A CLUB WITH A STABLE FOUNDATION
A converted old stables with green fields behind it makes this one of the CIU more unusual clubs. The club was formed in 1920 by a group of local unemployed men, and joined the CIU in 1921. As well as exploiting the potential of a disused stable block, the club was organising a sweepstake with a top prize of £25,000 as long ago as 1923.
The club building was the stables of a local firm of hauliers who took the cotton produced by the local mills by horse & cart to the railway station. From there it was transported to Manchester or Liverpool before being distributed and sold worldwide. The firm closed with the advent of motor transport and the club took over the building.
Over the years the club has undergone several refurbishments, In 1965, 1972, and 1998 / 1999 when almost £100,000 was spent on the interior and exterior of the club, the money coming solely from the club's funds, further improvements to the car park and fencing and the concert room bar have also been carried out since then.
The nature of the building has meant the clubs three main rooms are upstairs with the committee room and cellar & a newly built function room which was added in 2002 to accommodate 100 people, converted from garages formerly stables on the ground floor at a cost of £68,000 again from club funds which is self contained with disabled access and is well used by members for birthday and anniversary parties, wedding receptions and funeral wakes, and at other times as a rehearsal room for the local amature dramatic society and local bands.
Another innovation has seen members allowed to bring there children in the club on Saturdays & Sundays until (6pm). In contrast to the lively concert room, the lounge is a quiet bar where members can enjoy cask beer from local brewery Moorhouses or a guest ale, as well as beers, wines & spirits supplied by the clubs major supplier Carlsberg-Tetley.
Although a relatively small club with only 625 members the club has snooker & darts teams competing in local leagues.
The club has always been go ahead. In 1923 the committee organised a highly ambitious sweepstake based on the Manchester November Handicap, with the incredible top prize of £25,000. Tickets were sold at 10 shillings (50p) with profits to go to club funds, the CIU Convalescent Homes & other charities. The club promised a second issue of tickets if the first issue of 100,000 tickets was completely taken up but were stopped when action was instituted against them by the Attorney General, & they were forced to end the sweepstake.
The most dramatic move of modern times has been the clubs adoption of the Interpretation Rule giving women members full equality. After several attempts the Committee finally overcame opposition & the motion was carried with only one vote against.
At the present time the club has four women Committee members,The Club Secretary Gordon Leighton C.M.D. stated that without ladies on the Committee the club would be very difficult if not impossible to run.
Gordon has served on the club committee for 49 years, the last 33 as Secretary and has held all the official positions in the club at some time.
With the smoking ban coming into force on July 1st plans are afoot to build a balcony at first floor level to provide a smoking area at both first floor and ground levels. While the no smoking legislation will bring hardship to many clubs, the club Committee feel we are financially strong enough to weather any initial drop in trade until the situation settles down.
The club supports the local Pendleside Hospice as its main charity and raised £650 from a recent charity concert and £470 sponsorship for one of our members Philip Levens, husband of assistant Secretary Diane Levens, completing the Lausanne Marathon in Switzerland, plus other events making a total of £1226 in the last year.
The First Lady to Speak at a C.I.U. Annual Meeting
Mrs Diane Levens has served on the Management Committee of the club for some 10 years or more and is very passionate and hard working with the roll she plays at the club, Diane has now become the first lady to speak at an annual meeting of the C.I.U. at Blackpool.
Diane spoke on the matter money the Excutive was asking for from the people who did not have it, she pointed out that club land was struggling and the clubs were losing members every day.
Referring to the Financial Statement, Diane pointed out that NEC meeting expenses alone last year were £ 238,112 - £ 19,234 a month, dividing that by 30, the number of people at meetings, it came to £ 641 a month.
Diane pointed out it was our money and club land could not keep giving and would like something back.