BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

13 November 2014

BBC Homepage

Local BBC Sites

Neighbouring Sites

Related BBC Sites

Contact Us

Local History

You are in: Tees > History > Local History > Your Madison Memories

The Madison

The Madison

Your Madison Memories

In its time it was the Number 1 nightspot in Middlesbrough and probably Teesside. The Madison nightclub or as it was known affectionately "the Madhouse" or "Mad Dogs". You've shared your memories of Madison with BBC Tees.

The night club was part of the old Cleveland Centre, now owned by and called The Mall, but it has remained empty for a number of years.

After mentioning The Madison on his show, BBC Tees' John Foster went for a wander inside one of his old haunts to see if the DJ stand was still there, whether Queenie was collecting the coats and if the old 'phone box was still there?

Showing him round was The Mall's General Manager, David McNee.

Former Mad House DJ Gary Millar got in touch with BBC Tees after hearing the tour.

"So sad to see the 'photos of the inside of Madison nightclub. It was stripped due to Asbestos insulation that had to be removed.

"I was the resident DJ from Sept '87 to Sept '88, then returned again as resident '89 to '93. A lot of memories with now what is only a shell of a building. What a shame.

Just for the record, (pardon the pun) I still remain an active DJ today, although now only part time due to health reasons, after over 35 years of playing music to the public."

Listen to John Foster on Saturday nights from 6pm through to 9pm and share your Madison stories and photos with BBC Tees.

last updated: 04/04/2009 at 15:05
created: 10/01/2008

Have Your Say

What are your memories of the Madison?

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

steve teasdale
I was one of the resident dj,s alongside gary,mike and our young trainee protege,s a real shame about how this legendary club has ended up.but you cant cant take away those memories and theres a lot of them too many to list really.all those great door lads appo,tony,ste,boicey,keitsey,bullock,howard,and not forgetting of course the manders paul,duggie and gordon.the staff.deniece,sue,carol,maxine,michelle the lovely simone,timmy,margerate,mandy,ang,paul,rebeccca,knagsy,harry the cellarman and of course mr malcolm morgan himself who was responsible for poaching me from henry,s bar all those years ago.too many to remember so apologies to those ive forgot.i,d love to be able to catch up with some of these old friends so ive organised a MADISON/MACY,S REUNION PARTY this will be on the 16th may at CLUB PLATINUM (THE OLD HAVANA NIGHTCUB)I have enlisted most of the original dj,s gary millar,mike graham,colin webster,chalky and myself.this is going to be one of the biggest events of 2009'which will be authentic as possible.please let people know and place the date in your diarys.if anyone wants further information please contact me on 07983464601 or e-mail

Christine Johnson, (Randall)
God I haven't visited the website for ages.....A huge Hello to dear old friends ( and you will be old now) Paul Healy and Chris Bailey.Would you believe Debbie Webster has just been in Cyprus staying with me for 10 days after many years of not seeing each other.....but our friendship and common ground were the nights we shared in that Club, and the parties and friends we have great great memories of.I don't get back very often, but I have to say Chris is right about the standard of people that were in the Madison in those days.The last time I was in Middlesbrough my 18 year old son made us promise we would never come back to live there, he was in shock at the behaviour of the " Customers" pouring onto the streets late at night in Middlesbroughs town centre.I'm sorry but it is a far cry from the town we visited in the late 70's and early 80's I don't care what you say.Tony Z, new to keep it strict and selective he would gaurantee a safe and lively Nightclub with a great time had by everyone.Paul Healy what are you doing now, and Chris, Debbie and I were talking about you just the other day while laying on a red hot beach,discussing our underwear paries we had in Hemlington, then down to Billy Pauls, back up to my house and how the ice cream man nearly crashed his van outside my house when we waved him down dressed in stockings and little silk slips...ah those were the days. Free cornets for a while.So sad to hear about Mick Wise...quiet funny and genuine man.Is Malcome Morgan still around,,,,,my Dad had alot of time for him.?The Randall girls are still going strong...don't see alot of each other though sadly anymore...Paula in USA with husband Gary Hamilton, and Linda in Nothern Cyprus 6 months of the year with her Husband John Spenceley. Dad still lives in Eston age 86.Did any of you go to the reunion, and what was it like?????Keep in touch, and take care.

Sue Bell
I worked at Madison and Billy Paul in 1983-84 and had a great time! I made have very happy memories of those days. Gutted that I have missed the reunion!

steve di carlo

Chris Bailey, Middlesbrough
I've read thru' all the memory threads regarding Madison and reckon that the following is true, That if you worked within the Tony Zivanaris (Or TAZ Leisure) era, then you knew what the club was all about. In other words,you knew about quality and style. If, after that, when Granada Leisure purchased the group you worked there, or went there on a 'night-out'. then the place was just another bigged-up 'dance-hall'.The 'style' and atmosphere had simply evaporated.The 'batten' of that era was carried on by Barry Faulkner at The Empire and Brian Andrews/John Graham at The Arena/ Cornerhouse. Once D.J.s and Door-staff think that they are 'important' in the running of any club, its days are numbered! Sorry if Ive offended any members of the above quotient, but 40 years of experience tells me its true.

Cilla, Linda & Maureen from Whitby
We used to go to Madison most Saturday nights, sometimes Friday too. It was well worth the drive over from Whitby (usually!) We used to stop off for a drink along the way and at Lord Raglan before going to join the queue across the road. Have been reading the 'memories' and yes, remember all those things, have been humming 'The Hustle' all day long! We remember that lots of guys wore black or blue velvet jackets, oh yes, we remember them - some more than others! I saw one last Christmas and reminded him that he had once been a fashion icon! One of us met our future husband there. We remember those moments in the Ladies when we planned our strategy and dried the tears of disappointment sometimes. Can't believe we are now in our mid 50's but we're still young at heart and have very happy memories of our Madison nights out.

Chris Bailey, Middlesbrough
Madison was a massive leap forward in terms of what had previously been regarded simply as 'discotheque' entertainment i.e. dancing to records. This had always been conducted in much smaller premises around the town. Tony Zivanaris had previously advanced even that scene, by the opening of the Topdeck at Redcar, which in 1967 brought a new standard of luxury interior to discotheques, that had previously been ubiquitous black painted walls with U.V. strip lighting on the ceiling, and a barely adequate sound system. Madison when opened in 1974 boasted not only a 1400 capacity, its interior was of such a luxurious standard, this combined with a 1st class restaurant facility, that it drew many to it, from a much older, even prestigious, crowd, that would not normally be found in such premises. It was also open during the day for business lunches and meetings. As Christine Randall says, the dress code was all important, for both staff, and customers. If you didn't make the effort, then you couldn't get in to work there, or play there! The record-playlist had to be submitted for approval to TZ each day by the resident D.J. who in the early days was Merv. Jones (who was also a very talented rock-drummer)Linda Mackie, ran the bar-staff like a sergeant-major, and woe-betide Linda if TZ found any ashtray on the bar with more than two stubs in it. In other words 'quality' in every aspect of the operation was TZ's watchword. Those gold framed pictures of various girls, around the walls, were all taken from the actual, and highly-collectable, Pirelli calendars that Helmut Newton photographed for in the early-mid 70's.Madison was a club of it's time, a period when almost everyone was in work and had aspirations for themselves. Unlike today's forlorn creatures who seem to inhabit the pavements, and gutters, of the town centre these days, it was really 'un-cool' to appear drunk, or shout obscenities across a street. Everyone was trying hard to 'be' someone positive, not totally negative. The 'star' of the show was Manager Mick Wise from Leeds, who attended to almost every operational detail, and gained much respect from his mighty army of staff, along with the softly spoken, almost gentile, head-doorman Malcom Morgan.The club successfully exported its theme to both Newcastle and Nottingham, the group being sold to Granada Leisure, at just the right time, by TZ. In the mid '90's I was taken back for an hour to the 'new-ownership' Madison by some friends whilst back in Middlesbrough. Besides its run-down and tacky interior, the place had become like the waiting-room to Hell, The door standards of admission, had quite obviously slipped quite a few rungs down the demographic ladder. The place was most definitely, and by then sadly, out of control and had no element of style left whatsoever. Regrettably, I recently heard that Mick Wise died a few years ago after emigrating to South Africa....he would have been turning in his grave!

Paul Healy
I worked for Tony from 1981 to 1986 in Billy Paul & Madison.At that time Taz Leisure also had Mrs Jones Buttery( very sophisticated) which was above Billy's and the Solarium on the 'middle floor'which eventually became Macy's.When i left TAZ leisure i stayed in the licensed trade until 1996 and ran the Lord Raglan for 8 years which was directly opposite the Madison - the lads who worked on the door for me in the late 80's and 90's at the Raglan also worked at the Madison & Billy's as did some of the jocks and bar staff.1981 and i'm stood at the Cocktail Bar gazing into the Madison square garden with half a lager that i'd 'signed for' and a taxi chit to get me home to Normanby - and i'm getting paid for it!!! ( it did become a job eventually i hasten to add).I'm going to name some people who used to work at Madison and Billys and some of the punters so here we go down memory lane.Lets enter the night life:Steve Cook was running Billy Paul when i started his predecessor had been Frank Harker.Barry Hunt took over after Steve - Barry was and is one of lifes characters - i can see Seaweed coming down the stairs now!!!The doormen at that time were Peter Littlewood, John Hall,Dave Harris, Terry Waldron, Kevin Burke,Steve Rennison,Paul Epstein, Mark Epstein,Peter Menzies to name a few.Idris who has Central Park worked with this crew.Over the years you would have a door team stay together - grow old and then move on - so here are some of the lads that i can remember - Please forgive me if you don't get a mention.Frankie Farnhill - cockney, drayman with S&N and ultimately licensee of the Red Lion at Norton.Denis Power - who was a fireman down on the river and boxing coach at South Bank. Big Mick Spayne also a fireman.Chris Wadsworth - who was fruiterer in Middlesbrough.Paul Jackson who turned up on a Honda 50 sporting a curly perm - very Kevin Keegan.Jacko was a keen fisherman and brought me fresh mackerel in that he'd caught down at the GareFact- Mike Keegan - Kevins brother started work for TAZ leisure on the same day as me - his picture was in the Gazette with Mick Wise who was ops director at the time - My dad always wanted to know why my picture wasn't taken!!!Doormen - Paul Webster,Paul Tayor x 2,Paul Appo, Keatsey,Andy Earnshaw,Mick Doyle.Malcolm would sometimes put an olive branch out to some aging doormen that might deperately need a job having fallen on hard times.I recall this one poor chap who had suffered an horrendous head injury working the doors - he recovered however if he moved or turned too quickly his legs sometimes would gave way and he would slump to the floor - this happened to him on a busy Saturday night when we were working the queue coming up the stairs and we had to get him a chair until he pulled round - not the best advert for a doormen - thankfully he retired soon after this incident.I can remember watching a bootleg copy of ET in Billy Paul on Saturday afternoon when we'd got everybody out - 3.00 closing in those days - and at the end of the film all these big strapping lads were trying to wipe away the tears.Happy Hour in Billys would have the Tyne Tees lads - Frosty, Dave Picken, Peter Holland,Clive Kerfoot, Tony Cook & Luke Casey.The footballers - Dave shearer, Terry Cochrane, Stevie Bell, Hammy, Colin Ross, Peter Johnson to name a few.The Randall Girls - Linda,Paula & Christine who were stunning - Big Debbie who was a friend of theirs.To answer your question Christine - and a big hello - Tony sold the clubs to Granada Leisure - Malcolm stayed on as General Manager but it was never the same.Barry and Roy Faulkner, Chris Bailey, John & Lynne Pearce would be in early doors - sandwiches & peanuts on the bar were a unique selling point!!- The craich was brilliant.Bailey recalls seeing Stevie Wonder in Middlesbrogh - i think it was in the Purple Onion - Bailey also worked for TAZ leisure at some stage in his career.The staff in the early days in Billys were Flo & Carol on the food bar - pastrami on rye ple

somebody asked what happened to the madison next door neighbour rescued it from a skip....they had it for a while but dropped it and it smashed ....they were gutted...

karen a
there will never be another was fab me and my mates went every week . the lads had to wear a tie to get in..and the girlys always made a big effort to look the business....xmas was great i can still remember going up the stairs with tinsell wrapped around me that i nicked off the office xmas days ever...

andy mcgurk
the poster of the tennis girl next to the ladies toilets, what more can i say

dave johnson
the Madhouse - the only club on the planet where if there was only fifty in on a Tuesday night it would still have been a good night..remember the burger seller outside...ahhhh i feel sick lol.

Karen VS
What is the old Madison site now?Has anyone tried to re-open as a nite club, if not, why?Thanks

Mandy Durham nee Rodgers
Worked behind the bar from '92 - '94. Saw some sights, had some great nights - it was like a little community, most of the staff knew most of the staff from all of the other pubs and we got to have a lot of stoppy backs in a lot of different pubs. I can actually remember leaving the place at 8:00am one saturday morning after working and staying back on the Friday night only to bump into someone I worked with during my day job going in to work in Corporation House!! Couldn't do it these days

Christine Johnson (Randall)
So good to read all these comments about the Madison....can someone tell me.....when did Tony Zivz sell up and who to...I left the Boro way back in 86 and believe me my stint as a DJ was rigidly sticking to Tony's playlist and god help the person who dared to play anything that wasn't on it....great times.I married the Manager of Madison at the time in 79, a guy called Steve Dobson....had my wedding reception there too. Malcom Morgan was a good friend of my Family, my Dad even did a stint as Cellarman for awhile.Divorce quickly came and went and I met my Husband of now, Peter Johnson, who at the time was playing for Darlington, when we were propping up the Bar in the Restaurant area one night.....what a fantastic club it was....have a great reunion night..can't be there but bet it will be great.

paula d & alison s.
we were ther every week on thursdays and fridays and saturdays! we used 2 pretend it was a friends birthday sometimes on a thursday if we were skint cos u got a free bottle of wine in the restaurant ! ha ha my fondest memories of bein out partying all of them in the madison my first love- my first hearbreak! the madison had it all! i was gutted 2 c the pics of how it is today! paula & alison. xx

leila farreh nygaard
i am from south shields and in the year of 1977 i met ameed from nablus , and may i say i hav never forgotten him ,we danced to herb albert ,this guy in love wiv u , ahhh iloved the last dance , ahhhh i love u ameed wherever u r and i miss the maddisons of 1977 , hugs from leila xxxx

Matt Bilton
Gary Millar really is one of clublands unsung heroes. Although our paths didn't cross in his time at the Madison, they did years later when I myself was working as a Dj in various clubs and pubs throughout the North East. A genuine, modest guy and always a pleasure to work with, Gary was a mentor for me during the begining of my journey into nightclub Djing. A true professional in his trade, always consistantly mixing records and compact discs seemlesly, and with a microphone voice worthy of being broadcast on any airwaves. I learnt more from Gary than any other Dj I have ever worked with and when my time came, Gary shown me full support and sent me into clubland with valuable knowlage I would have not even been aware of if it wasn't for him. I am still very good friends with Gary and his family and will always remember the nights we worked together and the valuable support and guidance I was shown by him. A true friend, gentleman and a genuine institution amongst club Dj's.

gordon barnes aka dj chalky b
i was the trainee dj in the madison 1989 seems a long time ago now .fond memories of learning my trade alongside mixmaster millar and ste t. who is still my best mate now.went on to work all over the town .loved the place ,the people and all the staff.cant wait for the reunion its gonna be massive,classic tunes they were the days .we were proper dj,s not like they are now. we could play anything and everything.see ya on the 16th may

Susan Brogden
hi was brill. 87 to 89. Anbullmadig Khalil Libya i still think of him. Gary Millar he was brill

Yvonne Bradburn
Tha Madhouse was the best nightclub in Middlesbrough, was there every Friday and Saturday night. So many good memories, met so many people, there will never be another like it. First started going in 1984ish, was gutted when it closed, maybe somebody should arrange a reunion from that eara, would be interesting to how everybody turned out... A decade of memories embedded in my mind, most of them good. What ever happened to the Madison sign?

what was downstairs called?

jim mc bride
wed night were the best even though i worked in the gents toilets it was a pleasure to work in the madhouse, on my first night there the ladies loo was full so this trio of young ladies just waltzed into the cubicals and used the toilets, i just sat there gobsmacked , bring back some sort of club in the old madhouse

Chris Price
First went there in about 1987, aged 17. You had to wear trousers, shoes, shirt and tie, we used to always hang around for girls to walk in with! for a better chance of getting past the bouncers! or use the car park entrance, which always had a smaller queue and was easier to get in, or so it seemed!Herb Alpert 'This guy's in love with you', Salt n Pepa 'Push it' The Pasadenas 'Tribute Right on' are the tunes I remember, always full of Boro players.Christmas Eve during the day was great too....Good memories, oh no, Herb Alpert, grab a woman quick!

Ste Black.
So Glad Dj Gary Millar has contacted you! The guy is a living legend, who even today is still ranked by many as clevelands best ever club dj. His mixing skills & knowledge leave most to shame, (even the so called "Super Dj's")& his microphone voice was well easily up to broadcast standards. He should have been nominated years ago for the queens bithday honours. I remember him telling me years ago, that since 16 years old.. he had worked nearly all of his birthdays, including his 18th & 21st.. Nearly every christmas, boxing day & new year. What an unsung hero, & Madisons best ever D.j. What a great guy!

Steve Mills
I first went to the Madison in 1977. I was wearing a black velvet jacket and "big" matching tie, I had a "Thin Lizzy" badge in my lapel and the bouncer asked me..."Ere, are you a punk? " Never forget the last song of the night, "This guy's in love with you" by Herb Albert. If you weren't fixed up by the end of the record then it was the long cold walk home down the skint trail back to Doggy.Madison was the quintessential Disco back in those days. Never forget Xmas Eve afternoons when it would be packed to the rafters with gorgeous women and drunken blokes in fancy dress, ie. me and my mates.Great memories, Great times!

Claire M
I absolutley loved the Maddison, used to go in 94' onwards, its funny, there would be a group of us and, if for some reason we used to get separated we would always meet at the RED PHONE BOX bring back the madhouse!!!!

Paul Sanderson
It was over 30 years ago, and I can't now remember the exact dates of when I worked at Madison, but I know why I worked there. I'd left Teesside College of Art in the summer of 1974 and was living in a ground-floor bedsit at 147 Southfield Road, on the corner of Abingdon Road, and was working at Trojan Photographic on Linthorpe Road (later Northern Photographic Services). Not having much to do in the evenings I decided to get an evening job and decided to work at a nightclub – I'd be paid for having a night out, and there would be girls to be met and romanced.So that's how it started for me, sometime in late 1976. Top films at the time included Rocky, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Wars, Smokey and The Bandit and The Deer Hunter and, in what was to prove a high point of the disco era, Grease, Saturday Night Fever and Thank God It's Friday. During my time Madison promoted itself as the 'upmarket' venue in Middlesbrough, with only the best in disco music such as 'I Love to Love' (Tina Charles), 'I Feel Love' (Donna Summer), "Yes Sir I Can Boogie' (Baccara), 'Night Fever' (The Bee Gees), anything by Abba, 'Summer Nights (John Travolta and Olivia Neutron Bomb), Hot Chocolate and Boney M and Isaac Hayes and Barry White. And even Rod Stewart with "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?' (well, no, actually, Rod... since you ask). Part-way through the evening the curtains would part and there would be a live band on, doing their own versions of disco standards, and there was a period when Madison also put on some top danceable acts to pull in the customers, though I can only remember The Four Tops (by now with only one recognisable Top), Musical Youth, the raunchy dance troupe Hot Gossip from The Kenny Everett Video Show and The Love Affair. The latter were no longer the chart-topping 'Everlasting Love' line-up of 1968 but a bunch of stick-thin kids with noisy guitars, and they were given the old heave-ho after only one night. This was not unusual; a number of acts were swiftly shown the door when it turned out that the agency had sent along simply anyone without regard to the style of band Madison had asked for. This always produced a panicky rush to fill the gap with whatever else the agencies were offering and one such stop-gap suggestion was Chris de Burgh, though at that time 'Lady In Red' was some years in the future and only a few of us had even vaguely heard of him. Someone nervously voiced the fear that they thought de Burgh might be some sort of punk music act, and we clutched at this single snippet of info based on no evidence whatsoever, and so that was that: no Chris de Burgh.Right from 8pm the music was segued together, track after track fading one into the next without stopping until the end of the evening, but I was there the night the music was indeed stopped and there was a bit of 'dead air' and then it was announced that news had just come through from the USA that Elvis had died. There was a stunned silence and then an increasing babble of dismay that went on for three or four minutes until a suitable Elvis record was found.Earlier that same year (1977) Star Wars was released and as part of the publicity various costumes from the film were sent around the country. Madison received a Darth Vader and three or four white Imperial Stormtrooper costumes, one of which I volunteered to wear. I was the right height, but it rather rattled about on me and faced in random directions as I stumbled about since it was meant to be filled by an actor much more muscular.As the premier night spot in town Madison sometimes had the Middlesbrough footballers in, though not often. At that time footballers were fairly well paid but nowhere near like they are now. Many were local lads with local horizons and most of them had wives or girlfriends who were nothing like the heat-seeking party-WAGs we know today. If a player wasn't interested in nightclubbing anyway, then being a footballer by profession didn't alter that, and it was only on special occasions such as a team-mate inviting them out for a birthday drink.

Paul Sanderson
Christine - yes, it is indeed me who took the photos (I can assure readers here that nothing improper was intended or happened!) and after nearly 30 years you're the first person from those days I've come into contact with! My lengthy entry below is only part of the email that resulted in a John Foster BBC Radio Tees interview in late June (his final afternoon show), though that doesn't appear anywhere as a sound file. I submitted a lengthier but better 'essay' that same night (I remembered more even during the interview), but it's the earlier one that appeared on this webpage a short while ago. If anyone wants that better account emailed – and assuming email addresses aren't deleted by whoever moderates this webpage – then anyone can contact me at: paul at kelsey dot-coh, dot you-kay. Madison was where I learned to open a bottle of champagne... though I'm inclined to think I'd not met a bottle of champagne before then! I'm also inclined to think it wasn't the best champagne either!

Christine Johnson(Randall)
Hello,,John Brady,,well a blast from the past..I think I know who you are...but that many posers used to get in free, you could be one of many.Steve went to live in USA...we divorced.I got hitched to Peter Johnson who used to play for the Boro..he went to play for Southend Utd so we left Middlesbrough in the mid 80's.I don't know why Tony Z sold it but I never went in again once he just didn't seem right.What makes me laugh about it you remember the dress had to wear suits, women had to be dressed to the nines...I remeber wearing long evening dresses on the Reception,,,just to take bloody tickets off people.BUT it did keep most of the riff raff out, Had some great times in there.Thursday was Hen night,,,,free champagne for the Brides to be..and a Raffle to win the use of the Madison Car...I think it was a Bugatti or something...can anyone remember?I think I know another of the guys from this comment page....Paul Sanderson...from Trojan Photographic...I think he did some pictures of me once..(all in the best possible taste, of course, )We live in Cyprus now, have done for 4 years...I sell Property and Pete works with me...lovely lifestyle.Don't know what became of Steve Dobson...Have seen Tony Z.. a few years back..but don't know whats happened to everyone else....Barry Hunt (manager of Billy Pauls) Paul Healey ( next manager of BP's) Mick Wise..Manager Madison,Malcome off the door of Madison...and all the cronies that used to prop up the top bar....memories.

Jeanette Walker ( nee Bigham)
I came to Middlesbrough in 1978 and within 2 weeks I got a job as a barmaid at Madison. It was the best of places to be as I had moved here due to divorce and it got me back into working again and the people there were brilliant. Tony Zivanaris was quite a character and I soon ended up working in the office at Captain Cook House and met even more smashing people. I still see another one of the former barmaids Shirley and also another works at Hemlington Reccy providing an aerobics class. Had some of the best nights there especially New Years eve.

John Brady
Re: Christines post, I remember Steve Dobson well, wondering what happened to him. Remember, you too, we all met on a train travelling to london( last time I saw you both) heading for London. What happend To Madisons why did it close and what is Tony Z doing now? I'm living in Australia now, many fond memories of the club back in late 70s, never had to pay to get in, It was great being a "Poser" them days.

christine Johnson (Randall)
Worked on the door of the madison by night and the cocktail bar by day back in 1978.met and married the then manager, Steve Dobson....didn't last long, then married to Peter Johnson ex boro footballer ( this one has lasted )Introduced my younger sister to Gary Hamilton ( boro Footballer ) still married....and all within the walls of the Madison...loved the place and missed it greatly when we moved away from residing in Cyprus selling property...but the memories are wonderful

John Brady
Sad to view those photos.I think I would have been there at the opening,was working at the Draganora hotel at the time. My friend Bobby was Dj at the Top Deck think she suggested name of club to Tony Z.Visiting Boro next year (From Oz) had hoped to see the old club!!! Still have lot of happy memories, worked in the restaurant some nights.

John Brady
Sad to view those photos.I think I would have been there at the opening,was working at the Draganora hotel at the time. My friend Bobby was Dj at the Top Deck think she suggested name of club to Tony Z.Visiting Boro next year (From Oz) had hoped to see the old club!!! Still have lot of happy memories, worked in the restaurant some nights.

Paul Sanderson
Tuesday 10 June 2008I don't know why I Googled it earlier today, but 'Madison+Middlesbrough' turned up this website and the pictures of the stripped shell of Madison, the nightclub that occupied some years of my life at the end of the 1970s.That was 30 years ago, and I can't now remember the exact dates of when I worked there, but I know why I worked there. I'd left Teesside College of Art in the summer of 1974 and was living in a ground-floor bedsit at 147 Southfield Road, on the corner of Abingdon Road, and was working at Trojan Photographic on Linthorpe Road. Not having much to do in the evenings I decided to get an evening job and even though never much being one for pubs and nightclubs I perversely decided to work at a nightclub – I'd be paid for having a night out, and there would be girls to be met and romanced.So that's how it started, sometime early in 1977. I was working there the night when the music was stopped and it was announced that news had come through that Elvis had died. I'd no idea I would be employed there for about three years, briefly reaching the heady heights of Assistant Manager before quitting and going to London (where I still am). Naturally the website photos give no hint of the place I remember. There certainly wasn't a telephone box. During my time Madison was the 'upmarket' venue in Middlesbrough, and we went through a period of having some top danceable acts on to pull in the customers, though I can only remember The Four Tops (with only one recognisable Top), Musical Youth and The Love Affair, who were no longer the chart topping line-up of 1968 but a bunch of kids with noisy guitars. During the Newport Jazz Festival of 1978 Marion Montgomery was on one night.In such a high-turnover-of-staff industry, certain of the staff at that time were remarkably consistent, although while I can remember their faces I find it hard to remember all their names. Tony Zivanaris owned it all (not sure of the spelling), as well as the Top Deck in Redcar and another club in Nottingham. Mick the manager was there for a while until his expertise was needed in Nottingham. He was followed by John Warnes, Mr Zivanaris' brother-in-law. Assistant manager was Steve Dobson and head doorman was Malcolm, who was very keen on cowboy novels. As you might imagine, most of the bar and floor staff were people like me, not there for a career opportunity but to earn a bit of extra money – students from the Polytechnic or young women with a child or two and a missing husband.Once I started working there full time, my day went as follows. The cleaners would have been in since mid-morning and as they were finishing we would come in just before mid-day to get the float from the bank and sort it out for the tills. The bars had to be made ready for action and any drink deliveries sorted out. There were three vats in the cellar: two of lager and one of beer, an indication of how life was changing in the 1970s in a northern industrial town. Any light maintenance we were capable of on our own was carried out and then at about 5pm we would close the doors and go home.At 8pm the doors would be opened for business, which was generally slack until after the pubs in the town shut. Carol was on the cash desk just inside the door. Behind her was the cloakroom, where the rails used to sag alarmingly on New Years Eve under the weight of coats. Next to Carol's alcove was the cloakroom alcove where we took the coats and handed over a ticket. This is where I started my Madison career. Both of these alcoves - and the office next to them - were on a short corridor leading into the club proper, but first you had to pass a small table where the 'greeters' checked your entry ticket (to show that you had indeed paid) and cast an eye over your standard of dress. In the early part of the week the dress code was relaxed since we couldn't count on many customers. After I'd shown myself to be reliable during my cloakroom stint, I spent a year or two with Sue Prudence at the greeter's table (it always had to be a man and a woman). H

Paul Askew
I stumble across this article in May 2008? Such a shame.I worked at the Madison in 1992/1993 -- and remember Gary. At that time management took us from white shirt and red dickie bow to those gawd awful shirts you see in the photo gallery. I clearly remember the night a certain DJ announced our new "uniforms" and there was a commical cheer from the crowd. I seem to remember them playing Hawaii 5-o.I have a lot of good and fond memories of the Madison. It was a great place to work and (for me at least) had great management. At that time we were considered the #1 nightclub for parent company Granada.

i was a late starter at the mad house back in 94 - but i was only young ! i used to go there every thursday and friday after going to billy pauls downstairs, we used to have so much fun. i say bring the madison back and the old tunes with it!! do u think we should start a petition, lol.

alan wilcock
This was the best club in the area,without a doubt,and that was the mid 70's....dare I say 'The Hustle' great times,where do the years go,live in Florida now, still miss those days.Good luck all.

mark w
i used to be in there 3 to 4 nights a week back in the late 80s early 90s best club boros ever seen.met many girls in there over the years and frequented that car park above on more than one occasion, nudge wink say no the madhouse in newcastle was a carbon copy even including the telephone box.

Janet D
Loved hearing the stories of the Madison although the pictures made me sad. I used to frequent it religiously over 25 years ago. One of my all time favourite songs is what every night finished with - This guys in love by Burt Bacharach. Will it ever re-open? I heard BHS was once thinking of extending in there.

Scott H
Used to come home on leave from the RAF and always go to the mad house fri & sat met my wife there 13 years ago, we now have 3 lovely kids, thanks to the madison

Was the Queenie that worked there the same Queenie who worked at the Fiesta Club in its heyday - also known as Sandra White - commonly known as "Queen of the Mods".


Maria Wilcock
John, I was listening to your programme coming back from Krimo's restaurant having had a wonderful lunch of Lamb Tagine, feeling all at one with the world. When you started talking about the madison it made me think about the time I went there with a group of friends and family from Skelton about 1982 in me old fort cortina. As as responsible driver I had no drinks but a good night boogeying nevertheless.......We went back up to the roof top car park only to find that the car had been broken into and all my freinds coats nicked, but amazingly not mine, which did not bode well for the mood in the car on the drive back home! My other memories are of having a great time dancing in the 70s in what I can only remember as an enormous club with fabulous stage about a mile away!! It was the place to go for a less cramped night out for us woolybacks than the Top Deck!

Marie Hannah
john its marie again i saw the pictures of madison and i sent a txt to see if it was possible to see a before and after pictures also with all this technology it is possible to build a virtual bar like on second life so why dont we just for good memories sake build a virtual bar identical to the mad house so we can take a look round how it used to be?, most details obviousley will be taken from photo,s and memory so what do you think is there anyone out there that has built or would like to build a replica virtual madison, people have done it with rollercoasters and towns made a virtual copy of their favourite place or venue many thanks marie xx

You are in: Tees > History > Local History > Your Madison Memories

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy