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Northwood Central Club

Founded 1906

Summary

Northwood Central Club

 

The First 100 years

 

1906 – 2006

 

Researched and presented by Brian Greenan

Chairman of the 2006 Centenary Committee

Precis Revised in July 2020

 

 

17th March 1906. Mr M.J.C. Meiklejohn, a Northwood resident wrote to group of influential and wealthy local residents about the formation of a Social Club for the benefit of the men who worked for those residents and for local tradesmen.

 

27th October 1906 Mr M.J.C. Meiklejohn, wrote to other influential and wealthy local residents stating that the Northwood Men’s Club had been formed with a committee.  The Club had rented premises at ‘The Parade’ in Hallowell Road at a rent of £28 per annum and required furnishings at a cost of £100 and Mr Meiklejohn asked for contributions to cover the costs.

 

The first Minute book has been lost and therefore there is no information about the formative years but from its inception the Northwood Men’s Club became a social hub for the men working in the community by organising Sport’s Day’s, Fete’s and local club competitions.

 

The 1914-18 First World War was to impact on the future of the Men’s Club and Northwood in general.

 

In 1919 it appears that a war hero and resident of Northwood was appointed Chairman of the Northwood Men’s Club and that was Brigadier-General Spencer Vaughan Percy WESTON holder of the Distinguished Service Order with two bars, the Military Cross and awarded the French and Belgium Croix de Guerre.  He was to prove crucial in the future development of the Club.

 

The Northwood War Memorial Monument was unveiled on the afternoon of Sunday 13th February 1921 by Brigadier-General WESTON, Chairman of the Northwood Men’s Club (Central Club).  The ceremony was attended by an estimated crowd of  between four and five thousand people and many of those were members of the club.

 

On the 15th November 1921 the Metropolitan and Great Central Committee, and the Metropolitan Railway Company sold the land on which the Central Club currently stands for £750 to the Northwood Men’s Club.  The Club vacated their rented accommodation in ‘The Parade’ and moved into the wooden hall and huts (The McAlpine Wards) that had formed part of the 1914-18 VAD Hospital.

   

23rd February 1925    The Deeds of the Club show that Brigadier-General Weston, Harry Neal and William De Winton acting for and behalf of the Northwood Men’s Club sold the ‘Green Lane Frontage’ to Alice Foster, the wife of Reginald Wilson Foster, a Coal Trader & Colliery Proprietor of “Claremont” (now St. Helens School) for £1,500.  That strip of land would eventually be developed in Chester Place and the money raised from the sale went into the Club Development Fund.  The Committee also sold building bonds to those wealthier members to raise further funds towards the building of a Club House. 

 

Special General Meeting was held on 25th November 1925.   A proposition was put to the membership that Rule Two be changed and that the supply of alcoholic intoxicants should be provided in the club.  The proposition was carried with 71 for and 10 against.

 

21st December 1926           This proved to be a very important meeting in the evolution of the Northwood Men’s Club.  The Finance & Building sub-committee reported that they had an estimate for the construction of a permanent building which Mr Sparks, a club member and the builder of St. Matthews Church, had estimated at £2,290. Authority was given for the Finance & Building Committee to arrange with Barclays bank an advance of £2,500.   Building started in the early part of 1927.

 

21st September 1927          A dance was held to commemorate the opening of the new club premises, the club that we inhabit to this day.  The Denville Hall Players provided the entertainment on the evening.

 

At the AGM held on 30th January 1930,  Mr Bill Bowley (the shoe shop owner) proposed that the name of the club be changed to the Northwood Central Club and be re-registered as such.  The proposition was carried with only one dissentient.

 

 

History

On March 17th, 1906 Mr. M.J.C. Meiklejohn sent out letter to a number of Northwood gentlemen known to be interested in starting a Men’s Social Club in Northwood. Among them were these:  Messrs R. P. Sheil, E. Eshelby, E. R. Abbott ,F. M. Elgood, C. A. E. Woodhouse, H. O. Thomas, Rev. Ayerst and Dr. O. Hildeshiem. These were pledged to do all possible to found such a club.

It was known that there were about 138 men willing to join. They were mostly labourers, mechanics, shop assistants and men servants. In addition 73 others would become members.

The original idea was to form a limited company which would put up a building with suitable furnishings. There was a suitable plot of land in Hilliard Terrace which would cost £150. The proposed building would be £500, furnishing £70 and incidentals £30. Total£750.This would be found by such as the above named gentlemen.

There was a further letter from Mr. Meiklejohn later in the year, 27th October 1906. Mr W. P. Carey was Hon. Secretary. This stated that a Committee had already been formed among the men and that they had decided to form a Social Club. It was to be Non-Sectarian, Non -Political and Non –alcoholic.

The Committee had secured premises in the Parade, Hallowell Road at a rent of £28 per year. £100 was required to furnish it. Contributions had been promised by Messrs. R. P. Shiell, C. Woodhouse, J. H. R. Bright, S. R. Marshall, J Longbotham, J. Rostern, G. A. Schultz, M. J.C. Meikeljohn, Madam Brichta, Miss Eddes, Dr. C. Addison and Dr. O. Hildessheim. Mr. Oliver of Barclays Bank was the Hon Treasurer.

That was the beginning of our club which has flourished right up to the present day. There has never been a lack of public spirited men to lead a guide through critical times. Mr. F. Grimes was its secretary for many years. For many years its August Bank Holiday Procession, fete and sports were great occasions.

There was a flourishing Cricket Club, too, with M. W. Williams as Captain and Mr. Jim Carter as Secretary, which was at it best between the wars. In 1946 a new club led by Mr. Richard Green, Mr. Geoff Nichols and Mr. Les Giddings was formed out of the Northwood Central Club and the British Legion Clubs. This is going strong under the name of the Central Northwood C.C.

Note: Thanks to the author of this article. Mr. W. A. G. Kemp from his book ‘The story of Northwood’

FOR A MOREDETAILED HISTORY CLICK HERE

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