By Tristan Harris Friday 11 October 2013 Updated: 14/10 00:13
MEMBERS of Bromsgrove Unionist Club will be raising a glass or two and toasting the organisation’s centenary next weekend.
A special 100th anniversary ball will be held next Saturday (October 20) at the venue in Kidderminster Road.
When the club was formed on October 22, 1913, it was originally based in Manchester House on Bromsgrove High Street. Back then there were just eight to ten members - now there are 550.
The first share certificate was issued to Thomas Appleby who had two shares at ten shillings each and that original share certificate still hangs in the club today.
The club moved to its current ‘Oakdene’ home in 1958 and the new building, which was built in 1887, was officially opened on June 14 of that year by Lord Mancroft.
That was commissioned by Benjamin Sanders who lived there with his two daughters until the last one died.
Oakdene was bought outright through a cash purchase with no loans or mortgage and was converted into a club and furnished at a cost of £18,000.
Ladies have only been allowed into the club since the early 1980s.
There is a busy social calendar at the club, including live music on a regular basis, quizzes on the first Thursday of the month and other activities, such as snooker, darts, dominoes and bridge.
Events are also held for special occasions, such as Valentine’s Day, St Patrick’s Day, St George’s Day, Burns Night suppers,
Halloween, bonfire night, Christmas and new year. Other activities, such as Cheltenham Gold Cup days and Ascot Ladies’ days also take place and The Unionist Club even has its own library.
Club manager Adrian Collins told The Standard there would be 250 people going along to the centenary ball and everyone was really looking forward to it.
“The celebration was first mentioned three years ago and we have been planning it for around 18 months to two years.”
There are also two weddings being held in the marquee this weekend and the weekend after the centenary celebration there will be a party on the Friday night and a wedding on the Saturday.
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