“For me, the most important part of this place was a door just off from the bar - a grubby, seedy, cracked green tiled ladies’ toilet where almost anything could happen. It existed as a de-gendered space, this anti-room of possibility where people could physically be - acting, dressing, doing their make-up.”

Above is an audio clipping from a conversation between Luke and Jo Stanley about Jo's memories of the Magic Clock, in 1969. This was used to begin remodelling the Magic Clock.

Interior of the Magic Clock Pub, as remembered by Jo Stanley today. Exterior photograph courtesy of Liverpool Central Library & Archives.

The Magic Clock Pub is often remembered as one of Liverpool’s first ever ‘gay bars’. A small, smokey and dimly lit bar with around 8-10 tables that hosted mostly gay men - often looking to ‘cop off’ on their lunch breaks or after work. Jo vividly remembers the characters she would often encounter here during her time as a bar maid. From Geoffery/Daisy, her favourite customer who was a hairdresser and slightly cross-dressed, to the other figures she would find herself exchanging mascara with in the ladies’ toilet.

The spirit of the Magic Clock Pub lives on in Jo’s mind, most vividly through music and textiles. She describes both the hammered copper bar and the red leather bar stools with pieces of fabric that remind her of this place. Opposite the bar, a shiny, scarlet red juke box poses a stark contrast to the rest of the room. It fills the room with the sounds of Dianna Ross, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye - to name a few.

Today, no images or records exist of the Magic Clock Pub’s interior, but through Jo’s vivid memories we are able to revisit this iconic and once forgotten space. A landmark of Liverpool’s Queer past.
Back to Top