I was planning to go to Manchester's newest club on Bank Holiday Sunday but tickets were in short supply. I couldn't place the venue when someone told me about it. It turns out I'd spent a fair amount of time there already.
Albert Hall, on Manchester's Peter Street, was the home of Manchester's Brannigans until the bar chain went into administration in 2011. I worked there for 3 months in 2003, when investors were already interested in refurbishing the upper area of the building- a dilapidated (and supposedly haunted) church.
Around this time one of the managers phoned me on a Saturday afternoon asking me if I could work a few extra hours. He mentioned that some investor types were interested in buying the upstairs of the building- the church itself- to renovate it and open it as a restaurant. Could I come in and give the place a bit of a tidy-up? Even though university deadlines were looming I- perhaps stupidly- agreed.
So he led me up the stairs into the abandoned church with a broom, a shovel and a stack of bin bags. For hours I swept and scooped and sweated. It was a bit freaky at first, but there was nothing to report. Certainly nothing like what Derek Acora claimed to find when he visited some weeks earlier for “Most Haunted”.
“Premier Nightspots!!!!” Even in 2003 that would have been HILARIOUS. Brannigans was a chav bar, through and through.
I never saw any paranormal shit there. A few girls who looked like Reagan from the Exorcist, but that's about it. I'd be curious to see how Albert Hall looks and feels these days.
But no, I didn't get there for Sasha Sunday over the bank holiday- I was SHATTERED.