Mike Connolly lead the Manchester Tiffanys management chase into Tommy Ducks to catch a handbag thief……..

Jean Charnock sent us this the following story about her days at Manchester Ritz and the occasion when Mike Connolly lead the Manchester Tiffanys management chase into Tommy Ducks to catch a handbag thief.

Hi – I  started working at the Ritz Ballroom in the seventies as assistant chief cashier to Jean Dawe who was Chief Cashier, then transferred to Tiffanys as Chief Cashier.Mike Connolly was Manager while I was there and I would like to know how he’s doing these days.

Judy Gee was also Manager for a spell,I could tell a few tales but better not – and yes – she was was hard work.

I remember an old cleaner called Winnie Harrison who had been at Tiffany’s during the Jimmy Saville days and he used to take them round the block in his fancy car.

One day after leaving work and heading up George St my bag was snatched with the safe keys in. I ran back into Tiffany’s, Mike and DJ Steve Jones came running out half undressed as they had been getting ready for the evening.

We all ran in the direction of Tommy Ducks as that was where the young hooligan had ran. A police car came and my bag was recovered intact.

A long way back now.

Great memories Jean – many thanks for sharing


John Ellis – I Worked as Joint Assistant Manager at the Ritz Between 1969 – 1973 ish.

Hello, Just found your site, what a great idea.

I worked as joint assistant manager at the Ritz between 1969 – 1973 ish. When I first started the manager was a guy called Alan Coulson and the catering manager was Judith Gee (Fantastic at her job but hard work) and the second time the manager was Brian Thompson, who I think came from Nottingham previously. The catering manager was Tony Fitton. I came originally from Blackpool Locarno, where I was a trainee manager under Bill Hunt we were great mates and I am so sorry to read he has passed on. The manager at the time cica. 1969 was an Irishman called Morgan Hosey.

My other places within Mecca were Manger at the Nocturne club under Bolton Palais and Samantha’s club above the Plaza in Stockport.

I recognise other names on this page: Bernard from the Ritz, what a great guy he was one of the few people I have met that could stack 36 gallon kegs on his own. Bernard would eat 2 meat and potato pies coverd in brown sauce between a full loaf for his lunch. Martin Baird mentioned Pete  Devereux, I used to rent his house off him in Ashton on Mersey in Sale. Anyone know what happened to him? Loads of stuff to share at a later date. This has brought back some great memories. Cheers

Fired because they found out I was under age.

I worked at Romanoffs from when it first opened which I think was about late 1976 to 1977.   I was an office worker by day and worked there at the weekend, saving for a car.    I remember the band as I think there was a guy in the band of Polish descent.    The lead singer lived if I am not mistaken out Glossop way?   During my time I worked on every bar there, and I remember one evening the management decided to do a Buy One Get One Free it was absolute chaos the bar I was working on with a lot of others was about 6 deep, trying all sorts of tricks.   Lots of very drunk people that night.  There was a strict rule that if the bar taking were down staff had to put in, I got stung once working with a girl who disappeared never to return after dipping into the till.

I also worked at Kloisters which was further down Oxford Road.   It was owned by Bill Kerfoot and managed at one point by Vince Miller.  Vince had been at the Poco Poco in Stockport before that I think.  Kloisters had a lot of characters.  There was a guy who worked in the kitchen and he used to make me a Peach and Cheese salad –  it was delicious.   I was sometimes put on the bar upstairs and I met many people who would come a chat to me.   One of the guys who worked there was a bit of a geek (forgive me if you`re reading this!) but he was at Manchester University and he worked there like me to supplement his income.  I remember one weekend being sent to the Piccadilly Club to work which was a bit of an eye opener and wasn’t too keen on that place.   Got ceremoniously fired by Vince  just after Christmas because I didn’t turn up on Xmas Eve.

Did a stint at Rowntrees Spring Gardens.  It was owned by a Greek, think his name was Costas, he had a huge nose.   The DJ from there frequents the Royal Oak in Didsburys now so he tells me.   The chief Barmaid was a older blonde woman with a Beehive Hairdo, who was always watching us.   The drink of the day then was Vodka and Lime and Brandy and Babycham.   My sister Nicola met her future husband Steve there.

Fired because they found out I was under age.

Mecca Dance Halls and Managers from Summer 1961

We thought you would like to see a list of the Mecca Dance Halls and Managers from Summer 1961.

Clearly there are many town and cities not mentioned – such as Bristol, Birmingham, Glasgow, and many many others, but perhaps there is a clue in the number of planned openings highlighted in the list below.

Basildon Locarno – Town Centre – Manager     M Green

Belfast Plaza – Chichester Street – Manager    D R Clark  – Phone Belfast 25294

Blackburn Locarno – St Peter Street – Manager B Gee – Phone Blakewater 85538

Bolton Palais – Bridge Street – Manager W. McLeish – Phone Bolton 1451

Bradford Locarno – Manningham Lane – Manager Alan Boyce     (Opening 9th September 1961)

Burnley Locarno  – Manchester Road – Manager  C Isherwood   (Formerly the Mechanic`s Institute)

Bury   Prince`s Ballroom – Bolton Street – Manager L Byron – Phone Bury 1705

Coventry Locarno – Smithford Way – Manager R Bloxham – Phone Coventry 24570

Derby Locarno – Babington Lane – Manager A Ferris – Phone Derby 41441

Edinburgh Palais – Fountainbridge – Manager G Knowles – Phone Fountainbridge 7427

Hull Locarno – Ferensway – Manager J Munro       ( Opening 16th September 1961)

Ilford Palais – High Road – Manager B Foster – Phone Ilford 3128

Leeds Locarno – County Arcade – Manager J Savile – Phone Leeds 31046/7

Leicester Palais – Humberstone Gate – Manager G Pickavant – Phone 69967

Liverpool Grafton Rooms – West Derby Road – Manager T Reid – Phone Anfield 3928

London Lyceum – Wellington Street, The Strand – Manager D Preedy – Phone Temple Bar 3715

London Carlton Rooms – 140 Maida Vale, W 9 – Manager J H Richardson – Phone Maida Vale 5289

London Empire Rooms – Tottenham Court Road – Manager C Self – Phone Euston 4173

Manchester Plaza – Oxford Road – Manager P Wild – Phone Central 7441

Newcastle upon Tyne  The Mayfair – (Planned for opening during October 1961)

Norwich  Sampson and Hercules Ballroom – Tombland – Manager R V Shackell – Phone Norwich 21541

Norwich Norwood Rooms – Aylsham Road – Manager G Barbour – Phone Norwich 46751

Nottingham Sherwood Rooms – Greyfriar Gate – Manager N F Kemp – Phone Nottingham 50555

Nottingham Locarno – St Anns Well Road – Manager G Lloyd – Phone Nottingham 44354

Rochdale Carlton – Great George Street –  – Manager E Mills – Phone Rochdale 3347

Sale Locarno – Washway Road – Manager J Goodings – Phone Sale 1508

Sale Embassy Rooms – Washway Road – Manager H Burnett – Phone Sale 7522

Sheffield Locarno – London Road – Manager M S Proctor – Phone Sheffield 22586

Stevenage Locarno – Manager B A Elmer-Smith   (Opening September/October 1961)

Wakefield Locarno – Southgate – Manager R Keith – Phone Wakefield 6515/6

The night Mike Connolly had to tell Miss World her boyfriend had been shot

Great story about the night Mike Connolly had to tell Miss World her boyfriend had been shot –

It happened on the 3rd of December 1976.

We had the reigning Miss World Cindy Breakspeare (Miss Jamaica)appearing at Tiffany’s Manchester.

During the evening I received a phone call and was asked to get her to the phone.

The phone call was to tell her that he boy friend had been shot in Jamaica, but he survived it.

The name of her boyfriend?


None other than the great Bob Marley!






© 2018 LocarnoBoy

Theme by Anders NorénUp ↑