Don’t disrupt the bingo!

Chasetown Working Mens Club Committee, 1960s 0r 70s – great period image supplied by Stuart Cowley.


Today, reader and longstanding friend of the Brownhills Blog Stuart Cowley mailed me the above wonderful image of Chasetown Working Men’s Club Committee from years past, when Stuart’s Dad was involved.

Stuart, you’ll remember, supplied the excellent material about his childhood memories of Chasewater, is something of an expert on the local Marching Band history, and also wrote a wonderfully popular article on his experiences in local and hospital radio.

Stuart wrote:

Afternoon Chap,

Trust you are well, photo attached.

Chasetown Working Mens Club (late 60’s early 70’s ?)

Recently discovered this in the loft, taken about late 60’s early 70’s, it’s a photo of the committee as it was then, my late father, Charles Cowley is sixth from the left on the back row.

It was taken at the time of the opening of the new extension.

On the back of the photo is a list of names so I’m hoping it’s accurate:

Back row, from the left:

J.Wolfe, W.Seedhouse, J.Bartram, E.Walker, J.Brawn, Charles Cowley, A.Willets, J.Sarsfield, B.Stansbie, P.Cage, T.Bridewater, H.Lewis

Front row from the left:

H.Whitehouse, D.Wolfe, J.Collis, G.Atkins, W.Cliffe

Memories of going here most Saturday nights with my parents in the 60’s/70’s. It was an unwritten law that you didn’t sit where the regulars sat or you’d be in trouble!

Us Kids used to play out on the landing or out in the car park so as not to disrupt the bingo.

Memorable day trips to places like Rhyl, Blackpool, Weston, Belle Vue Zoo.

Christmas parties where you got a ten bob note, bar of chocolate, apple,orange.

New Years Eve parties where we got to stay up until midnight.

Copious bottles of Hubbly Bubbly and just as many crisps.

Guest organist with handle bar moustache who used to lose his flow a little…

My dad having the old club sign as part of our garden fence, it was upside down and only visible from the top deck of the Walsall bus as it passed the top of King Street…

All the best,
Stuart Cowley

Thank you Stuart for yet another wonderful contribution to our local history record.

Stuart’s photo is timely; I know I’ve broached the subject before, but material on the past history of local clubs is still very anaemic. I’m still after stuff on any local establishment; we did a lot on the Midlleton House club, aided and abetted by Mike Stackhouse, and interest is still very strong in the Friezland Lane club. Of course, there were others – Walsall Wood, recently mentioned Coppice Road club, and the local Labour clubs, too.

These institutions were a huge part of working class life for decades; here were great nights out, sports teams, day trips and local entertainment acts. They were the venue for wedding receptions, wakes and birthday parties.

There must be a wealth of hitherto undiscovered photos and ephemera out there. Please, if you have any on any local club, please do share it with us so it’s not lost forever.

That goes for memories, too. Comment here, or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

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2 Responses to Don’t disrupt the bingo!

  1. Rob Sollom says:

    Thanks for the photo. Jack Wolfe was my Grandfather and Dennis Wolfe my uncle. Lovely to see pictures of them on this blog. I too have many memories of the Chase Club. The Wolfe family used to take up a whole alcove in the “Big Room” at weekends. This picture would probably be from the 60’s as sadly Grandad passed away in the early 70’s and he looks younger than I remember him. Wonderful to see.

  2. Pedro says:

    Chasetown WMC, when was it started?

    Lichfield Mercury August 1924 gives details of the first children’s outing. 150 children entertained to lunch and tea at Blake Street….mug presented to each child as momento.

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