jimmy Savile.

One of the regular groups appearing were the Factotums who I think were managed by Barry they certainly played at Beat City a few times when either Ray Teret or Dave Eager were the DJs.

Another great group who used to play at Beat City were Black Cat Bones a R&B Group. The all nighters at Beat City were fantastic to a point you never knew from one minute to another who would drop in .I recall one night Keith Richards visiting the club after he had been to see The Pretty Things who had been appearing at The Manchester Cavern.
Such great memories.

Peter Chisnall - 29/5/12

Remember seeing Peter & Gordon in 1964 - Peter - Jane Asher's brother.They had just had a No 1 hit with World without love.

Peter Fone - 26/7/13

Jean Branny was a DJ at the Three Coins in the 60s. She had a big blonde beehive almost as big as her. She had a boy friend in a band,he was Deke Rivers & the big sound I met her a couple of times in the 70s. But I did hear she died about 10 years ago. It would be nice if someone remembered her.

Linda Gorton - 24/12/13 

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