biography_square button_minus button_plus close_artbutton exhibitionarrow_left exhibitionarrow_right follow_button home_sq-artefacetsViewArtefacts home_sq-exhibitionViewExhibitions home_sq-sqaureSupportUs home_sq-uploadUploadArtefact artist dj keyword_3 industry keyword_member magglass newburger onthisday_button profileicon randomiser_button reload_button soundcloud twitter uploadbutton zoom_in
In the last 30 days the archive has grown by 46 new artefacts, 16 new members, 22 new people and places.


Added 23rd August 2017 by Abigail

Featured in the following Online Exhibitions:
Queer Noise


Cafe Royal, Peter Street

A slightly upmarket hang-out for gay men in the 1950s was the Café Royal.

Situated on Peter Street just beyond the Midland Hotel (which also contained a gay friendly bar called the Concord.) Now a Subway – on the opposite side to Pizza Express.

Musically, like most gay-friendly spaces at this time The Royal centred around live piano.

Coronation Street creator Tony Warren described Cafe Royal thus:

‘Cigarette smoke and chatter and music were drifting up to meet them. It was a long narrow room with curving thirties counter undulating right down the left-hand side. The pianist was tucked away in the corner; he had several glasses of gin, each one accompanied by a little bottle of tonic, lined up on top of the grand piano. Behind the pianist, opposite the counter, was a wall full of alcoves. The alcoves were full of fairly posh-looking couples – men and women. Could he be in the right place? Another quick glance round the whole cocktail bar and he had the ground rules straight. They were a bit like life itself: queer people were standing warily on their feet while normal ones were sitting down.’

Courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information & Archives. Image taken from the Manchester Local Images Collection. You can make an appointment to see the collections held at Central Library by emailing:

Latest Discussion

If you'd like to leave a comment, please Login