Quaf­fers, the ace of clubs, re­mem­bered

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By ZARA WHE­LAN

IT’S been more than 20 years since the iconic Stock­port va­ri­ety club Quaf­fers closed its doors for the fi­nal time.

The 2,600-ca­pac­ity venue hosted a num­ber of fa­mous acts and pop­u­lar club nights for over two decades from its Bred­bury site.

The Holling­worth Road club was even a hot favourite with celebri­ties and sports stars such as Ge­orge Best.

Owned by multi-mil­lion­aire hote­lier Dougie Flood, the venue - with its raised dance floor and live en­ter­tain­ment - be­came a firm favourite among Stock­port’s smart set in the 70s and 80s, along with the Firkin Inn next door.

But as fash­ions changed and va­ri­ety en­ter­tain­ment dwin­dled in pop­u­lar­ity, the fi­nal cur­tain came down on the club in De­cem­ber 1998.

Quaf­fers played host to string of top en­ter­tain­ment acts back in the day - the likes of Shirley Bassey, Tommy Cooper, the Drifters and Suzi Qu­a­tro all per­formed on the fa­mous stage.

In its later years, the club hosted a per­for­mance from a new­ly­formed boy band - Take That . Quaf­fers was famed for the ris­ing stage in the mid­dle of the dance­floor - a sight im­printed in the mem­ory of those who wit­nessed it. The im­pres­sive hy­draulic stage would lift many fa­mous guests up­wards over the years, usu­ally to the sound of the Thun­der­birds theme tune.

Quaf­fers was renowned for its reg­i­mented rules on at­tire. Fol­low­ing on from its days as a cabaret club, pun­ters were re­quired to dress smartly to gain en­try - with those fall­ing foul of the reg­u­la­tions be­ing turned away.

For­mer Quaf­fers reg­u­lar Ali­son Bow­den

The rules, which in­cluded no white socks, no pierc­ings or vis­i­ble tat­toos on males and no shaven heads, made head­lines af­ter en­try was re­fused to a man on his works Christ­mas party be­cause his hairstyle was deemed ‘un­suit­able.’

The door pol­icy is some­thing that is well-re­mem­bered by for­mer guests.

An­gela Red­man said: “1970s I think. My hippy hus­band and I were given a cou­ple of tick­ets. The door­man said, ‘Sir and madam can’t come in dressed like that!’ We found it hys­ter­i­cally funny!”

Ali­son Bow­den said: “My hubby got turned away be­cause he was wear­ing white socks.

“He went back to his par­ents’ house in Romi­ley and bor­rowed his dad’s coloured ones and went back and got in.”

Adult-themed en­ter­tain­ment was also on the pro­gramme, which in­cluded a wet t-shirt con­test on a Wed­nes­day night.

And Ber­nadette Cress­well re­mem­bered: “Went ev­ery Wed­nes­day and Fri­day with free tick­ets and my friend and I danced all night and drank wa­ter when we had no money but best-ever club.”

One of the in­fa­mous Mr Boxer Shorts events

The plush in­te­rior

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