One subject I’m continually looking for information about (and haven’t turned up a great deal, if I’m perfectly honest which is a bit sad in a whole decade) is that of Friezland Lane Working Mens Club in Shire Oak. This club, closed and replaced by housing in the 1980s (I think) had been a very popular local institution in it’s day, like all the local clubs were – but just like all the others, there is actually very scant information available recording their history or life.
This is sad because Working Mens Clubs, political and ‘Non-pol’ clubs weren’t just drinking venues: Because they allowed families to enter, they had entertainment and sports focuses, many having darts, table sports or other teams. They organised day trips and holidays, fetes and fundraisers.
Yet so little remains to flag up their existence in the local history cannon.
So when reader Vikki Swain sent me a couple of photos to post here, I jumped at the chance to feature them.
Hope you are well? I came across these photos are of my grandad Bill Barnard. He was the secretary of Friezland Lane WMC.
I believe these were taken inside and outside x
Thanks to Vikki for a couple of remarkable images which I hope will kick off a wider discussion. That’s certainly the first exterior shot of the club I’ve seen and that must surely bring back memories?
Also, who is in the second photo with Bill? I note the wee girl at the table! The gents in their shirts and ties, evidently a game going on. These must be familiar faces to regulars are one point.
Please folks, can you help here? What do you recall? Have you any material you can add?
Also, if any image whizz is watching that could retouch these images as a token of thanks to Vikki that would be lovely.
My thanks to Vikki Swain, and if you have anything to add, please do: Comment here, catch me on social media or mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.
I include an earlier piece I featured on the club to set the scene:
Here’s a good one found by reader and local historian Clive Roberts, on the subject of Friezlane Lane Working Men’s Club, which I made an appeal for information about last week.
Clive found this image in some photos he’d taken of archived newspaper material. The date is 1957, and the source, the Walsall Observer. The quality isn’t brilliant, but the image cleaned up reasonably well.
Mr. W. Armitage, president of Friezland Lane Workingmen’s Club, Brownhills, presents Mr. F. Breeden (left) with a cheque for £50 on the occasion of his retirement as Secretary to the club. Mr. Breedon, who lives at 152, Lichfield Road, Walsall Wood, has been Secretary for 30 years.
On his right is Mr. J Hession, a Vice-President, and seated (left) is Mr. J Webster, the new Secretary.
If you can add anything, comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers!