Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

The Dreamers, the Stones, Mini-Skirts and Football Glory

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

The Dreamers, the Stones, Mini-Skirts and Football Glory

Article excerpt

ELL, where do you start? WThat was the question facing author Clive Hardy when he sat down to write his new book Around Manchester in the 1960s.

So much happened in one of the most dynamic decades in the economic, political and social history of the UK in particular and the world in general - and Manchester was in the forefront of it all!

The city was a magnet for music and fashion, while its textiles industry pioneered the new materials that made the decade a beacon for innovation, manufacture and design.

George Best's boutiques, miniskirts and Manchester talent - including Herman's Hermits, Freddie and the Dreamers and the Hollies - made all the headlines.

In the world of work, Manchester and the north west remained one of the country's leading industrial, commercial and economic hubs.

Trafford Park alone accounted for 50,000 jobs, while textiles and nationalised industries such as the NCB, British Rail and the NHS provided thousands more. On top of this, Manchester was still a major port.

The city was changed forever through slum clearance and the building of new high-rise blocks. Transport was transformed with new roads and rail stations and a bigger, brighter airport. The Spanish package holiday had arrived.

There was spectacular success on the football field too as United won the European Cup and City the FA Cup among many other sporting honours. Rugby League, cricket, athletics and boxing at Belle Vue also feature strongly in the new book.

Back on the music scene, Manchester had it all - classical, big band, jazz, rock or pop, rhythm and blues. The city was home to the likes of the Twisted Wheel - without doubt the best venue in the entire north west for Blues. For a few bob, fans could see John Mayall Bluesbreakers, Georgie Fame and the Blueflames, the Mojos, the Spencer Davis Group and Zoot Money's Big Roll Band.

Just for good measure, Manchester could also boast Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, the St Louis Union and the Dakotas who teamed up with Billy J Kramer. …

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