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Twisted Wheel To Be Demolished For Hotel

Paul Berentzen on how a plaque will replace the Northern Soul club that gave a whole subculture its name

Published on February 6th 2012.

Twisted Wheel To Be Demolished For Hotel

THE TWISTED WHEEL, the home of Northern Soul and a rocking slice of Manchester history, could soon be demolished to make way for a 330-room budget hotel. 

The club has gone from strength to strength. We can get 700 people in here on a Sunday afternoon." 

London-based developers The Olympian Group has purchased the plot and have agreed a leasing deal with German hotel chain Motel One. 

The Twisted Wheel site, which is now Legends club, was at the heart of the city’s soul scene in the 1960s and still hosts Northern Soul nights. But now it looks set to be replaced by yet another hotel, despite plans for similar developments at the nearby London Road Fire Station and Gateway House. 

Pete RobertsPete RobertsPromoter Pete Roberts worked hard to bring Northern Soul back to Whitworth Street after The Twisted Wheel was forced to close in 1971. He would hate to see it knocked down. 

“No one will shed more tears than me if it closes,” he said. “It will be a very very sad day if it gets knocked down.” 

“The real tragedy,” he says, “is that by knocking down the club the city is effectively erasing an important part of its history. What annoys me is Manchester so often has fails to recognise and celebrate what it has got. The things that are already there.” 

He compared – as Confidential did last week with the Corrie set (click here) - the situation to Liverpool’s famous Cavern Club, which was considered so culturally important that it was rebuilt after being demolished in 1973. It would be nice, he added, if the Whitworth Street club didn’t have to be knocked down for people to realise its significance.

He said: “So many great names have played here. We were bringing black American artists to the The Twisted Wheel when they weren’t welcome in their own country and we treated them like gods. But no one gives a shit about that.” 

When the owners of the club went into administration, Julian Lyons and his partner Jorge, who run Legends, were ready to step in and purchase the property. Their plans were scuppered at the last minute when a bid of £1,050,000 came in from the developers. 

Lyons said: “The only way we could get our current lease was with a break clause if the owners wanted to renovate. We were given notice, in accordance with our lease, that we should leave at the end of 2012.” 

Twisted Wheel site 2012Twisted Wheel site 2012

But having put so much into the club over the last few years he is hoping something can be done to prevent it being knocked down, although he was far from optimistic about the situation. 

“It’s a bummer,” Lyons said. “It would be a crying shame if it were to go.” 

He added: “One concern is that the proliferation of hotels in the area gives the owners of the Fire Station on London Road an excuse to delay work – and we all know how long that has dragged on for.” 

When Pete Roberts first went to the club with his idea over a decade ago, he knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Trading under a new name, Legends was a gay club, not a soul club, but he persuaded the club to let him have a Thursday night slot. 

Before long The Twisted Wheel had proved such a hit it was bumped up to Fridays. Now it takes place twice a month, on the last Friday and the second Sunday of the month. People come from extraordinary distances to dance the night away – reflecting the cult nature of Northern Soul and its resilience asa popular culture phenomena. Confidential has heard one regular punter flies in from Marbella for the nights. 

Roberts said: “The club has gone from strength to strength. We can get 700 people in here on a Sunday afternoon and an average of 250 on a Friday night.” 

Stephen Hodder, chairman of the architectural firm that won the contract for the hotel Hodder + Partners, said they had had one meeting so far with city planners and hope to have a planning application submitted by the end of the month. They are hoping to go to committee by 31 May. 

Mr Hodder said: “We’re going through the consultation period now - so far so good. The historical significance of the site has been brought to our attention and our client has agreed that somehow in the development there will be a plaque in recognition of The Twisted Wheel.” 

That might not be quite what fans of The Twisted Wheel had in mind. 

For the time being they will hope they can convince the council to reject planning permission once the application is made. 

Mr Roberts said: “I only hope whoever’s bought it doesn’t get their own way with it.” 

But whatever happens, Northern Soul will live on. He will make sure of that. 

He said: “If the club goes, I’ve got to move elsewhere. I don’t want the name to die. We can never ever replicate The Twisted Wheel but we can’t just stop. 

“If we do move I’m going to look for the dirtiest, scruffiest basement club I can find. I want the seediest place there is. That’s what this club night is all about.” 

A spick and span German motel won’t quite fit the bill. 

Whitworth Street ProposalWhitworth Street Proposal For Motel One


All the buildings except Monroe's on the corner will be demolishedAll the buildings except Monroe's on the corner will be demolished

One last question (to be explored in the Manchester context later this week on Confidential): Would Munich the home of Motel One rush to demolish an interesting collection of nineteenth century commercial and industrial buildings in its city centre especially when they contain one with such ground-breaking popular culture credentials? If that question were to be answered in the negative then why should Manchester.

The Twisted Wheel Story 

The Twisted Wheel club has a long and colourful history. The club first opened in 1961 on Brazenose Street, before moving to Whitworth Street two years later. The Twisted Wheel would stay put until 1971, when it was closed down by the authorities, with a byelaw stating premises couldn’t stay open longer than two hours after midnight. 

Twisted Wheel 1967 from Alex Mann - click hereTwisted Wheel 1967 from Alex Mann's website - click here

Fans of soul music would travel from all over the country to come to the Twisted Wheel and hear its signature brand of up-tempo rare soul music that became known as ‘Northern Soul’. The name followed a visit by music journalist Dave Godin who noted how the subculture in the North was very different from anything in the capital. 

The most renowned nights were the all-nighters every Saturday from 11pm through to Sunday 7.30am. DJs played new records generally not played elsewhere. Each week at 2am Soul artists performed live at the club including American artists Junior Walker, Edwin Starr, Oscar Toney Jr, Marv Johnson, Johnny Johnson and the Bandwagon, and Inez and Charlie Foxx.

In 2000, Pete Roberts finally managed to secure a regular night in the Whitworth Street building and bring Northern Soul back to the Manchester club scene – in the space where it was christened.

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190 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

JS3February 6th 2012.

It's a brothel now isn't it? Or is that the place next door?

AnonymousFebruary 6th 2012.

Damn shame. Homoelectric is one of the most fun nights I have even been to. The venue makes it special. No to another generic shitty hotel!!

Calum McGFebruary 6th 2012.

Legends is awesome. This is rubbish news. Is it too late to do anything about it? We're fast running out of any cool clubs... Music Box, anyone? :(

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 4th 2013.

So miss Music Box. It was the best. Global Sunrise was my absolute. Another lost gem. Sadly I hear Star & Garter is next.

AnonymousFebruary 6th 2012.

A quirky selection of Victoriana architecture, that just make Manchester interesting! A bit drab & seedy maybe (nothing that a lick of paint wouldn't put right), but gives the city centre "character" and a link to a time when Manchester was important. Something that Leese, Bernstein & the city council - never seen to "get" though??

And so annoying too, considering the amount of brown field, derelict sites just a stones throw away.

crispy40February 6th 2012.

Honestly - who is in charge of planning at the council?? some of the decisions being considered lately are just astounding in their stupidity!! Is there a chance to object to this formally? And if so, where?

1 Response: Reply To This...
user1770February 8th 2012.

Aren't they just.

AnonymousFebruary 6th 2012.

Legends is one the best clubs in the city - this is a damn shame. What will everyone visit in Manchester when they come to stay in their soulless hotels? Other soulless hotels? It's this grit and alternative essence that makes Manchester so special.

SteveFebruary 6th 2012.

There will be the opportunity to comment on the proposals when they are put into planning.

I don’t really think the displacement of a club venue is that important? However, as is alluded to in the article, the destruction of an interesting and quirky streetscape will be lost for a generic bland BUDGET hotel. To JS3, the current usage is irrelevant; the buildings can and should be restored and put to new usage and not lost forever to an inferior building. I don’t think to my knowledge there is a brothel in that location, but if there is, I am sure it can be relocated to enable refurbishment to be carried out, After all, it is going to have to move if the building is to be demolished.

We have lost much of our Victorian facades to be replaced by rubbish architecture, look no further than Market Street for a prime example. If these buildings were being swept away to be replaced by a building with architectural merit equalling or surpassing that that is there at the moment, then it would be a sacrifice worth making. To replace it with a standard BUDGET hotel of bland architecture is nonsense.

I hope that ManCon will make it clear when and where we can comment on these proposals, to maximise the feedback from the public, be it positive or, as in my case, negative.

9 Responses: Reply To This...
DavidFebruary 7th 2012.

Steve whenever you write it sounds like you are frothing at the mouth.For one who claims others are not mature,you show little evidence of it your self

SteveFebruary 7th 2012.

David, I try and explain my thoughts about a subject intelligently and in depth and you say I write like I am frothing at the mouth.
How puerile.

DavidFebruary 8th 2012.

You accuse others of being puerile.Then make puerile comments yourself.But I must admit your very high intelligence, or rather your very high opinion of your own intelligence.

SteveFebruary 8th 2012.

David, you made a puerile comment, I responded. I have not accused others, just you and your ill informed personal comment. You stated I write as if "frothing at the mouth", and that I am immature. You then question my intelligence, and that I have a high opinion of my own intelligence. That is puerile, no question.

I have never stated how intelligent I think I am, so that is assumption you have made yourself. I have tried to put an intelligent argument forward.

I also have experience in the construction industry, having worked as a civil engineer, with a degree and masters and over 30 years as a member of the institute of Civil Engineers. I have been involved in building large scale developments such as this since the early 60's.

My experience is such that in my opinion the proposed development is not of high enough quality to warrant the destruction of these buildings. On what do you rely on to come to your opinion?

I have NEVER said these were fantastic buildings worth saving.

I have NEVER said that these buildings should not be replaced.

I HAVE said that if they are to go, it should be for better architecture that is planned.

Frothing at the mouth? Or just rationally thought out, considered and balanced comment by someone that has a lifetime interest and passion in both my city and the built environment?

DavidFebruary 8th 2012.

Steve,you are always mentioning your qualifications in the construction industry,and your degree,and how you are qualified to comment in these matters,whenever anyone questions your right to be the definitive voice on such matters.No other contributor does this,only you.

DavidFebruary 8th 2012.

But even if your qualifications make you more of an expert than me,are you more qualified than Hodder?.Have you won the Stirling Prize?.On that basis I would rather listen to what he says than you,since he is more of an expert than you.

SteveFebruary 8th 2012.

David, by "always mentioning your qualifications" I suppose you mean the response to a remark made to me "get a degree" and my response to you for questioning my intellect.

No one has questioned my right to be the definitive voice on this issue? However who has implied I am the definitive voice on this issue? Your rambling a bit there again, going well off topic. You say I am the only person to comment in the way I do but I don’t have to conform to the way other contributors do. I don’t see other contributors commenting in the way you do either.

No I have not won a Sterling prize, are you implying that this proposal is Sterling prize material? If you are then I think you will be disappointed. If built it wouldn’t even be in the running.
I have asked you many questions that you just ignore, I have responded to you on every issue you raise and then you become abusive and insulting.

As I have said before regarding Hodder. I have made comments on ONE of their proposals. Are “respected architects" above criticism, do they never make mistakes, do they always do the right thing by a city? If so why bother with the planning process, why consult with relevant bodies and the public. If they make no mistakes, why not give them free reign?

SteveFebruary 8th 2012.

David, by "always mentioning your qualifications" I suppose you mean the response to a remark made to me "get a degree" and my response to you for questioning my intellect.

No one has questioned my right to be the definitive voice on this issue? However who has implied I am the definitive voice on this issue? Your rambling a bit there again, going well off topic. You say I am the only person to comment in the way I do but I don’t have to conform to the way other contributors do. I don’t see other contributors commenting in the way you do either.

No I have not won a Sterling prize, are you implying that this proposal is Sterling prize material? If you are then I think you will be disappointed. If built it wouldn’t even be in the running.
I have asked you many questions that you just ignore, I have responded to you on every issue you raise and then you become abusive and insulting.

As I have said before regarding Hodder. I have made comments on ONE of their proposals. Are “respected architects" above criticism, do they never make mistakes, do they always do the right thing by a city? If so why bother with the planning process, why consult with relevant bodies and the public. If they make no mistakes, why not give them free reign?

Duke FameFebruary 4th 2013.

Why is Budget in CAPITALS?

Kevin PeelFebruary 6th 2012.

This would be a great loss to the city, Legends hosts some fantastic club nights - I was there myself just a couple of weeks ago. I find myself in a somewhat unusual position for a city centre councillor - being in favour of a club!

1 Response: Reply To This...
Calum McGFebruary 13th 2012.

It needs saving - if poss... would be a crying shame to see it replaced by a drab, crap replacement building.

MagicDanFebruary 6th 2012.

I'm not sure the city centre needs yet another giant hotel. Is it wrong that I want to keep some of the buildings with history in the city centre.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Duke FameFebruary 4th 2013.

I'd have thought that would depend on demand & the investor has no doubt done their homework.

They could always offer to buy the Fire station & convert it.

George Powell shared this on Facebook on February 6th 2012.
the Whalley RangerFebruary 6th 2012.

This is a prime location in the city centre, the discussions around the Fire station prove that.
It requires scale.

I am certain there will be no shortage of 'seedy' locations should the current owner wish to continue his entertainment activities - how often have One Tree Island or the Electric Chair moved around town until they had enough?

As a well-known musician from Wallsend once said: history...will teach us nothing!

5 Responses: Reply To This...
SteveFebruary 6th 2012.

Firstly, if the location is so "prime" why is it a budget hotel that is proposed?

Secondly, why does the club need to be in a seedy location? Are you insinuating this area is seedy?If so how can it also be a "prime" location? You seem to be confused in your thinking.

As to your last comment, Sting may well use those words in a pop song, but its a pop song! Its about oppression and aggression in war, not about Victorian buildings!!!

These may not be individually the best Victorian buildings, but as a collection they make a good streetscape. If they are to be demolished it should be for something of greater architectural value. Once these are demolished they will be lost forever, they can not be rebuilt, unlike this low grade hotel, that could be replaced anywhere in this or any other city.

These buildings could be developed into unique boutique style hotel accommodation, or they could be demolished and replaced by an “anywhere in the world” bland value engineered built to a budget hotel.

I know which I would prefer.

AnonymousFebruary 6th 2012.


I was mis-quoted, What I did say was "IF THE WHEEL WAS TO SADLY CLOSE" then yes I would still continue with the Twisted Wheel Club at a new address in Manchester City Centre, and I know we will never be able to replicate the FAMOUS TWISTED WHEEL CLUB ON WHITWORTH ST. But I was trying to explain that I will be looking for a Dark Basement Club which goes hand-in-hand with the 60's soul music that we play! I said I am not looking for a Council Civic Hall, but I woundn't mind the updated marble toilet facilities.

I am also at Media City at 6.30am tomorrow to talk about the wheel on Radio Manchester with Allan Beswick, which I have been told that I will be interviewed by Allan at 7.20am ...... Lets hope that he puts some weight behide the IMPORTANCE of our Twisted Wheel Club!!

Best Regards

Pete Roberts, Promoter - A proud Mancunian who is concerned about the famous Twisted Wheel and the loss of such an important historic building.

SteveFebruary 6th 2012.

Pete, the comment I made was aimed at "whalley ranger" who stated that the area is prime location and then stated that the area was seedy! It was his lack of joined up thinking that I was referring to.

I know its seedy, I have spent enough time in there!!!

I am fully behind you in your endeavour to save the club night, even though its not my music style, it adds to the diversity of the music offerings of this city. I know that you will be able to sort out other venues, if the worst really does happen, there are many unused basement clubs in the city. That would not address the historic significance of the building itself to The Twisted Wheel. (The old FooFoo's club would be a great location and has been lying empty since his demise!)

My objection is more fundamental than the loss of a club venue, however, one that I have been going to since Rockies opened in the 80's. I object to loosing buildings of some merit to be replaced with dull, insipid, uninspiring architecture that can be seen in any city.

I would hate to see these quirky set of buildings demolished to be replaced with boring, anycity architecture. If they have to go (and I dont believe they do) at least lets have something exciting to replace them. Once these buildings are gone they are lost forever.

the Whalley RangerFebruary 7th 2012.

Calm down dear Steve - 'seedy' is in quotation marks because it is a quotation from the article. Have you read it?

The location of the site is prime due to the fact that it is close to a now developed major transport hub.

In the past, transport hubs did not command the same importance as they do today.

Go to any place IN THE WORLD, look at the local train stations and guess what - you will find 'seedy' places right next to them.

It's a fact of town planning life - get a degree...

SteveFebruary 7th 2012.

I am calm, what is so wrong with trying to explain your understanding of a situation intelligently and in depth.

I am aware that you quoted from the article, however Prime and Seedy are two diametrical opposed descriptions of an area.

I would disagree that transport hubs have greater importance today. Their importance has been overlooked and is now being rediscovered perhaps, but they have always been important.

Other stations in the world have nothing to do with this proposal.

By the way, I have a degree thank you very much. I also have a Masters, its in Civil Engineering. Years of working within the industry has given me the experience to know that this proposal is not good enough.

If the buildings are to be demolished it should be for something better. However there are many brownfield sites across the city that need rebuilding before razing any more buildings to the ground.

I make no apologies for being passionate about my city and the built environment. You may see that as needing to calm down, but that’s your problem not mine.

it's the city, duffusFebruary 6th 2012.

Was hoping you were referring to the wheel at the triangle, ManCon.

WigannerFebruary 6th 2012.

Move to the old Conti Club. That's seedy enough.

How long until there are only 3 interesting buildings left in the city??

ChorltongalFebruary 6th 2012.

You can guarantee Alex Langsam will use this as another excuse to delay action on the Fire Station. Aside from that, the buildings they are knocking down are really quirky and interesting - all it would take is a bit of spit and polish to make the exteriors a bit more upmarket and Mr Roberts can keep his dingy interiors. Really really hope the council see sense over this. That aside... seriously ANOTHER Hotel in this area??? There is already Hilton Doubletree, Malmaison, Abode, The Place Aparthotel, Max Aparthotel, SACO Aparthotel and soon to be another travellodge on Piccadilly Approach and (eventually) the London Road Firestation Hotel. Oooh, and I forgot the 'Hotel International' which they would also be knocking down.

CBFebruary 6th 2012.

the sack of Manchester continues...

Richard HJFebruary 6th 2012.

Pete Roberts has done some damn fine work in keeping The Wheel alive. Hats off to him.

simplesolutions on college roadFebruary 6th 2012.

most people are getting sick of man city council running rough shod knocking down listed buildings and the like. too greedy by half tricky dicky leese and his band of bent cronies lining their own pockets along the way, thats why the trafford centre has built an exhibition centre and is now taking a lot of business away from man city councils G mex. we let them get away it every time like paying for parking when dropping off at the airport (MAG) owned by them too along with several other airports in the uk but if you go to john lennon owned by peel holdings its free.
its time to relieve richard leese of his grip on manchester and get rid of him forthwith.
dj college road. m16

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Kevin PeelFebruary 6th 2012.

You seem to be confused, this has absolutely nothing to do with MCC at this stage. The site has been sold and the new owner has expressed their interest in demolishing it and putting a hotel there. MCC's involvement comes in when they submit a planning application, it goes out to public consultation and then is heard by the elected planning committee and a decision is made based on national planning law.

RoryFebruary 7th 2012.

No but there have been some backhanders in the past involving MCC, and they should be doing more to preserve the heritage and style of Manchester, instead of letting it become a bland nowhere town.

So MCC are not completely uninvolved. They could stop the process if they wanted to. But they won't, as no doubt they will have been treated by the developers....

VerbatimFebruary 14th 2012.

Rory, the can only stop the process through a legal framework which the developer has the right to object to.

Since this has not even reached the planning stage yet it is nothing to do with the council!

Chris ParkerFebruary 6th 2012.

Very sad to here this news, I spent many nights at the Wheel as a teen in the 60's!
Why can't we start a petition to give to council, could start on Facebook? Anyone know how to start such a campaign?
I'm sure I can get lots of signatures, what do other fans think? We should try to keep alive our musical heritage- it will be too late unless we act together NOW!

Kevin PeelFebruary 6th 2012.

There is now a petition people can sign here - www.change.org/…/manchester-council-save-legends-nightclub…. Any chance of putting it in the main article ManCon?

AnonymousFebruary 6th 2012.

really bad news after rediscovering it's existence in last few years. there must be something we can do... one hotel pretty much like another and god knows there are plenty of them. Given the musical history of the city Manchester we should get behind it's heritage not bury it under a load of concrete and glass.

collyFebruary 6th 2012.

If this happens i just hope they can find somewhere to carry the club on!!!!

Benjamin WhiteleyFebruary 6th 2012.

Absolutely awful news. I my opinion the whole of that block EXPECT the buildings containing Legends etc needs demolishing, and by that I mean the bland Mint hotel and Hub apartments - cheap, nasty, 'knocked out on a Friday afternoon' architecture that Manc City Council had the cheek to pass planning permission. SAVE LEGENDS!

Charlie WaringFebruary 6th 2012.

Number 6 Whitworth Street, i.e. The Twisted Wheel is the Most Revered and Hallowed place to most Soul Fans in England and now they propose to build a german hotel on it. If Manchester did,nt suffer enough in the second world war, then to add insult to injury They are now trying to rob us of our Soul and R & B Heritage. If the People from Legends and the still ongoing Twisted Wheel Club don,t put up a fight for this then I for One will be Thoroughly Disgusted by it. Why Knock something down of Great Cultural interest and add to it, some faceless german hotel, I REST MY CASE !!!..Thank You....Charlie Waring. Wheel Goer from 1966...

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Karl WheatFebruary 6th 2012.

Is the fact that it is German relevant? And what has the second World War got to do with anything?

BernardFebruary 9th 2012.

Brilliant mate keep the faith bern from stockport

AnonymousFebruary 6th 2012.

Mancunians are as cringeworthy as Scousers sometimes banging on about completely uninteresting and irrelevant "cultural heritage." Original Modern my arse.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Calum McGFebruary 13th 2012.

The Cavern Club?!! Should also have been saved... or would you prefer Manchester to be full of bland, dull buildings? Munich - now there's a city that actually looks after its heritage and stops the place becoming like any other European city.

Layla Garner shared this on Facebook on February 6th 2012.
Rob TynanFebruary 6th 2012.

Sick to death of this so called modern architecture killing Manchester. No character, anonymous minimalist eyesores.

There will always be some "logical" reason why the council will pass this in planning and obliterate interesting old buildings........

You would think enough lessons would have been learnt in the 80s after the hidious "mimimalist" architecture of the 60s and 70s

When will common sense prevail with this narrow minded council.....

Stephano7February 6th 2012.

Gutted for Pete Roberts but Northern Soul will never die, Keep the Faith Brother

anneiaFebruary 6th 2012.

why are we the paying public not given notice of the amount of hotels are filling the space of our Heritage. manchester born and bread. seen so many crap buildings put up around and in Mcr ehos ego are we funding it not the council tax payers thats for sure. su=ign the pettition..........

1 Response: Reply To This...
anneiaFebruary 6th 2012.

delete this rant please.bad computer

anneiaFebruary 6th 2012.

why are we the paying public the council tax payers not given notice of the amount of hotels that are filling the space of our Heritage. seen so many crap buildings put up around and in Mcr too many hotels for what no heritage no sightseers no one thought it would be to our detriament. thats for sure. sign the pettition..........
manchester born and bread.

culture vultureFebruary 6th 2012.

I blame MCC - they let anything of value or cultural significance go in this city for the sake of so called progress. Look at the pile of shit that replaced the Free Trade Hall and the horrible glass building that is scheduled to replace the Odeon on Oxford road? Bleedin' dissgracefull!! and does this also mean that Monroe's is going to go? That pub is legendary as the Twisted Wheel - full of character and one of the few original pubs left in Manchester.

Although I went to the original Twisted Wheel, I haven't been to the current Northern Soul night that is going there so will have to pay it a visit this year before this happens - if it happens. As for the Fire Station? I hope MCC haven't allowed that iconic building be pulled down for another hotel!

AnonymousFebruary 6th 2012.

JS3, not speaking from experience there are we..............

ScarlettwomanFebruary 6th 2012.

One of the things I used to love about Manchester as a teenager was the quirkiness of the buildings, e.g. around Hanging Ditch. They were a large part of what made it unique. Although the bomb has regenerated the city it also seems to have brought about a gradual loss of identity for Manchester. It used to have a grittiness to it, a reflection of its industrial past but I fear it's in danger of becoming just another characterless city.

AnonymousFebruary 6th 2012.

I think its disgusting..I've been to Bollox (a clubnight at legends) a few times and it was such a good night. It was an alternative clubnight that welcomed everyone and those gay and lesbians who wanted somewhere different to the camp hen party filled canal street.

They got rid of Jillys rockworld, which was a favourite of mine to go when I was at uni, which is now a Tesco Express.

Manchester has alot of old buildings, they shouldn't demolish them, but preserve them, as they hold alot of musical history and heritage.

Maggie MilnerFebruary 6th 2012.

my mis spent youth demolished - noooooooo!!

DavidFebruary 6th 2012.

This building has no merit,except for preserving vainly the memories of a bunch of quite old people,who expect the rest of us to indulge their egos.
Motel One actually is a German boutique hotel,it is only its prices that are budget.It would enhance the area and create jobs for in particular the youth of this City.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
SteveFebruary 6th 2012.

You may think the existing buildings do not have merit, but that’s your opinion. My opinion differs, I love the existing quirky streetscape and dislike the corporate blandness of the proposal.

the building that you like can be built elsewhere, there are many brownfield sites across the city. The buildings I like can not be recreated elsewhere.

You think that the proposed building would enhance the area, I think it would blight it. It is boring beyond belief and adds nothing but sterility to the area.

The hotel could be built on one of the many already cleared sites in the city. The jobs would still be created, and your "boutique " (what I would call budget, believe me I have stayed in and they are in no way boutique) Motel One would still exist. As would the buildings housing these club nights. A win win situation.

Your insulting comment about a bunch of "quite old people" invalidates anything you have to say to be honest. The city is not just for one demographic, it needs diversity of population.

RoryFebruary 7th 2012.

It's hardly "a bunch of old people".
I am in my 20's and Legends means a lot to me. It's the only club in Manchester to offer alternative gay nights away from all the commercialised queeniness of Canal St. It also offers one of the few heavy metal nights frequented by many young people since Jilly's Rockworld shutdown. Not least that it also holds after parties from gigs elsewhere in town.

If anything a hotel would be there to please miserable old Daily Mail Readers with affordable blandness. The hotel is made from cheap material and will probably be pulled down in another 30 years. That's progress!

JulianLFebruary 8th 2012.

well, the motel one chain boasts 1000 employees from 39 hotels. Do the maths, The current Hotel, bar and nightclub employ around 60. Great for the economy?

AnonymousFebruary 6th 2012.

I went there in the 60's, it was amazing.
This is as daft as knocking down the Cavern Club in Liverpool.
Mancunians, arise NOW and STOP these greedy developers!

AnonymousFebruary 6th 2012.

surely they could find some sixties rubbish to knock down instead of beautiful victorian buildings!

1 Response: Reply To This...
RoryFebruary 7th 2012.

Exactly! Manchester city centre has been brutalised enough!

DavidFebruary 6th 2012.

There are many beautiful victorian buildings in the city,but these ones are as ugly.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
Rob TynanFebruary 7th 2012.

Which developer do you work for then David??

RoryFebruary 7th 2012.

There are many hideous 1960's and 70's buildings that are fugly, and they are in the place of victorian buildings demolished, which in comparison were beautiful compared to the concrete turds such as the Arndale et. al.

SteveFebruary 7th 2012.

You think they are ugly, I think they are interesting and historic.

The building you seem to like so much could be built anywhere on one of numerous derelict sites.

According to the developers press release, these buildings are to be made of relief formed concrete . That is similar to the sides of City Tower. Now that will look unique and interesting in this location wont it?

The existing buildings are unique and once lost can never be regained.

We can have the hotel, but in a different location, and allow these buildings to remain.

Rob TynanFebruary 7th 2012.

Or do you work for MCC?

Bill SullivanFebruary 7th 2012.

Sad to read about the demise of the Wheel.
I played at the original club in Brazenose St in the early sixties. Our group was called TK5, and starring at the club in those days were lots of 'unknown' groups. Spencer Davis Group (Steve Winwood, lead singer), The Moody Blues, Manfred Man, etc.,
The All-Nighters had to be witnessed to be believed - no alcohol, just soft drinks - but everyone was on a high from the sounds.
A stones' throw away was another club, Oasis,and they were the two top clubs in Manchester at the time. It's a shame to hear of this bit of 'progress', maybe I'm getting to be a "grumpy old man", but hey, aint it saddening, folk wont be able to experience the unique atmosphere of a session at the 'Wheel. :(

1 Response: Reply To This...
Glenys McDonaldFebruary 7th 2012.

In reply to Bill Sullivan - I too am an original wheeler from the Brazenose club and sorry to say this but 'new wheel' was never ever like the old one - whole influence changed but it was still great (dont want to fall out with anyone over that) agree all nighters were awseome - once saw steve winwood, Long john Baldry and an amazing teenage Rod Stewart for 1/6d old money. Manchester in the 60s was brilliant and still has plenty of vibrancy.

DavidFebruary 7th 2012.

The sooner these mediocre buildings are knocked down the better.They are in no way quirky or interesting.The idea that they should be preserved on architectural grounds is laughable.
At the moment that end of the street is totally dead.A hotel would bring some life to it.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
RoryFebruary 7th 2012.

David, you are flooding this with your comments. Which developer has given you a tenner to spread this sort of stuff?

SteveFebruary 7th 2012.

Rory, it would appear David works for Motel One by the laughable comment that they are boutique hotels. “The only thing budget is the price” (from his first post) sounds like the tag line produced by a second rate advertising agency.

His disparaging remarks about "old people" reduce the validity of any argument he makes. As for his remark that this will result in jobs for young people (are older people barred from working in hotels) show his immaturity.

Alan KinsellaFebruary 7th 2012.

David,why don`t you come down to the "Twisted Wheel" (Sunday 12th),my treat!,I`ll pay your entrance fee,even get you a drink!,what have you got to lose?,nothihng!,we have a everything to lose!,email me!, alkinsella@sky.com ,if Yes!,to arrange to meet!,reply on here if No?,experience it!,before we Lose It!,awaiting your response!,The Dancing DJ,Big AL (Widnes).

BernardFebruary 9th 2012.

how many shares have you got ????

RoryFebruary 7th 2012.

So Legends is going to go the way of the Hacienda, and the Free Trade Hall... why does Manchester destroy its cultural and architectural heritage, only to replace it with bland, faceless hotels and apartments?
People visit Manchester for the unique venues, like Legends.. they are not going to visit to see faceless hotels, and modern sterile bars that you can see in any city, anywhere in the world!

The fact that these buildings should be removed for redevelopment is frankly a joke. If the need for hotels is so desperate, why has there been an empty gigantic hole at the other end of Canal / Princess street for the past four years. Why is the old Fire Station still crumbling nearby, undeveloped? Why is the land with a burnt out building opposite Piccadilly left undeveloped?

Liverpool knocked down the original Cavern Club and regretted it.. but at least that was to build a useful metro system, and not a bland faceless, budget hotel!

AnonymousFebruary 7th 2012.

The buildings are of no particular merit and lie as far as I know outside the Whitworth Street conservation area. Manchester has no real policy of controlling city centre development and in general it has presumed that in unprotected areas any proposed mixed development should be permitted ( and for the most part in protected areas too.)

Actually there are plenty of 'prime sites' in the area. The Old Employment Exchange on Aytoun Street. MMUs Aytoun Campus, The Old Fire Station the area on the left opposite the station in Fairfield Street, the dead Origin Site to mention only a few. Also the Rail Track has a large car park area next to the Station that could be built over. Manchester City Centre Plan is supposed to encourage small business in the area.

It is certainly not totally dead. It has a lively gay club, the Twisted Wheel two budget hotels and bar and a local taxi firm The fire station is dead and efforts have been made to force a resurrection on the site. Maybe about 50 people are employed on the in these business albeit part time.

Perhaps some evaluation of the economic gain would be in order. My experience of budget hotels is that they provide very little employment most of the time. (it depends on occupancy levels). They do provide inexpensive accommodation and I did see a cabinet minister used one at Sports City during the Tory Party Conference.

AnonymousFebruary 7th 2012.

Incidentally I notice Munros is excluded from the site. Go on David make and offer the owners can't refuse sxo you can have perfect down market hotel in a down market 'modern' building. Incidentally is the proposal good for employment in the sex trade often seen to be taking a stroll in the area.

suzyblewFebruary 7th 2012.

I'm sorry but despite hearing stories over the years from my father in law (member no.4) of the Twisted Wheel about throwing Graham Nash out and the like, this is not the original venue. It is a memory from the past, like the pensioners who used to go! My objection is more about Motel One being granted permission (dreadful chain) than the destruction of the building.

1 Response: Reply To This...
SteveFebruary 7th 2012.

The original location of The Twisted Wheel on Brazennose Street has already been demolished. The music played in the club at that location was more Blues.

On its relocation to Whitworth Street, the music policy changed to Northern Soul and as such, it is this location that is the birthplace of Northern Soul.

Your negative connotation alluded to in your remark regarding pensioners shows an immaturity that is only surpassed by Davids.

History is made up of memories from the past, this includes buildings as well as experiences. It is discarded far too easily by people that do not have the intellect to realise its significance.

One thing we can agree on is Motel One is not a quality hotel.

If these building have to go, then at least replace with something of quality, not value engineered rubbish architecture.

Have a look at the Motel One in Berlin-hauptbahnhof to see a recently completed hotel in the same architectural style.(google it) It looks really rubbish and as we all know, relief work concrete weathers so well in Manchester!!

Sara SwalesFebruary 7th 2012.

A travesty! How dare the council concede to plans for yet another characterless building. There must be plenty of eyesore sites nearby with less history and character that they could put buldozers to. It's an absolute disgrace. This building should be preserved as an iconic piece of Manchester history and continue to do what it does best. Surely a disused building with a little less history would be a more sensible choice for a hotel. Manchester's heritage should be preserved at all costs. Very disappointing to see another building go down the Hacienda route. A big mistake imo!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Kirsty HewittFebruary 7th 2012.

here here!

Kirsty HewittFebruary 7th 2012.

here here!

Maggie MilnerFebruary 7th 2012.

for every memory of the Wheel you could ever want (and anything else for 60's Manchester music scene just go to http://www.manchesterbeat.com - the most fantastic nostalgic site ever!!

1 Response: Reply To This...
Glenys McDonaldFebruary 9th 2012.

Maggie Milner - thank you so much I didnt know anything about this site - its brilliant and I can't believe how much I have enjoyed the posts on this subject - what a time everyone has enjoyed in manchester clubs since the 60's - each era has its own identity and long may it continue

Maggie Milner shared this on Facebook on February 7th 2012.
AnonymousFebruary 7th 2012.

Oh the humanity.

DavidFebruary 7th 2012.

Memories can be better preserved via the Internet or books.Manchester should not be turned into a urban Disneyland to preserve people memories of youth.Otherwise the city will become a sad heritage city like Chester or York.
This is a dynamic and forward looking city.We should be concerned with creating the culture of now.People should stop living in the past and get out more,and see what young and not young people are doing in this city now.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 7th 2012.

David, that is absolute rubbish. Manchester is in no danger whatsoever of becoming a sad 'heritage' city like Chester or York. Wishing to preserve something does not automatically put you in the luddite category, nor does it make you an enemy of 'progress'. Why does it have to be one or the other? One of the previous 'posters' was right - there's plenty of brownfield sites close by, so why can't they look at the feasibility of using one those plots? Also, if you're the same David who doesn't see the architectural merit of some fine Victorian warehouses - and I suspect you are - then that's a shame: you clearly have the ocular equivalent of cloth ears.

SteveFebruary 7th 2012.

David, are you a wind up merchant? Your posts are all over the place, You really are showing yourself to be quite the fool.

Where is the rational behind your argument? Where is the evidence that Manchester is trying to be a heritage city like Chester or York? Suggesting keeping a couple of examples of Victorian buildings, (other than the Mills which seem to have found another use) does not imply that there is no progress wanted. Market Street was razed to the ground, so there is no chance that we can become a heritage city. You are once again showing your prejudices.

There are huge vast swathes of derelict land in all areas of the city, either side of the Mancunian Way, near CooPs new HQ, all down Great Ancoats Street, the failed West Properties development off Canal Street, Aytoun DSS building, brown field sites in Piccadilly Basin, Mayfield and Fairfield Street, 50% of MMU buildings, First Street, the Old BBC site, the Granada Studios site, Boddingtons site, Mackintosh Village, the failed Piccadilly Tower site, Pomona Dockside, Chester Road it goes on and on.
That’s without all the land on Salford side of the Irwell, Spinningfield expansion, Middlewood Locks, Chapel Street, Greengate, Ordsall Riverside, Irwell Right bank, New Bailey Street, New Broughton, Springfild Lane, the list is endless. We are surrounded by a seemingly limitless amount of cleared ground ready for development, yet you think they should clear more. What a plonker!!

In fact the amount of undeveloped land already cleared is quite depressing if I am honest.

Rob TynanFebruary 7th 2012.

Whats wrong with Chester and York??

AnonymousFebruary 7th 2012.

I'm sure someone's mentioned this already, but can we not start a petition? There are already numerous hotel options around the area for people who want to visit. Anyone want to start one?

AnonymousFebruary 7th 2012.

David, memories are not better preserved through the internet or books because they're, quite simply, not actually memories. They're visual and, with the case of the internet, audio information.

BernieFebruary 7th 2012.

Why do these people have to spoil things it shows that people want this sort of thing OLD and YOUNG other wise you would not get 700 going on a sunday afternoon for god sake Leave alone and let us enjoy Go build your hotel somewhere else Stop trying to rid us of our historic past From a GOLDEN OLDEY the past the Present and the Future

DavidFebruary 7th 2012.

There are plenty of fine buildings that should be preserved in the city.Such as the nearby fire station.However these buildings are not and the new building would be a distinct improvement.

Maybe people should look at the the design of the new building by Steven Hodder,which was the winner of design competition.Or maybe the 'cloth caps' are not interested in new contemporary architecture.They only seem to value any building built before 1960.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 7th 2012.

Actually, the two don't have to be mutually exclusive. I am in favour of keeping the victorian buildings yet I enjoy modern architecture, from the 30s to the present day. In fact, I try to engage with all aspects of the built environment, so much so, that I wrote my master's thesis on post war architectural developments. No doubt there might be some emotional attachment to buildings from the Victorian period, but I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Manchester is foremost a Victorian city, and there should be controls to preserve some of that character. Whilst I recognize the effort the city council is putting into the redevelopment of our landmark buildings, I do feel they fail to get to grips with the less spectacular, more vernacular expressions of Manchester. Their habit of demolishing areas for roads and pubs for car parks is testament to this fact. I also understand that MCC wants to ensure companies continue to invest in Manchester, but it should not be by slavishly accepting all elements of a developer's proposal. Listing is not the only way for a building to have value. People enjoy buildings for their character, ambience and memories they may have experienced there.

SteveFebruary 7th 2012.

Are you in favour of preserving heritage or not? Your posts are all over the place.

Firstly you say sweep everything historical away, we must look forward not back.
You then follow up with "there are plenty of buildings that should be preserved". Which is it to be?

What gives you the right to be arbiter in what should or shouldn’t be saved? After all, you think Motel One are a boutique establishment, nt budget, so we can all see what you think is classy!

I have looked at the proposal, in some detail, it is poor. THERE WAS NO DESIGN COMPETITION, Steven Hodder Partners were invited to design a number of Motel One proposals. One of which has been built in Berlin already. The building is value engineered and has no architectural merit.

You clearly have no background in architecture if you think this proposal is contemporary. There is a large blank wall in the centre of the building, faux windows in huge panels facing windows of adjacent buildings. It neither relates to or defines the area, it is an anywhere building that could be in any city. We deserve better.

The building is proposed to be built with concrete relief panels, and we all know how that weathers in Manchester. It is to be produced cheaply and with inferior material, I know I have looked in detail at the proposal, have you?

I am certainly no "cloth cap" (by which I imagine you mean Luddite) regarding architecture. I certainly don’t just admire buildings from before 1960. You appear to only value new buildings of dubious architectural merit, it is you that need educating in architectural form and function, not those that see what you are unable to.

In my opinion some fantastic buildings have been produced in the past 20years, The CJC, the Armani Building on Deansgate, Coop's new HQ is sure to be stunning, as is the Chets new building.

This building is a cheep bit of crap, being chanced by a second rate motel company. We in Manchester deserve better.

Bulldoze the buildings if you must, but replace it with something better that this piece of first year student in architecture rubbish.

I am beginning to think you are a wind up merchant, either that or a 16 year old with no life experiences, by your disdain for people that have lived in this city a lot longer than you, and that have made it what it is today.. Either way, your opinion is invalid as you clearly cannot make a reasoned argument other than “I don’t like them”. Very adult!

Maggie MilnerFebruary 7th 2012.

Hmm! dont think I would class Chester or York as sad heritage cities - I think most of their citizens would say they are proud to live there just as most of us Mancunians are proud of our heritage and like to preserve it whenever possible. I don't think an apartment block brought anything to the area round the old Hacienda anymore than a motel will bring anything to the old Twisted Wheel site - even if they name it 'The Twisted Wheel Hotel' - which would not surprise me!! In general I think we have lots of reasons to be proud of our city (and our neighbouring city of Salford despite its current highlighted problems) but knocking it down and replacing with bland and boring buildings which wont stand the test of time cant be the way forward surely!

Jill JillianFebruary 7th 2012.

Once we let them dig up Piccadilly gardens and replace it with concrete I'm affraid the future of the city was cast,it's not about quality of life anymore ,just money.

DavidFebruary 7th 2012.

If people like you Maggie were around in Victorian times,there would have been no fine Victorian buildings built in this city.You would have insisted on preserving all that was here before.Cities are not set in stone,they evolve and change.Or maybe you prefer the fake,pastiche buildings in cities like Chester,which are much more recent than they pretend.

1 Response: Reply To This...
tblzebraFebruary 7th 2012.

Unfortunately David, your argument here has no merit. The Victorian city we now have was built at the cost of most of the Georgian town, and also many older buildings, some medieval.

I'd prefer we still had more of those buildings left than some of the not-so-fine Victorian ones.

DavidFebruary 7th 2012.

Tony Wilson never wanted The Hacienda to become a tourist relic.He looked forward not back.
Let the poor Scousers make a living of the memories of the Beatles.But Manchester is better than that,it should look to making culture of now instead.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Rob TynanFebruary 7th 2012.

Yawn, Yawn yawn........

Richard HJFebruary 8th 2012.

David - Your perception of Liverpool is wide of the mark, cliched, ignornant. Liverpool's arts and culture scene is far more widescreen in scope than your blinkered vision suggests. Check the excellent Seven Streets site for more than enough evidence. If you think that some shonky hotel opening on the site of a historic venue represents 'making culture' i'd hate to see your book shelf.

AnonymousFebruary 7th 2012.

Agreed. At least Hodder have a decent level of architectura integrity. Many other firms just design the cheapest cost buildings possible, with no consideration for aesthetics.

AnonymousFebruary 7th 2012.

Taken from:-

Hodder's design two blocks finished in precast concrete: one of eight storeys fronting Whitworth Street and another of 13 storeys backing up to Three Piccadilly Place and facing London Road.
Hodder told Place his design "seeks to make a transition from the intensity and scale of Argent's Piccadilly Place with that of the Fire Station, a calm foil to the exuberance of the latter."
A detailed planning application will be made at the end of this month with a commencement on site for a 15-month build due in September.

This seems to sum up the cheap design and also infers that planning consent has already been granted!

AnonymousFebruary 7th 2012.

Taken from:-


Sal Randall shared this on Facebook on February 7th 2012.
Gerry StewartFebruary 7th 2012.

The Twisted Wheel Club is part of the great soul scene in the UK and the rest of the world it has given so much to soul fans in the UK and through out the world . Bringing Black and White Soul artist to the heart of Manchester over the years giving them a step up the ladder of the music industry. The people of Manchester also treated the Black artist as equals during there stay in Manchester in a time when they where being treated as second class citizens in there own country,something Manchester should be proud of and should be considered when plans to erase this part of Manchester's music history are submitted.The Club its self is vibrant during the soul venues held there the soul fans who attend from all over the UK and other parts of the world even to this day are without doubt the nicest and loyal soul music lovers one could ever want to meet .Plans should be set to save this piece of social and music history not to destroy it like the city of Liverpool did to the Cavern a much regretted mistake so i say keep the club and save your Soul.

Gerry Stewart Aka Irish
Living in Cambridge and a Twisted Wheel attendee .

DavidFebruary 7th 2012.

This is all true.But what about Manchesters attitude in the past to its own black music.The refusal of many clubs in 1990s to allow black club nights,because of the supposed fear of gun violence.The refusal to give licences to popular black pirate radio stations,unlike in London.Also the closure of the NIA Centre in Hulme.Manchester has failed to promote its own black music talents in the way London has.

1 Response: Reply To This...
SteveFebruary 7th 2012.

What the hell has this to do with the destruction of Victorian buildings? You really are scraping the barrel to try and give credence to your viewpoint.

You have not responded as to why we need to demolish more buildings (no matter what you think of their architectural merit) when there is so many brownfield sites already cleared.

You are writing irrelevant rubbish that has nothing to with the issues being discussed.

DavidFebruary 7th 2012.

Whenever a style of black music is no longer popular with black people there is always a group of white people keen to keep it going.Whether it be jazz,blues,old school hip hop or in this case old soul music.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Ich bin ein MancunianFebruary 8th 2012.

David, come down to the Wheel on Sunday before posting your antagonising diatribes, talk to the people there & enjoy the atmosphere & get an idea of what this place really means to them. If you need to be told what the place is about, then you will probably never understand it!

Rob TynanFebruary 8th 2012.

You are starting to sound paranoid now David as well as running out of sensible argument. This discussion is supposed to be about the destruction of perfectly good usable Victorian buildings and their prosed replacement with a bland uninspiring low budget hotel, not your insecurities

Richard BrowningFebruary 7th 2012.

If this was "value engineered" it would be a massive perimeter block wouldn't it? I think it's pretty clear to the un-indignant that Hodder (Stirling prize winner Hodder - some first year architecture student!) has put a lot of thought into the design and how it broaches two streetscapes:

"..seeks to make a transition from the intensity and scale of Argent's Piccadilly Place with that of the Fire Station, a calm foil to the exuberance of the latter..."

It's a good piece of architecture. The buildings that are there currently are basically slums. Poor quality by 150 year old standards.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
DavidFebruary 7th 2012.

No doubt Steve has liitle respect for quality architects like Hodder.he prefers quirky old slums

DavidFebruary 7th 2012.

All development does not have to be on brownfield sites.There is nothing wrong with replacing slums with superior buildings instead.

SteveFebruary 8th 2012.

Richard, value engineering has nothing to do with it being a massive perimeter block. From construction information services "Value Engineering can be defined as an organized approach to providing the necessary functions at the lowest cost"
Your reference to the different heights of the building to each streetscape is a consequence of the architects knowing that they would not be allowed to overshadow the listed fire station. It is a given that it is a restrictive parameter, presented as an architectural judgement call.

Just because Hodder have had some success does not mean that they are beyond criticism. Many prize winners have gone on to produce some very inferior work. A practice is only as good as its current work.

We can all cite examples of award winning architects buildings that in hindsight failed in the long term. A very simple example recently, Quay Bar on Deansgate, Sterling prize short listed in 1998, now demolished.

The definition of a slum is "a squalid and overcrowded urban street or district inhabited by very poor people" (Oxford English) and in no way do these buildings conform to that description. They are run down, not maintained and dilapidated, but so is the fire station!! I am in no way comparing the architectural qualities, just highlighting that these are in no way slums.

I would dispute your opinion that it is good architecture for reasons that I have gone into at length, not least of all the vast areas of blank featureless concrete walls.

SteveFebruary 8th 2012.

David, where do I start? You have no idea whether I have respect for architects such as Hodder or not. I have made comments on ONE of their proposals. Are "respected architects" above criticism, do they never make mistakes, do they always do the right thing by a city? If so why bother with the planning process, why consult with relevant bodies. If they make no mistakes, why not give them free reign?

The fact is they are employed by a client and have to deliver a proposal that fits with the clients requirements whilst working within planning and building regulations. It is up to the planners to ensure that the proposal makes a positive contribution to the city as a whole.

If you have bothered to read any of my posts (rather than saying that they are like foaming mouth rants) I have NEVER said these buildings should stay at all costs. If they are to be replaced it should be for a better building than the proposal as it stands.

Where do I state that I prefer quirky SLUMS to quality architecture? I prefer quirky BUILDINGS to sub standard generic build anywhere proposals. By the way they are not slums, look up the definition.

No, not all development has to be on brownfield sites, however you may prefer to live in a city surrounded by dereliction, vast swathes of land used as surface car parking. You may think that it makes sense to demolish buildings that are serviceable, provide employment and can be improved to be replaced by bland any city architecture. I would hope that others can see the short sightedness of that city expansion model.

There is one thing I agree with you on though there is nothing wrong with replacing buildings with superior ones, this proposal is definitely not superior.

Why do you not have greater aspirations for your city than a generic budget hotel, that will be, in your words, in a prime location, adjacent to the listed fire station?

Rob TynanFebruary 8th 2012.

On what basis are you calling them slums?

FoodFanStockptFebruary 7th 2012.

I worked for Britannia Hotels in 1989-89 and my office was next to the architects. At that stage Mr Langsam had been 'working' on the Fire Station for a few years Came back to Manchester in 2005 and nothing has changed. Who is kidding who?

AnonymousFebruary 8th 2012.

It should be listed as a cultural heritage building/site for one thing (so get it on the heritage map) and due to it's popularity for literally millions of people (do the maths) who have frequented it over the past 60 years and continue to do so today, there has to be a legal case to stop any development whatsoever. This building, it's history and its heritage is revered around the world - make no mistake on this point - just as the Cavern is. Manchester - you have a voice so let it be heard loud and clear!!!!

Ziggy Lavelle shared this on Facebook on February 8th 2012.
AnonymousFebruary 8th 2012.

Anyone wanting to express their opposition to this development is asked to contact the motel-one group on:-


ROCKETMANFebruary 8th 2012.

Another hotel, what about the cultural loss forever, a plaque is totally insignificant and an insult to all the supporters of the northern soul scene past and present. So why not take over the abandoned carcass at the side of the mancunian way, come Manchester councillors stand up for manc heritage and not anther hotel.

MsCrowFebruary 8th 2012.

You'd hope, having lost the beautiful building that was the Hacienda, that MCC will vociferously object to the knocking down of these buildings....and their history. Soon, all Manchester will be is a miserable football museum in a glass wedge.

Simon TurnerFebruary 8th 2012.

I want David back. He's the best thing about this thread BY FAR.

AnonymousFebruary 8th 2012.

The Hacienda was a toilet with music that they used to clean with a hosepipe on a Monday morning ,as some one who worked next door to it I prefered it when it was full of boats

AnonymousFebruary 8th 2012.

Maybe the demolition odf a building in M/cr is the German's way of getting their own back after WW2 ....!!

DavidFebruary 8th 2012.

Tony Wilson did not want that The Hacienda to become a musuem.He helped in the creation of 'new' music and culture.He never turned into a boring old fart,like some of the contributors to this debate have.They are lost in nostalgia for their long past youth.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 8th 2012.

You'll be old one day ...

SteveFebruary 8th 2012.

Off topic again are you?

By the way, how do you know what Tony Wilson wanted, were you a friend or did he confide in you? What does that have to do with the low grade, inferior building that is being proposed? Surely that is an argument that is pertinent to a different building.

People that differ from your views are "boring old farts"? Why don’t you defend your position on this proposal by evidence, review and examples? Is it easier to resort to personal insults?

Back to the proposal and buildings in question.

The proposed buildings have, in my opinion, OK massing and street level activity and interaction, not great but OK. However where it is let down is by the use of inferior materials, huge blank featureless wall facing the listed fire station, relief formed pre cast concrete windowless walls also facing the fire station. The materials do not weather well in Manchester as is evident on many of the building built in the 60’s. Elizabeth House was a perfect example of this type of material, and that is being pulled down.

The proposal will also result in a loss of jobs far greater than the few created by the budget operator. It is not only the club workers; there are also hotel workers, and a taxi rank in the buildings. There will be a net loss in jobs.

I think that this city deserves better than low quality architecture replacing economically useful buildings, it is not always the case that any investment is better than no investment.

I have explained why I think it’s a bad proposal; will you now explain why you think this is a good one? Not just “the existing buildings are slums” That is about what is there, not what is proposed.

Oh and can you do it without insulting myself or any other poster that disagrees with you?

Also can you answer my question you have ignored. Are “respected architects" above criticism, do they never make mistakes, do they always do the right thing by a city? If so why bother with the planning process, why consult with relevant bodies and the public. If they make no mistakes, why not give them free reign?

Thanking you in anticipation.

Rob TynanFebruary 8th 2012.

Off Topic David!!

AnonymousFebruary 8th 2012.

Sad. I remember many times in the 60s and 70s both as DJ and punter. Getting thrown out with Graham Nash and
getting slaughtered with Long John Baldry and Rod Stewert atmospher overload, that was the Twisted Wheel great memories, Ray Teret. http://Www.rayteret.com

it's the city, duffusFebruary 8th 2012.

Sad indeed.

Dear wheel punters, you've barely lasted five years in this location!

I have also had a great youff, loved my times in Bar10 on Tariff Street (please list it), Dry201 when it was good (list it), Sankey's and the Musicbox's awesome international dj clubnights (please list them all), followed by great gigs in Matt and Phreds (when Matt used to run it), please list that one too...

You don't know what I am on about? You do not think my argument warrants any of these venues to be protected?

See what I've done there? We've all enjoyed having a drink listening to good music young or old. It's over! Time to move on...

6 Responses: Reply To This...
SteveFebruary 8th 2012.

You were doing OK till you did the "see what I've done there" rubbish. There is more to the objections to this proposed development than the loss of a couple of drinking establishments.

What is proposed for this site is not good enough to warrant the demolition of perfectly serviceable, (if in need of refurbishment) economically viable buildings.

Have you looked at the proposals? I would object if it was suggested to be the replacement for any of the buildings you mention.

Could you imagine the outcry if this were proposed in the middle of the Northern Quarter or Castlefield?

Whilst it is not in a conservation area, it is adjacent and overlooks a very important building, the fire station.

Ich bin ein MancunianFebruary 8th 2012.

Duffus, I think you've partaked too much of the amber nectar,the Wheel on Whitworth St. has been running since 2000...5 years? ... you need to check your facts!

DavidFebruary 9th 2012.

Steve you do plenty of rubbishing yourself,as in you last comment on Duffus.
You seem to want to decide what is or off topic as well.People can say what they want,it is not up to you.

DavidFebruary 9th 2012.

Steve This is about the value or not of the buildings in terms of social history also.But your only argument seems to be in reality,that you do not like Hodders planned building.

SteveFebruary 9th 2012.

David, your first comment makes no sense, I have not rubbished myself in any posts, I have re read the post to Duffus and can not see anywhere where I rubbish myself. Perhaps you are reading what you want to see, not what I write.

If by “plenty of rubbishing yourself” you mean that I rubbish things, rather than myself, I still can not see what you are taking about. I have in all my posts tried to qualify my reasoning, giving evidence to support my stance. As opposed to you, e.g. “old farts”, “slums”, “poor scousers”, ”cloth caps”, “sad….Chester and York”, “these are ugly”, etc etc .

I do not say you can not make an off topic remark, just point it out. You are able to make as many irrelevant comments as you like, they are still off topic and irrelevant.

This is not just about the buildings that are there now, it is about a proposal to demolish buildings and replace with inferior replacement. The cultural loss compounds the issue, it is not the only issue.

Many buildings in the Northern Quarter were in a far worse condition than these buildings you call slums. Those around Thomas Street, Kelvin Street , Back Thomas Street and Tibb Street should, by your standards, have been demolished to be replaced by generic architecture. They are now a vibrant, unique part of the city, after renovation and bringing into economic use as bars, restaurants, shops, florists tea shops, etc.

When will you answer some of my pertinent questions? What positive effect, architecture, economic or culturally does the proposal bring this part of the city?

You seem to be in awe of Hodder partnership and have not answered my question of you…
Are “respected architects" above criticism, do they never make mistakes, do they always do the right thing by a city? If so why bother with the planning process, why consult with relevant bodies and the public. If they make no mistakes, why not give them free reign?

Rob TynanFebruary 9th 2012.

Steve, I think it is becoming clear that David has no intention of listening to other comments/opinions or answering any questions. The very fact that he goes off topic so much proves this. He is blinkered to his own opinions and thats that.

Neil YoungFebruary 8th 2012.

Graham Nash my bottocks!

SimonFebruary 8th 2012.

Lots of comments on here, there is a petition that means the council have to consider if it gets to 1500 votes. If everybody on here who feels that way voted. It would reach that. Opinions are opinions it is an invite not a command


AnonymousFebruary 9th 2012.

Just read the very sad news about the famous Manchester Twisted Wheel Club. It would indeed be a very sad day if Manchesters Planning Department are foolish enough to allow this to happen! And I wonder who is paying Davids wages??

DavidFebruary 9th 2012.

Nostalgia eating your brain.it was a sad day when black people were excluded from having club nights in the city,while you were allowed by club owners.It is the black musicians who deserve recognition not a mainly white bunch of soul fans.Who seem to think black music stopped in the 70s.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
SteveFebruary 9th 2012.

You now appear silly.

Rob TynanFebruary 9th 2012.

David, I repeat, what on earth has black music got to do with the demolition of Victorian buildings. I agree with Steve, you are appearing very silly!!

Richard HJFebruary 9th 2012.

Oh David...

AnonymousFebruary 9th 2012.

David, at first we thought you were the defender of the P.C brigade, now we just think you are some kind of idiot.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Rob TynanFebruary 9th 2012.

I'll second that!!

DavidFebruary 9th 2012.

No it was a Victorian building used as a venue for Northern Soul music.That is reason mainly that people are suggesting it should be preserved.So I think the treatment of black culture compared to white culture in this city is relevant.Manchester has a very poor record compared to other cities in supporting black culture.Look at the way the Nia Centre was allowed to close.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
SteveFebruary 9th 2012.

No this IS a Victorian building used as a venue for Northern Soul.

This is a venue that is a self funding leisure facility,providing facilities for city residents and attracting people from out of the area. It does so without requiring public subsidy, it also fulfils an economic role in the city.

The Nia centre was a publicly funded local facility that was heavily subsidised and little used by the target user.

You can not compare the two.

Please answer my question, how is this proposal an improvement on the architectural, economic and cultural provision for this area?

Rob TynanFebruary 10th 2012.

David David David!!!!

Calum McGFebruary 13th 2012.

It's not whyI want it preserved!

DavidFebruary 9th 2012.

What is northern soul,it is old,obscure black American music,that white working class kids danced to.So black US culture had got a lot to do with this,without it,these venue would not have the history they have.

1 Response: Reply To This...
SteveFebruary 9th 2012.

Again you show your ignorance of music history and culture.

You write as though the Black community sat at home, not going to clubs because the council wouldn’t support them. As if the black community are unable to arrange facilities themselves, waiting for the council to provide for them.

That’s rubbish. There was the Reno Club, The Nile Club, The Colonial, The Gallery and later The Kitchen and then Yellow at the Boardwalk. There were also a host of pubs in the Hulme and Moss Side areas that also provided music venues throughout the 80's.

Thankfully we now have a much greater integration, and people tend to gather together through a mutual enjoyment of music. It doesn’t require council interference to promote "black culture" that only reinforces stereo types and does nothing for integration.

Back to the topic in hand, will you please tell me, in what way does this proposal improve the architecture, economic and cultural provision for the immediate area.

If it is not an improvement on what is there then it should not be approved, surely?

BernardFebruary 9th 2012.

in 50 years time when northern soul is still strong someone will say WHY was the home of northern soul turned in to a hotel. SHAME act now. Come on council get it a listed building status. 1967,69,79 Wheeler

Isabella JacksonFebruary 9th 2012.

Blackpool Mecca, Cleethorpes Winter Gardens, Wigan Pier, The Twisted Wheel; danced my ass off at all of them. Northern Soul holds wonderful, massive and life-long memories for me, as a teenager in the 70s and later, into the 80s. How many people will still feel a lurch in their stomach and an unstoppable urge to take to the dance floor in 30-odd years time, when JLS or Rhianna get spun at their Daughter's wedding? I still, to my shame, have a pair of 6-button Oxfords and a floor-length circle skirt in the loft somewhere. Russ Winstanley, where are you?????

SteveFebruary 9th 2012.

Thought we had managed to get David to throw in the towel.

He has still not answered my questions directed at him. He still is posting irrelevant and off topic rubbish. He still hasn’t told us in what way this proposal is an improvement on what is already there.

I am sure he doesn’t have the answers, he just thinks that because its new it must be better.

To quote Oscar Wilde, "I am too old to know everything"
(I am not sure David will understand the meaning!) Ohh the ignorance of youth.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
DavidFebruary 9th 2012.

Black clubs did exist in the 1980s.But in the 1990s black music largely was absent from the city centre.The black community then did not sit at home,it had to go to other towns like Warrington to have black club nights.
Why does promoting black culture do nothing for integration?.Are you suggestion white people will be upset if there is a black arts centre.Is it Ok then for the council to give money to support Irish culture in this city then?.You are very complacent in suggesting things are much better.In comparison to London they are not.
More council resources should be directed toward those communities with less financial resources to support culture themselves,instead of those who already have the resources to do so.
You talk about "we".You clearly like to see
your self as leading other people.
I do not also consider the buildings worth saving on architectural grounds,and despite what you think,I consider Hodder building an improvementI have no
problem with budget hotels either,not being a snob.

SteveFebruary 9th 2012.

Who was supposed to provide black music clubs in the 90's onwards. It is usually the promoters that provide them, if there were no promoters what should be done? Council provide them?

There is nothing wrong with promoting black culture, however I am much happier with an integrated music scene than one that either includes or excludes on the basis of colour. I thought we had moved on.

The council DID provide support for the Nia centre, it lost funding as it was not viable, the building is grade 2 listed and was uneconomic to continue as a centre. There is much ongoing support for cultural events such as Moss Side carnival, so it is not true to say that the council is unwilling to support the Black Community.

I said we, do you know what the expression we means? "We is the word with which a person in speaking or writing denotes a number or company of which he is one" i.e. the commenting community on this board.

I have never implied I am a leader, just one of a number, "we".

You don’t say why you think the Hodder scheme is better architecturally, economically or culturally to that which exists. Just because it is by Hodder doesn’t make it so.

By the way, the building that they won the Sterling prize for was 14 years ago, and is causing so much problems for Salford University that it is being considered for demolition!

Your side swipe about being a snob hold no water either, I said in a previous post I have stayed in Motel One in Berlin, so clearly I have no problems with budget hotels. Just this one.

Rob TynanFebruary 10th 2012.

David...............OFF TOPIC................NOWT TO DO WITH THE DEMOLITION OF PERFECTLY GOOD VICTORIAN BUILDINGS LAD!!!!!!(said in best flat cap Lancashire accent)

BernardFebruary 9th 2012.

Some idiots are using this site for their own ends come on you lot its about heritage THE TWISTED WHEEL no using the forum as a slanging match

1 Response: Reply To This...
Isabella JacksonFebruary 9th 2012.

Was it ever thus Bernard?..........

Lord Rogers of RiversideFebruary 9th 2012.

Gents - let me shed some light on the issue of architectural quality.

The existing buildings which I believe went up for sale by the previous owner are now in the hands of a developer, who wishes - as the name implies - to 'develop' his new purchase.

From an architectural point of view, he is perfectly entitled to do so due to the fact that:

a) the existing buildings in question do not form part of any conservation area nor are they individually listed.

b) the city block which they are located in has long 'moved on' since the emergence of Piccadilly Place et al. This development now calls the shots with respect to function, scale and future cohesion of the urban fabric.

c) the new proposed hotel respects the function, scale and cohesion of the city block it is positioned in, subtly respecting the eaves levels of the neighbouring modern additions.

If members of the public can make a case that a) has somehow been overlooked and should apply due to its 'outstanding importance to the cultural heritage of Manchester' , then so be it.

I personally believe that opportunitiy has long passed, similar to the trams4deansgate campaign - all a bit too late in the process...but a good flash of insight for the future.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
G JonesFebruary 9th 2012.

I have bought a building I want to develop. It is not in a conservation area I was refused because the planning department didn’t like the design or my proposed materials. There clearly is more to planning that just the parameters you mention as non of them were mentioned in my application refusal. They just didn’t like it or the materials I wanted to use, which was brick.
This development has poor design and will be built of and have a concrete surface,a material that looks awful once it gets dirty, and that will happen quickly in Manchester.

Calum McGFebruary 13th 2012.

Our tram campaign was a very late idea, sadly!

Lord Rogers of RiversideFebruary 10th 2012.

I hear your frustration.

You should employ an architect, they aren't just all full of folly and beans...

There are few of Hodder's quality around, many a mess created by substandard designers elsewhere.

This is not one of them.

1 Response: Reply To This...
JoJoFebruary 10th 2012.

Even a respected architect can build a bad building. Just as an Oscar winner can have a bad performance.An architects primary client is the developer, his brief is dictated by them.
Many a mess has been created by award winning architects.... the Hulme Crescents were designed by award winning architects, see how that turned out! Quay Bay, award winning and demolished within a few years.
As Steve said in a previous post, if award winning architects never make mistakes, why not put faith in them and by-pass the planning system completely?

G JONESFebruary 10th 2012.

I have employed an architect, what makes you think I hadn’t? Roger Stephenson ( formerly of Stephenson Bell) is a respected architect. My plans are not full of folly and beans.
A revised application is going in.

Susan LawFebruary 11th 2012.

Whoa!! that's one statement too far David , you obviously know nothing about the music or the wide age range of the people who love it. Have some respect and confine your comments to the argument in hand please.

AnonymousFebruary 11th 2012.

David you being a knob head would know that the building is in fact three separate buildings one of them being built in 1740. Long before Victoria. Get at least the some of your facts right.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
DavidFebruary 15th 2012.

Thanks for your remark Anonymous.At least my head is not up my arse.

Rob TynanFebruary 28th 2012.

David David David............are insults all you can come back with when you can't answer a factual comment??

AnonymousFebruary 14th 2012.

Another bland Hodder builder replacing such characterful victorian buildings. Such a shame. Pity the Architects couldn't be more imaginative and make use of the existing buildings. Another nail in the coffin for the characher of Manchester.

1 Response: Reply To This...
VerbatimFebruary 14th 2012.

I agree that the proposed new building is not great but tokenistic gestures such as reusing the old facade is not always a good thing.

Blame the developers, not the architects.

Brian AllenMarch 14th 2012.

I used to take a 60's music tour from Urbis (remember Urbis?) the tour used to end in the Twisted Wheel because it's one of the few and probably only club still standing since the 1960's .A Major piece of Manchester heritage and as the Birthplace of Northern soul it would be an absolute sacrilige to lose it like the Oasis,Jungfrau and many many more sites of historic and public interest which have been lost to developers ....so come on Manchester Council Please Protect your own historic and fantastic musical past and make sure plans are made to keep "The Twisted Wheel" where it is and even maybe develop and advertise the name like Liverpool do with "The Cavern".

AnonymousMay 14th 2012.

Planning application has now been submitted for this development



To all those that care about our cultural heritage, the character and diversity of our city, time to make your views known.

AnonymousMay 17th 2012.

Planning application has now been submitted for this development



To all those that care about our cultural heritage, the character and diversity of our city, time to make your views known.

AnonymousMay 22nd 2012.

I am a Mancunian born and bred. I do hope that something can be done about saving The Twisted Wheel, it is part of the culture of Manchester and has been since the 60's. When America was segrating we were integrating in that cellar. We will never see the likes of it again.

Whilst I am not a Luddite and do welcome new buildings I DO NOT want them to replace our lovely old buildings, that is part of the thrill of going to Manchester. Can old and new not co-exist? Maybe we should pull all the buildings older than 100 years old and replace them !!!

We will be heartily sorry when all our lovely buildings are knocked down and replaced with concrete structures. So come on let's be positive here.

AnonymousMay 28th 2012.

If you want to object to the proposed demolition of the building 6 Whitworth Street that plays host to the Twisted Wheel and Legends please consider doing one or all of the following.......

So this is what we are asking all interested parties to do......

1. Go onto the public Access site, Register and put in a public comment in opposition to the demolition of the Wheel.......pa.manchester.gov.uk/…/caseDetails.do…

2. Send a "Letter Of Objection" to the MCC Case Officer, his e-mail address once again is....... j.kelsey@manchester.gov.uk

3. You can use the same e-mail if you wish to send to all the councilors (just cc all their e-mail addresses) listed below a "Letter of Objection" to Motel Ones plans......

Councilors e-mail addresses.....

Dear Michael,

Thank you for your email, as requested please find enclosed the Members of the Planning and Highways Committee email address's.


Kind regards

Lee Walker
Governance Officer.

Don't forget to quote the planning Reference number: 099250/FO/2012/C2.

You may want to mention some of the following in your letter:

Special designations... Conflict of conservation area....Over shadowing a Grade11* listed building (i.e Fire Station), Damage to historic or architecture

Loosing socially beneficial uses i.e The Wheel and Legends. The loss of community both locally and the greater national Soul coumminty .....

Site considerations....... Excessive bulk or scale..... Introducing unnatural features........ Incompatible with the design of existing buildings.....

Regards All

AnonymousMay 29th 2012.

Thanks Mike.

The main thrust of any objection should be the loss of an important part of our social and cultural heritage in terms of the historically important Twisted Wheel venue and the buildings themselves which have intrinsic value and contribute to the varied and characterful streetscene.

I do agree very strongly with your reason about the loss of a venue which has significant social and community value however.

The issues of scale and proximity to a listed building will be brushed aside (and rightly so) because the principle of siting large buildings next to smaller ones is already well established and is a distinctive characteristic of Manchester's city centre; and there are already buildings of considerable scale adjacent to the fire station.

Its important that any objection isn't clouded by reasons that are superfluous or spurious as it will allow the planning officer and the committee to write off the entire objection.

Come on people, get your objections in!


AnonymousMay 30th 2012.

Yes I feel you are correct good post, so let's all make the bones of our objection the loss of the Wheel......

Diana TaylorJuly 1st 2012.

I object to the building that is the home to The Twisted Wheel being knocked down. Unfortunately the people renting the building as Legends, are only interested in the money the nights make them.They couldn't give a toss about the history of the The Wheel,or the safety of the people that attend.

Pete RuttSeptember 3rd 2012.

hi sad news indeed,as a soul fan of 35+ years,i've seen us loose many clubs,wigan should have had a preservation order on it,had i known about 'em back then,then maybe i'd have tried to get it listed,hopefully a close by venue can be found,or maybe as soul fans we should all unite nationwide to either petion this iconic landmark,or all put in £100 and buy an old dancehall,if theres any left? i for one prefer a seedy/dark club,rather than a new sports hall,it suits the tunes better in my opinion,and i know its a bold idea £100 ea right now,its tough times,all the more reason to have a jig about + meet new + old freinds,possibly as a scene we need to incorporate current soul tunes,such as anthony wright reset to zero,so that young'uns know some of the tunes,i for one am proud to be part of the scene,stand up brothers & sisters and dont let the bastards get us down,pete you've done a great job,i salute you,ktf skf p

AnonymousFebruary 4th 2013.

just what manchester needs, another blummin hotel! cant move for the things!

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