THERE was a time when a hard day’s graft down the mines would be rewarded with a cold pint after work at the local social club. Scores of men huddled into the bustling bar, chatting and cracking jokes well into the evening.The traditional working men’s club thrived during the years of heavy industries, with men scrambling to join as soon as they were old enough.It was seen as a rite of passage for lads on their 18th birthday to receive a membership card for their local club from their dads.
But the days of such comradery and loyalty to the watering holes are becoming a distant memory as more and more disappear from our streets. Modern bars and trendy pubs have increased in popularity with thef younger generations with their offerings of cheap drinks and late drinking.
Scores of social clubs are still trying to attract younger clients to join by offering entertainment and activities to rival the modern pub, while others remain firmly rooted in their traditional past.
The North has traditionally been fond of its clubs, with Tyneside, Wearside and Teesside still boasting scores of establishments serving good quality, lower-priced alcohol and entertainment. Under the umbrella organisation of the CIU (The Working Men’s Club and Institute Union) there are around 2,000 affiliated clubs across the country, and until 2004, the CIU had its own beer brewed by the Federation brewery in Dunston, Gateshead. Between 1974 and 1977, the ITV variety show The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club reflected the popularity of the local club and featured the likes of Bernard Manning and “concert chairman” Colin Crompton, alhtough this fictional club was actually based in a Manchester television studio.
To be fair, over the years, many talented musicians have learned their trades on the demanding stages of North East’s clubland. And a little-known singer treading the boards in Northern Clubs a few decades ago had a little story to tell. Paul Simon, who wrote ‘Homeward Bound’ in Widnes while touring the Northern Clubs said “The announcer would come on and say ‘Come on, yer’ve had yer bingo, now give this young lad a chance’ before his ‘turn’.
Social clubs are a mixed bunch – some have remained firmly fixed in in tradition, while others have transformed themselves into really upmarket establishments offering high quality surroundings for their customers.
But whatever a Social Club’s status, they still have to comply with the raft of hygiene regulations that abound in the UK. The regulations can be quite extensive, diverse and confusing, but thanks to our team of experienced operatives working to specific guidelines, Social Clubs that are under our facilities management care are well looked after, totally legally compliant and – most importantly – provide fresh and clean-smelling washroom facilities for the Clubs’ customers.
If you need professional washroom facilities management, check out our free offers of a site analysis and survey. This no-obligation service will save you hundreds of pounds in operating costs over the year, give you great washroom facilities and keep your customers even happier!