Conservative Club minutes 1910 -1915
A copy of the minutes can be seen here. The following is a precis :-
Extracts from Hathern and District Conservative Club minutes Feb 24 1910 to Feb 9th 1915. The Club was located in the building that was to become J.Alex Swift’s factory.
Billiards. Billiards table charged at 3d per half hour and strictly no sitting on table (must use rest). Handicap tournaments based on first player to score 100 (or 125, 175 etc.) who gets 2 points for the win (called "100-up" etc.). Player with most points wins first prize. Entrance fee 6d. Medal for winner bought for 4s/6d. Mention made of Riley's presentation cue. Prizes : cockerel, bottle of port wine, 2s/6d.
Draughts, dominoes and darts. Tournaments arranged. Entrance fee 3d. Darts and dominoes had handicaps. Also cribbage and "tip-it" Note "Tipit is a traditional Welsh pub game, in which two teams of three face each other across the table and guess in which of the six hands opposite them an item, known as the tipit, is hidden”.
Billiard and whist matches arranged with Shepshed Con. Club, Barrow Con. Club. Kegworth and Normanton, Messengers, Donnington. Billiards in own room with fire. Teams transport arranged with L Goodacre and Draycott, charge I shilling each.
Skittle alley. Special sub committee formed to look at possibility of new alley. Ground levelled by S Mackley. Club already held skittle matches outdoors (e.g. with Sutton) so couldn't commit to winter league. Quote obtained for timber frame and zinc roof for £65 15s but this "totally outside resources of club". Proposed for members and friends to have subscription cards to contribute to cost. Not resolved.
The bar. Cellar windows to be boarded up to make bar warmer. Two large paraffin lamps in bar. There was some dispute with Messrs Wells and Sons re. "returns" of barrels. They stated the 9 gallons returned to them were filled up with Stout. The club insisted they did not sell any stout except Guinness which was in bottles. Following increase of halfpencebper half pint in Nov 1914. the prices of draught beer was raised to 4d per pint, stout and pale ale to twopence halfpenny per bottle and Worthington to 3d. New licensing laws introduced Feb 1915 to close sale of intoxicating liquors at 9 O'clock. Protest to be organised at this "reactionary measure which interferes with liberty of members and serves no useful purchase".
Outside. Club received annual rent for Club field for grazing - 14 shillings from G Miller. Complaints received about state of Club Lane caused by fowls.
Entertainment. "Machine" installed for I month trial in Feb 1912 by Notts Automatic Co. rep. Club to receive 25% of takings after deductions of expenses. Concert in large room proposed. Women U.A. (Unionists Association) suggested a dance with refreshments at Wakes. Tenders received from Hathern Prize Band (30 shillings) and Mr. Kidger Quadrille band (15 shilling). Hathern Band chosen but only if they accepted £l and allowance 5 shillings each for refreshment. In Whit week a skittles match and Smoking Concert (Note a live performance usually for men only who would smoke and talk of politics). It seems Whist drives and dances were sometimes held in school. Social evenings such as Whist Drives held every Friday in winter. Piano in club was hired from then purchased from Mr Paultridge. A singing contest was held. Club held dinner for Hathern cricket team and the team of W Smith Carrington. Christmas. 1911. Xmas supper arranged for 118 members. 100lbs of meat – approx.. 9d per lb., pickles, 8ilbs of cheese, 5 st. of bread ;tabling and cloths from Co-op ; cutlery to be hired from J Burrowes„ Long Whatton ; committee members to provide one lady each for waitering ; Mr Moberly the entertainment. From Dec 25th to 28th club open 9am to 11 pm. A member caused uproar by inviting an expelled member into club on Xmas day after I 1O pm and supplying him with drink. Squire de Lisle provided venison each year as gift.
The war (started July 28th 1914). Letter received March 1914 from Lord Roberts re. Universal Service League (Note : an organisarion calling for conscription). In Sept. 1914 a Parish meeting was called to discuss forming rifle club and ambulance classes. Donation of El provided to combined Women's associations for •the comfort of our soldiers". Members requested to contribute tobacco etc. for our Expedition forces. Concert was proposed with proceeds devoted to the funds of Tommy Atkins — tobacco etc. Hathern Prize Quartette to perform. This Smoking concert for our soldiers and sailors was a success. A.C.C.(Association of Conservative Clubs) requested names to put on Roll of Honour of club members serving in Regulars, Territorials, National Reserve. Lord Kitcheners Army or as Scout Leaders etc. Nov 1914. Red Cross requested permission to put a collection box in club. Dec 15 1914. Letter received from Imperial Maritime League seeking recruitment and funds — notice to be posted in club. Letter received stating recruitment meeting at Hathern. Jan 30m 1915. Best wishes of club sent to Mr and Mrs De Lisle for their son •s welfare during the war. Members who had joined the army and were in arrears of subscriptions would remain on Club Book until end of the war.
Full list of members enlisted was given as-
F and W Burrowes, Hathern
EH Corah, Loughborough
WG Domleo, Sandiacre
Laurence Dewsbury, Sutton Bonnington
Charles Evans, Normanton
G Fewkes. Long Whatton
Arthur and John Hart, Hathern (Note : these appear co fallen on War Memorial).
E Hutchinson, Long Whatton
H Miller, Hathern
Wiliam and S Mattison. Hathern
Capt WE Porter. Dishley
Henry Pilkington, Hathern (reported medically unfit)
O Ward, Hathern
C Barrowcliffe. Normanton
C Hayes, Long Whatton.
Officials (at various times) :-
President : EMP De Lisle Esq.
Chairman : J Oxby
Hon Sec : SA Hunt
Treasurer : CE Sherwin, H Widdowson
Others : G King, W Bates, G Peake, T Hart, H Spence, WE Porter, WB Stendall, S Hunt, E Fem, J Finney, J Screaton, F Lester, G Miller, J Russell, H Spencer.
Ownership. Proposed May 1913 to consider purchase of club and to lay matter before Lord Crawshaw (no record of this being resolved). Members. Subs. 1 shilling a year in no more than 2 instalments. No mention is made of women members but there is a separate Womens Unionist Association which arranges whist drives and dances thereby contributing to funds. Women were asked to clean the floors and windows superintended by a Committee member. Some men also assisted and all received vote of thanks.
Politics. In 1912 subscriptions requested by Viscount Ridley in support of Joseph Chamberlain for his valuable services supporting the Unionist cause. The secretary was to attend the Blenheim demonstration (Note : J Chamberlain had split off from the Liberal party to form a coalition with Conservatives which opposed home rule for Ireland. Prime Minister Bonar Law spoke at Unionist rally at Blenheim Palace. His address concluded: "l can imagine no length of resistance to which Ulster can go in which I would nor be prepared to support them, and in which, in my belief they would not be supported by the overwhelming majority of the Britisht people Double crown cartoons to be displayed in club on Ulster day Sept 28 2012 (Note : These were probably from magazines like Punch). Lecture on Home Rule was given in club on Oct 24 1913. In 1914 a request came from MP for donation to Ulster troops. Declaration forms for Home Rule signed by all Committee members March 1914 and all members to be asked to sign.
Flower show. In Aug 1914 application granted for flower show to be held in large and small room and the field. Piano also requested.
Steward. Complaint received from member that steward on April I st 1914 did wilfully cause the club to be open during unregistered hours for the benefit of himself and 5 guests in direct contravention of club rules. Secretary had seen lights on in Club and gone to investigate. Steward pleaded ignorance which was not considered an unsatisfactory response. At which point the steward resigned though hoping he would retain the friendship of the Committee and be a member (he was later accepted as member). Horace Widdowson elected as new steward.