Barton and Tredworth
THE LABOUR CLUB DURING THE WAR YEARS
Saturday and Sunday evenings was when the families met at the Labour Club in Barton St. Our families that sat together were all Midland Railway workers, nearly all drivers and firemen. Some of the railway men’s names were Tranter, Pearce, Pike and Little.
As kids with the exception of the ‘bar’ we more or less had the run of the place from the lecture room on ground floor to watching the billiard players in the room above, and the many empty rooms where a young man from an electrical shop in Barton Street, showed Mickey Mouse movies, Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chaplin etc, on 9.5 mm in one of the spare upstairs rooms. Unfortunately his name eludes me but many an enjoyable evening was spent there.
My friend at that time, we watched the movies together, was a young girl from next door named June Doreen Brown. She was killed in a tragic vehicle accident on the corner of Alfred Street and India Road in 1948 aged 11.
I remember some members’ wives (my mother included) used to do skits on the stage in the Lecture room during the war to raise money for Charities. There was also an elderly man with a broad Irish brogue, a WW1 soldier who would stand on the stage and sing ‘Suvla Bay’ ( he was with the Australians at Passchendaele), and of course there was the usual community sing song to the piano.
Another interesting person was Vic Cook, ex merchant navy, who brought a model of his ship made entirely of matchsticks in one day for charity; my guess it would have been 4 or 6 ft long. That sparked my interest in making ships from matchsticks, still do to this day.
If I remember right, Vic Cook was on the Atlantic convoys and his ship had been torpedoed.
There were lots of long iron rails down the main staircase that we would slide down, and of course get into trouble. Lemonade and Smiths crisps with a little blue poke of salt was our treats.
On summer evenings there were tables and chairs on the lawn in front of the Club. Don’t hear it much these days but everyone used to sing going home after a night out.
Hope this jogs a few memories, maybe you watched movies there too ?