Once again another of Manchester’s iconic buildings (I use the term building very loosely) has been raised to the ground and it shall be missed. In fact, it was rather impossible to miss and even though it was not exactly easy on the eye, it was definitely loved.

I’m not to sure how many years Church Street Records had been trading, but I know for a fact it had been there for many years, even before my first YTS in 1986 at a punk clothing shop on Church St called 50/60 Split (for those who don’t know, YTS was Youth Training Scheme and was devised  by Thatcher for school leavers in the early eighties and paid a staggering £17 a week). Back then, the shop/shack was only half the size and did not have as many eye catching points of sale, although it did stand out.

As the said YTS was also on Church Street, in fact it was in a shop that is now the cellar of the new Tesco, I would occasionally spend my lunch time rifling through the singles and coloured vinyl section. Every once in a while I would also find something worthwhile and it would be at a bargain price.


But as we all know, things change and Manchester has seen its fair share of this over recent years. The stalls are all to be rebuilt and when they do, all of the other traders will be returning, except the Church Street Records man. This is only to be expected though, as he is now in his mid-seventies and the rent and rates will also be doubling. So I reckon if he did stay he’d have to double his prices to everything being one pound.

No more shall I see those weird faces painted on the shop front for no known reason, I shall also miss the hand painted sign proclaiming ‘Cheap? Why Not!’.

So let us raise our glasses to the man that has provided part of the Manchester music scene, albeit in his own unique way.

Update – 19/01/2010. Just been asking Mark that runs the fruit stall on Church Street about the guy from CSR. His name is Tony, he started out about fifty years ago on a stall in the Shudehill part of town and moved to his last location in the seventies.

Do you have any memories/stories of Church Street Records? For example, banging your head on those sharp overhangs whilst browsing the tatty old vinyl.



Simon Zaccagni

‘Accidental Editor’ of Silent Radio from its inception in 2009 through to 2020. None of this was planned; I’ve never been in a band, never been part of the ‘music scene’ and never expected to be the gaffer of a music website with loads of dedicated music loving writers. I bought my first record when I was 8 and haven’t stopped buying since. I love crate digging for bizarre and weird stuff, but equally happy ploughing through press releases looking/listening for something I’ve never heard before.