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The Thatched House

Sent in by Roy: I am 71 years young, born 1939 and frequently visited The Thatched House jazz club, most weekends, especially during 1959/60/61. My wife Ann and I travelled by bus from Peel Green or Weaste each Saturday night, arriving in Manchester for a night on the town. The Thatched House was just off Market Street. The premises backed onto the shops on Market Street near Cross Street and Corporation Street, facing The Royal Exchange. The pub entrance was in a rear side street, possibly Strutt Street (?). It had two entrances. We used the side entrance, up the stairs, off a small narrow cobbled street which opened up between the shops onto Market Street. The Thatched House was a Boddington's pub and a Saturday night traditional jazz club. The club was held in the first floor room, over the pub down stairs. The room possibly held about 30/40 people max. Access to the club was by membership only. The venue was the home for the resident traditional jazz band, - The Jazz Aces - a 5/6 piece traditional jazz band. The band leader, on trumpet, was Dizzy Burton (or Desmond), to give him his correct name. Dizzy lived with his mother and father above his father's camera and photography shop at Prestwich. The band was fronted with a trumpet, clarinet and trombone, backed by drums and double bass. Whilst Dizzy acted as the band leader on trumpet and vocals, he was always supported by his good friend, Ken Parkinson (Parky) on trombone - a fellow Eccles lad who then lived on Ellesmere Park. Occasionally guest visiting artists sat in and supplemented the entertainment. The room was not large , long, rectangular, always packed full. Smokey, hot, and the source of fine traditional jazz being played for about three hours. Around the corner was the Bodega on Cross Street, which attracted many notable figures from the jazz field. Many evenings we were honoured by these big names who walked round and came into The Thatched House on the interval breaks. Many a night we sat having a drink, talking and listening to the guest artists informally playing and joining in with the band. George Melly, Beryl Brydan, Chris Barber and Humphrey Lyttleton to name but a few.