Pubs of Manchester

All pubs within the city centre and beyond.
A history of Manchester's hundreds of lost pubs.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Top Cat Tavern, Hanging Ditch

Top Cat Tavern, Hanging Ditch, 1994. (c) Alan Winfield with permission.

The Top Cat Tavern was a notoriously rough city centre boozer in the 1980s, frequented by piss heads, down-and-outs and characters such as the 'phantom raspberry blower' and 'toothless tattooed hags' [1].  The Top Cat has been mentioned in the same breath as John Willie Lees, the King, and 'Middle Yates's', which were all dens of inequity up until recent years.  It was part of the Corn Exchange and next door to the more upmarket Walcots, as can by seen by comparing the 1990s photos.

Going back further in time, Rowntrees took up both Walcots and the Top Cat as seen in 1969.  The 1994 shot of the Top Cat Tavern shows it permanently closed but Alan Winfield had visited in 1987 and "enjoyed" a pint of Wilson's keg bitter, describing the place as a pretty crap (this, from a seasoned Manchester estate pub ticker) single-roomed pub.  The old Top Cat now appears to be a vacant unit sandwiched in between Zinc and a Starbucks.

Former Top Cat Tavern, Hanging Ditch. (c) Google 2013. View Larger Map.


  1. John was the legendary barman at the TC and we had some great times in there though it was basic and ruff n ready I always liked the place. Dave, ex corn exchange dealer

  2. theirs a picture of the top cat club on Manchester images but it shows it from where i remember it Todd st near Victoria station where the old bossanova was.