Gus Lowman took over the position of manager at the Viaduct Sporting Club in March 1964 after Laurie Frazer quit. Just before the club was to hold its opening night, the bar's ceiling collapsed and builder Len Fairclough was accused of shoddy work, but it was soon discovered that it was Gus's fault since he been using the room above as a liquor store. Gus then apologised to Len. A few days later the ceiling was repaired by Len and his builders and the club was ready for business. The opening night was very successful for Gus and his workmates.
During the following month, Minnie Caldwell was employed as stand-in cleaner for Martha Longhurst and whilst she was cleaning the stairs she was injured as she fell through the bannister and was taken to hospital. Gus gave Dennis Tanner £10 to bribe Minnie so she would not sue the club but Gus soon discovered that it was Len's fault not his.
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