A Club with Stable Foundations
Briercliffe Working Men's Club was formed in 1920 by a group of local unemployed men, and joined the CIU in 1921. As well as exploiting the potential of a disused stable block, the club was organising a sweepstake with a top prize of £25,000 as long ago as 1923.
The club building was the stables of a local firm of hauliers who took the cotton produced by the local mills by horse and cart to the railway station. From there it was transported to Manchester or Liverpool before being distributed and sold worldwide. The firm closed with the advent of motor transport and the club took over the building.
Over the years the club has undergone several refurbishments, in 1965, in 1972, in 1998/1999 and, most recently in 2016 and 2017 when the concert room, lounge and gents' toilets underwent major redecoration and the installation of new furniture. The popular downstairs function room has recently been refurbished to a high standard, including the opening up of access for disabled people.
The layout of the building means that the club's three main rooms, (concert room, lounge and games room) are upstairs. In contrast to the lively concert room, the lounge is a quiet bar where members can enjoy cask beers from local breweries and the opportunity to enjoy a convivial chat with friends.
The club's major suppliers are Coor's who supply the club with Grolsch, Carling lager and Strongbow cider among other drinks. There is always a choice of two cask beers on sale.
Although a relatively small club with less than 300 members the club has snooker teams competing in local leagues, two darts teams and two quiz teams. Unusually for a club the view from all rooms is over open fields, although there have been proposals to develop neighbouring land.
The club welcomes women members who have full equality and voting rights at the AGM and currently has a female secretary. In 2013 the club was voted Club of the Year by East Lancs Camra. Applications from prospective members are always welcome as are enquiries for the use of the function rooms.
With acknowledgements to Mark Briggs, Lancashire Telegraph 14 January 2016