Checking into the hotel on a Saturday night, picking up your room card and having a chat with the friendly members of staff who all know you as a regular. Cheeky bottle of vodka in your room with your mates, with a few 80s or 90s bangers playing to accompany your shit, shower and shave. Heading down to the residents’ bar for a couple of drinks, and always chuckling at the mix of Stockport locals and stags and hens from across the UK descending on this weird and wonderful place in Bredbury. Sticking on your wristband and heading down the stairs into the legendary tunnel, which suddenly brings you out in a nightclub. Dancing the night away until 3am. Going back into the tunnel for the return journey (which, let’s be honest, was always much more difficult after necking double vodkas all night) and ending up in the residents’ bar once again. Karaoke and hot sandwiches until 5am, still dancing around and loving life with old friends, new friends and strangers. Then bed. Or someone else’s bed if you were lucky.
Now, the vast majority of my mates think I’m a bit of a saddo for having such a soft spot for Bredbury Hall. Do you know what, I can live with that. Even I, in my role as Bredbury Hall’s biggest fan, fully appreciate this place isn’t Chinawhite or The Ivy. However, it is bloody good fun. Have a read of my previous paragraph once again and hopefully you’ll understand why me and my mates have always had such a giggle on a ‘Bredders’ night out.
I suppose you’d call it one of my guilty pleasures. But what’s wrong with that? Life’s difficult and tough for all of us, and when you get to the end, it’s not houses, money or cars you’ll look back on. You’ll reminisce about the various pleasures that have shaped your life, guilty or not. The TV programmes, music, festivals, holidays – stuff like that – as well as an iconic Stockport nightclub you were a small part of, dancing along to Five and Michael Jackson like there’s no tomorrow, crying with laughter with your mates in between the shots and the vodkas. I’ve partied all over the world, but as much as it pains me to say it, some of the best nights out I’ve had have been at Bredders. Jesus. I’ve just read that back. Perhaps it’s now time to get a life now this place has closed down.
As this is a tribute article, I thought I’d try and be a serious journalist for a minute or two and carry out some research. Apparently, Bredbury Hall opened in 1812. (Some of the women who attended the very first night could still be found on the dance floor on a Saturday night in 2020.) Shirley Bassey played there back in the day. It was later owned by Dougie Flood in the glory days, when groups descended on the club from all over the UK, but you couldn’t get in if you had tattoos or a shaved head. And you’d probably get leathered off the bouncers if you disputed it. The hotel went into administration a few years ago, and was bought by some businessman from Bangladesh. I’m not even sure who owns it now, but whoever was in charge, I can only imagine how difficult 2020 has been, as with all of the other businesses in the struggling hospitality industry.
And there you have it. Bredbury Hall is no more. RIP to a wacky old place that has provided much merriment over the years. The heart says someone will buy it, and reopen it as a hotel and nightclub once the Coronavirus has buggered off. But the head knows how much investment is going into Stockport at the moment, and a load of new houses on the Bredbury Hall site, so close to the motorway and the town centre, would make a fortune for a property developer. So on behalf of the Bredders crowd, we might need to come up with a Plan B. I propose we get rid of all the teenagers and reclaim the Bamboo as our own. Get someone to bring a karaoke machine with them, stick a bacon butty van in the car park, we’ll claim squatters’ rights.
Nothing will beat a Bredders night out, though. Goodnight old friend.
The editor of The Viaduct asked a few of his Facebook friends for their own memories of Bredders…..
Steven Clippy Pickford: Hot roast butties at 3am then playing football on the pitch next door at 11am still pissed.
Chris Spinks: The words Des Hinks and Bredbury Hall in the same sentence. You knew it was going to be a memorable night!
Nichola Tracey: I can’t pinpoint a specific memory as every night there was amazing. From Carl Mannion’s wedding to the 90s nights, and Christmas parties to girls nights out, good times, every time! Always leaving with not much of a memory, but always a smile. Met some great people there as well.
Mark Fletcher: I have two. Getting to midnight and seeing Des Hinks bowl in with his waistcoat on. And it didn’t matter what time we left – 2am, 3am, 5am – my top mate John King always made sure he’d drive his mates home and drop them right at their front door.
Andy Jones: Hot beef butties and karaoke in the residents’ bar. The eerie walk from the entrance to the club through the wine bar to the main part of the club.
Andy Quilliam: Went once and it was shit.
Mark White: Knocking some tosser out, then trying to escape before the bouncers got me. Kept getting lost with the many corridors. Made it though!
Paul Flattley: Titanium by David Guetta.
Jack McNally: Necked a bird then she ran off with a 60-year-old man.
Rick Porter: Banging my fucking head on the dungeon ceiling as it’s made for midgets. I’m six foot five.
Darren Bass: Sebastian the ghost in his cell at the entrance to the club. My dad said it’s one of the oldest features that was there when he used to go when he was younger, and it was owned by Frank (the owner before Dougie Flood).
Paul Wallace: Grab a granny night every night!
Kevin Huddart: No visible tattoos!