Plan to mark 150th anniversary of York’s first working men’s club

Members of South Bank Working Men’s Club Cricket Club, August 1925

Frank Healy

Published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by , richard.catton@thepress.co.uk

THE long history of York’s working men’s clubs is to be remembered as part of a major anniversary next year.

Anyone with pictures, articles or memories of the city’s working men’s clubs, past or present, is being urged to share them to mark 150 years since the first ever club in York was established in Castlegate.

Next year will also mark the 85th anniversary of the New York Club in Blossom Street.

Frank Healy, 60, branch secretary of the York Working Men’s and Institute Union, said he hoped to put on exhibition if he got hold of enough memorabilia.

He said: “I love the whole business of the clubs. As a national organisation, we raise millions and millions of pounds and we do it 52 weeks a year.

“York has a very good history of clubs and buildings. The building where the New York Club is now went up in 1789 as two houses and a warehouse.

“In 1863 the first working men’s club in York was founded at 15 Castlegate, that’s 150 years ago. “And the New York Club celebrates its 85th anniversary on May 3.”

He said: “I would love to do an exhibition, but this is about a celebration of working men’s clubs. It’s something we would love to keep alive.”

Mr Healy said as well as pictures he wanted people to ask their fathers and grandfathers for their memories.

He said: “I want things that make people laugh or even bring a tear, even of clubs which aren’t here any more, like the Promenade or the INL.”

If you have some memorabilia you would like to offer up, email Mr Healy, at yorkciu@gmail.com

Working men's clubs are a type of private social club which were first created in the 19th century in industrial areas of the United Kingdom, particularly the north of England, the Midlands and many parts of the South Wales Valleys, to provide recreation and education for working-class men and their families.

Despite the educational ambitions, most working men’s clubs are recreational. Typically, clubs have a bar, snooker, pool or bar billiards tables, and many provide food. They often provide entertainment such as bingo, raffles, live music and comedy.

“They are also known for their charitable works.

A working men’s club is a non-profit organisation run by members through a committee, usually elected annually.

Despite the name, women are allowed to be members in many clubs, and virtually all clubs allow entry to women.

Non-members are not allowed entry unless signed in by a member.

• The 108th AGM of the York branch of the Working Men’s Club and Institute Union will take place in Huntington Working Men’s Club, at 8pm on Thursday.

Comments (4)

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9:30am Tue 11 Dec 12

capt spaulding says...

I wonder if Mr Guilford will send a card.
I wonder if Mr Guilford will send a card. capt spaulding
  • Score: 0

3:47pm Tue 11 Dec 12

the andrew says...

Must be an old photo of Frank, ashtray on the table, bloke in the background smokin a tab.
Must be an old photo of Frank, ashtray on the table, bloke in the background smokin a tab. the andrew
  • Score: 0

8:08pm Tue 11 Dec 12

bagnall1928@yahoo.com says...

was the working mens club in Blosssom Street,next to
no.20 which was thenForselius Garage new garage. I lived there as a child and our roof yard over the showroom of the garage overlooked the back storage yard for the crates, barrels etc. Plus a house in which the club landlord lived in then. I think their name was Driffield. they had a daughter I believe.
there was a beer garden to the rear with swings for children. this was in the 1940s and onward.
was the working mens club in Blosssom Street,next to no.20 which was thenForselius Garage new garage. I lived there as a child and our roof yard over the showroom of the garage overlooked the back storage yard for the crates, barrels etc. Plus a house in which the club landlord lived in then. I think their name was Driffield. they had a daughter I believe. there was a beer garden to the rear with swings for children. this was in the 1940s and onward. bagnall1928@yahoo.com
  • Score: 0

2:08am Fri 14 Dec 12

Frank A says...

Thanks for the emails & 3 replies I guess;1-I don't know or want to know Guilford. 2-It was a Press library photo of me from 2004 & I'm pleased they didn't use the 2012 one with me holding my nose by the drain outside the nearby Premier Inn. 3-Yes it is that Club and I'd love to hear some of your memories of that time in Blossom Street or get copies of any photographs you might let us use in the Club. Thanks & Regards. Frank Healy
Thanks for the emails & 3 replies I guess;1-I don't know or want to know Guilford. 2-It was a Press library photo of me from 2004 & I'm pleased they didn't use the 2012 one with me holding my nose by the drain outside the nearby Premier Inn. 3-Yes it is that Club and I'd love to hear some of your memories of that time in Blossom Street or get copies of any photographs you might let us use in the Club. Thanks & Regards. Frank Healy Frank A
  • Score: 0

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