Remembering the Moon Disco, Oxford Street, Dukinfield

Following the closure of the Oxford cinema in 1968, the one time picture house was transformed into a lunar themed night club. Given the then recent Moon landings in July 1969, it was appropriate that Dukinfield’s Superclub (before Superclubs ever existed in the provinces) would be called ‘The Moon’.

The main selling point of the club was its lunar ambience. Seating areas were cratered, decked in silver paint. Its dance floor was made of Stainless Steel and the DJ sat inside a rocket. It was the with-it club for lovers of Soul, Ska and Blue Beat music. The club’s playlist would include music by Prince Buster, Booker T and the MGs and The Skatalites. Its Floor Emptying tune was ‘Magic Bus’ by The Who.

At the end of each night, The Moon would close with ‘Everyone’s Gone to the Moon’ by Jonathan King. There was also a nightly bus service operated by the club so that customers could arrive home safely and cheaply.

The building

Its inital use was as the Oxford Cinema, purpose built for that use in 1921. It assumed that function till 1960 when it became The Oxford Sports and Social Club. By 1966, it reopened as a cinema, closing with the film Les Liaisons Dangereuse.

From 1969, it resurfaced as The Moon disco. In the mid-1970s, The Moon was refurbished and renamed ‘Hiccups Disco’. In 1979 – 80 came another change of name, to that of ‘Drifters’ Disco’. By then, its repertoire included live punk and new wave acts on weekdays with a disco in the weekends. Acts included The Toy Dolls, Peter and the Test Tube Babies and the Anti Nowhere League.

In 1985, the lights went down to make way for a Morrisons store. Whereas the nearby Queen mill was demolished in 1984, the Oxford Cinema building lay empty till February 1989. By then it was demolished to make for the superstore’s petrol station.

Over to you…

Unfortunately for me I missed out on the Moon Disco, so most of this post is inspired by a secondary source (in other words my Dad). If you have any first hand recollections of The Moon disco, feel free to comment and highlight this important yet seemingly neglected footnote in Dukinfield’s history.

S.V., 26 May 2011.

14 thoughts on “Streets Full of People, All Alone…

  1. I used to go to the moon club from 1969 till about 1971, my name is dave connor and drove an sx 200 lambretta, there were a few of us who were mods at the time, my best mate was a fella called ian chambers from hyde and another was many also from hyde, we had some amazing nights there dancing to james browns sex machine proper soul, and then went on to going to the twisted wheel in town. if anyone knows how to contact ian could you let me know, cheers.

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  2. I was just chatting with a young girl from Dukinfield who I work with and talking about the Moon club and had just described it exactly as Stuart had, even down to the “silver” crater seating areas and describing whereabouts in Dukinfield was and she said google it and I came across this site. Like David above, I also used to go to the Moon club around the same time (1968-1970), there used to be quite a crowd of us meet up there and we were also mods. I think I may have heard “Skinhead Moonstomp” there for the first time. Our clothing was mini skirts with braces and genuine grandad vests like the boys, dyed to whichever colour you like, and either platform shoes or Doc Marten boots or mini dresses at the weekend, My memories of going to “The Moon” are all good ones and coincide with the great music and dance times and other night life in the area at the time xxx.

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    1. Hi Christine,

      Thank you for your comment and recollections. I am indebted to my Dad’s memories of the place and realised a glaring lack of material online about the Moon Disco.

      I mentioned somewhere in the article a reference tp the Moon Disco’s shuttle bus service. It picked up and dropped off in most parts of what is now known as the Tameside area. I would be grateful if you, or anyone else reading this post, could elaborate on this.

      Warmly,

      Stuart.

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      1. Hi Stuart,
        Not sure whether or not there was a shuttle bus service as I actually travelled from Hadfield near Glossop, all I do know is that it was easy to get to and you were dropped off literally outside, my only memory is that you could always rely on getting there and back as there always seemed to be a bus/public transport to get you from A to B which is a rarity these days. We cannot get a bus to Hyde for love nor money now from Hadfield unless you want to be travelling for a couple of hours, which is probably why nothing goes on in Hyde much these days especially at the night time as it used to. As far as the recollections of the Moon are it is strange when those that used to go talk about it to the younger ones who know nothing about it and describe what it was like inside to see their reactions is quite funny and I have wondered sometimes if they quite believe what I am saying, a sure example was Natasha this morning when I showed her where it was on the Google street map she hadn’t even known of it’s existence and she only lives off Lodge Lane! But I was also glad I had “googled” the Moon Nightclub, Dukinfield and come across your site, as it did, as I said in my earlier comment describe the interior just as I had described it to Natasha!

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      2. Hi Christine,

        I noticed that issue when Derbyshire County Council thought it was a great idea to sever another cross-boundary link. Therefore, from Hadfield, it is better to catch the train to Godley or Newton, then continue your journey to Hyde on the 201, or the 346 or 387.

        Back on topic. For many people born in Tameside or Glossop during the late 1980s onwards, they would be most amazed at how a place like Dukinfield would sustain a club of this calibre. Plus, this was also the case elsewhere with Working Mens’ Clubs. For many, now a distant memory, the reasons of their demise probably down to lost disposable income and higher car ownership.

        Bye for now,

        Stuart.

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      3. I totally agree with everything you said, and as to the “young ones” being amazed, this is how this all started for me by just mentioning it to Natasha who is a mere 20 years old, I don’t think she quite believed it either especially when I showed her on the map exactly where it was and she realised it was but a couple of streets away from where she lives! As for the buses/trains, I decided that from where in Hadfield I live, that to get the train either from Hadfield or Dinting both equal distance from my house,it is a good half an hour walk, I would travel to work in Hyde by car which is another point you made about the higher car ownership. It is a catch 22 situation all round either for work or socialising, the public transport is no longer as accessible as it used to be which is why some towns are losing evening trade from outsiders! I think we did have it better in mine and your dads day when you could just hop on a bus and go wherever the mood took you and if you didn’t like it there get another bus within a short time and go somewhere else 🙂

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  3. The Moon ! That brings back some memories ! Looking back it ‘s pretty amazing that we had such a great place in the middle of Dukinfield. It was kind of Neutral Territory, or own little Switzerland, where kids from Hyde, Denton, Dukinfield (all sworn enemies) could get together and dance to some great Northern Soul with the minimum of ‘aggro’. I loved that place.
    I live a long way from there now but, weirdly enough, I’ll be in England in a couple of weeks and I’m sure I’ll be hearing faint sounds of Funky Street and Under the Boardwalk when I’m wandering around Morrisons with my mum…….

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  4. Hi All,
    I started going to the moon about 1970. I would have been too young to officially get in but never had a problem and had a few drinks when they got to know me. I went with a group of lads from Denton (and Haughton Green) but dont remember any trouble with the locals. We used to dance next to the space pod where the DJ was and make requests through posted written notes in a slot in the plastic. I remember the bus mentioned above but generally found another way home. Dave Connors name is ringing bells. I eventually became good friends with a lad from Dukinfield called Dave McCann and we proved that the different areas could get on. Like some others who have commented I moved South and then abroad for many years but now find myself back in the UK.
    All the best
    Paul Carter

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