Sunday, 2 October 2016

Lost and forgotten streets of Manchester ........... nu 54 Harter Street and the Conti

Now a little bit of my youth and for that matter my middle age has gone forever.

To be more accurate it went in 2001 when the Conti closed for good.

Some will insist on calling it the New Conti which indeed it was because the old Conti on Oxford Road had closed in the mid1960s and its owners shifted location to Harter Street where it remained offering late night booze questionable food and an many memorable nights.

Strictly speaking of course the Conti was the Continental Club.  It was much favoured by doctors and nurses, and while we never crossed paths both my old friend Sally who was indeed a nurse and I remember it very fondly.

It was a place you either took to or loathed.  Another friend once described it as “a bus shelter with booze” which was a tad unfair and missed the point that this was one of those happy places where you went after the pub, usually in groups but sometimes on your own looking for a friend.

And it was a place where all things were possible including the night fifteen rugby players from Liverpool stripped naked and conga danced out of the club and into the night.

I stopped going in the 1980s and never went back although sometimes when waiting for a bus on Princess Street I did have a mind to cross the road and go and visit the place.

But night clubs do not look their best in the glare of the midday sun and so I never did.

And now the site is to become 22 one and two bed roomed flats. Planning was approved in 2015 and when I walked past in April of this year work was well under way and I note that there are plenty of references to the new development on the net.*

All of which begs the question of whether the developers will put up a plaque commemorating many happy and more than a little drunken nights in memory of the New Conti, 1967-2001.

I hope so.

I did search for images of the club but found none that did justice, but then at 2 in the morning I doubt that any of us were fit to compose a picture.

Location; Manchester

Picture; Harter Street from Bloom Street to Major Street, H Milligan, 1973, m00387,and  m 22266 courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council,

*2 Harter Street, 105885/FO/2014/C2, Manchester City Council Planning portal

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