Crowtrees Workmen’s Club minutes - early extracts

(The extracts below were copied from early Crowtrees WM Club minute books. We are most grateful to the Club Secretary for making these available.)



1. Crowtrees WM Club was founded in 1912, after the closure of Bowburn WM Club. At first, it occupied the same premises, now the Sir Taj Restaurant, at the top of Durham Road West.

The club was the first building in what became nos. 1–4, Durham Road West. Nos. 1 & 2 were built next (see plan for Council’s permission, about 1908).

The owner of the premises, “Bacon” Jack Storey, lived in 3, Ash Terrace. See a letter from his wife, Henrietta Ellen Storey, to the Club committee, about rent.

As can be seen below, the Club moved to new premises, on its current site, in 1921.

It re-opened there after the fire in 1923.

2. Club Secretaries listed in Kelly’s directory were John William Edwards (1914), Benjamin Hepple (1921), A.V. Chitty (1926), Henry Tennick (1929 and 1934) and John Witham (1938).


Minutes of General Meeting held Monday 2nd Sept 1912

Passed that Minutes of last General Meeting are Satisfactory

Mov. by J McKewan, Seconded by Thos Wilkinson: “That the Club be opened on Wednesday 4th September 1912”. Carried.

Mov. by Geo. Routledge, Sec’d by T. Wilkinson: “That Mat[?] Jordan be elected on the Committee in place of Jos Trusdale”. Carried.

Moved by Geo. Harper, Sec. by Jos. Robson: “That Robert Turton be appointed door keeper at a salary of £1.10.0 per quarter.” Carried.

Moved by Sam Laverick, Sec. by Robt. Turton: “That George Blekinsop Junr and Thomas Dunn be not allowed to become members of the Club.” Carried.

Moved by J. McKewan, Sec by. Sam Laverick: “That every member must be possessed of a copy of the Rules for which he must pay one penny.” Carried.


First Minute Book

[First entry = this is the total minute.]

Tues. 30/7/1912 – “That J. Wilson and M. Cruddace go to Mr. Carpenter with registration forms and fees, namely £5-5-0.

(Signed) Joseph Waddle, Chairman

[Next entry:]

Wed. 31/7/1912 – Committee to meet every Monday…

Committee @ 31/7/1912:

Pres. J. Waddle

Sec. E. Eagle

Treas. J. Wilson

W. Edwards

A. Hall

J. Robson

R. Robinson

M. Jordan [= Mat Jordan, who was elected at Gen. Mtg. 2/9/1912?]

T. Fairley

W. Carling

H. Witham

R. Turton [appointed door keeper @ £1/10/- @ Gen. Mtg. 2/9/1912]

Wed. 7/8/1912 – Rule books ordered from Bailes printers.

Fri. 23/8/1912 – Mr. Bailes rint 150 half-yearly tickets.

Mon. 26/8/1912 – Pay Mr. Story 1/- for fittings.

Tues. 27/8/1912 – That the Secretary write to Mr. Carpenter re Paterson account and ask for a Debt and Credit statement of their account showing all transactins with the late Bowburn Club account.

Tues. 11/3/1913 & Mon. 18/8/1913 [sic] – Terms of tenancy of club house arranged between John Henry Story and Crowtrees Workmen’s Social Club & Institute: to be sealed. (Secretary = John William Edwards.)

Fri. 1/8/1913 – Meet to examine the books re affiliation.

31/12/1913 (Min. 2) – “That from a result of a Ballot taken by slip votes, Mr. John Robinson of Durham was elected Steward on conditions that he comply with the necessary requirements as stated in advert and signs Agreement to that effect.”

[Those conditions were listed on 21/12/1913: £2/5s/- per week; find own servant; full house costs.]

14/8/1914 – “That we offer the use of the Club in the present crisis for uniformed soldiers or sailors as the case may be.”

Committee @ 23/8/1915:

Thos. Wilkinson

Ben Hepple

Jont. Wilson

Jhn Wilson

Jhn Arkwright

John Leavy

Rob Willey

Hy Johnson 36 nominations

Rob Griffiths 26

Rd Campbell 26

Steve Oxley 22

Not elected to Committee 23/8/1915:

Jos. Trusdale 20

Thos. Halliday 18

John Ward 15

?? 1915 – Agreed to pay £1 rent for premises + 1/- for fixtures, with effect from 30/8/1915. Mrs. H. Story had asked for 1/2/- + 1/-. 3/- per week advance therefore 22/- + 1/- = 23/- [?]

23/1/1916 – “that the following Bills be Paid:

John Robinson, Interest on £25 Bond, £1/5/-

Mrs. Robinson, Making curtains, 5/-

Mr. S. Monk, Interest on Loan, £9/2/-”

Committee w.e.f. 6/2/1916:

Thomas Wilkinson, chairman

Ben Hepple, secretary

Jont. Wilson, treasurer

Henry Johnson

Robert Griffiths

Richard Campbell

Steve Oxley

John Ramshaw

Robert Willey

Jos. Trusdale [died c.26/6/1916]

Charles Hepple [till 28/8/1916]

2/7/1916 (Min. 7) – “That we take collections on sunday nights for paying the contributions of the aged and infirm and soldier members.”

New Committee member w.e.f. 2/7/1916:

John Jones [injured c.21/8/1916]

10/7/1916 (Min. 8) – “that Ralph Allison’s contribution be Paid out of the Aged Members and Soldiers Fund.” [This is an example.]

4/9/1916 (Min. 7) – write to Mrs. Storey to repair locks also to see to having spouts cleaned out at the Front of the House.

21/8/1916 (Min. 4) – “That Mr. & Mrs. Robinson be granted the use of the room downstairs.”

New Committee member 28/8/1916–25/9/1916:

Thomas Roddam

25/9/1916 (Min.5 - rescinded) – “That the men [or man?] employed to attend Lift and wait on room upstairs be paid at the rate of 10d per hour.”

New Committee member w.e.f. 3/10/1916:

James Wills

17/12/1916 (Min. 6) – “That we have a lock put on the WC and the key be kept behind the Bar.”

22/1/1917 (Min. 9) – “That the Steward (John Robinson) be allowed to get work to do during the daytime.”

New Committee members w.e.f. 5/2/1917:

John Arkwright

John Ward

Sep. Bell

George Jackson

Thomas Moore

20/5/1917 – “That the Secretary get particulars for having a Roll of Honour for our Soldier Members…”

Not elected to Committee in August 1917:

Thomas Fairely

William Dawson.

1920/21 – New Club: 6,400+ sq. yds. of land purchased from Oxley @ 9d per sq. yd. [= £240]

15/11/1920 – Agreed to hold meeting to consider applications for new steward.

[Thomas “Wheatman”, i.e. Thomas Weightman, was appointed on 28/11/1920.]

Sunday 26/12/1920 – That Jont. Wilson, B. Hepple & H. Johnson meet Mr. Harle, Mr. Mason and Mr. Snaith on Tuesday Dec:28/20 to discuss the possibility of being able to move into the new Club Building.

Monday 3/1/1921 – Cheque to Messrs Bell & Bros. Ltd., as payment of first £250/-/- towards payment of the New Club Building account.

Monday 10/1/1921 – to meet Mr. Calvert [and others]… to see his illustrations, samples and specifications for furnishing.

[The contract went to Mr. Fred Woods – 23/1/1921]

Mon. 17/1/1921 – Mr. Kirby (Bell Bros.) to be asked “to take over the cost of the furnishings of the new Club at the same terms as the Building of the New Club Premises.”

Sun. 23/1/1921 – Mr. Jordan to be asked for a price for weekly heap of soil in the Club field.

Thurs. 27/1/1921 – Secretary to write to Ralph Richardson Esq., Field House Farm, West Rainton, Fencehouses, to get consent to erect four or five poles to convey Electric works from the Bowburn Colliery Institute to the new Club Buildings, to be conveyed

Thurs. 27/1/1921 – Colour scheme agreed:

Bar: pea green

Billiard room : darker shade of green with white frieze

Sitting room & reading room: salmon colour and white frieze

Committee room: pea greenr and white frieze

Hall and staircase and dressing rooms: dark green

Inside urinal: pea green

Leather seating in billiard room: 35/- per sq. ft.

Leather seating 23/6 per foot.

Sun. 30/1/1921 (General Meeting) – Sale of Newspapers:

Newcastle Daily Chronicle

Newcastle Evening Chronicle

Sporting Chronicle

Daily Mirror

Northern Star


Illustrated Dramatic

Farm Field & Fireside

John Bull

Daily Herald

Mon. 7/2/1921 – Cost of conveyance of land for electricity supply = five poles in Peat Edge Field at 1/- per pole p.a.

Mon. 28/2/1921 – That we ask Col. M. Bell√, Mr. Ivor Johnson√, Mr. Rob Richardson√, Mr. Jos. Bray√, Mr. Harle√, Mr. Ramsay√, Mr. M. Kirby, Mr. Leigh, Mr. Mason√, Mr. Barkhouse√ to attend at the opening of the new Club Premises. Mr. Sowerby√

[Ticks against most of the names may mean acceptance? or just that invitations had been sent? or perhaps that the minutes had been written before the meeting and those ticked are those actually agreed to be invited?]

Mon. 7/3/1921 – J.H. Story, for Rent due: £8/2/-

Mon. 7/3/1921 – That Mr. Fred Woods and Mr. John Calvert be asked to attend the opening of the New Club premises.

Tues. 8/3/1921 – 3. That we have a Concert and Dance on the opening day of New Club Mar:26/21. Concert 5pm till 7pm. Charge 1/- per head including Tax. President H. Johnson. Doors: Arkwright & Chitty, thos. Swinbank.

4. That Mr. Wm. Lawson have the pleasure of getting the Band for Concert and Dance at the opening of New Club.

5. That the Dance commence at 7.30pm till 11.45pm. Mr. C. Hy. Johnson, Ted Mitchell, Mr. A. Chitty, Jhn Chapman.

Doors: Geo. Lynn, Rd. Campbell, Thos. Swinbank, Jont. Wilson.

Prices for Dance: Gents 2/-, Ladies 1/-.

Wm. Lawson & Fred Brown’s orchestra.

[etc. etc.]

14. “That we get a Yale Lock with a Silver Ke (Presentation Key) ky [sic] to be presented to the Gentleman who opens the premises.”

Mon. 14/3/1921 – “That we ask Mr. R. Richardson to open the New Premises for the Club on Sat. Mar: 26/21.”

Thurs. 17/3/1921 – [Cost of key = £2/15/-, with inscription.]

Sun. 20/3/1921 – That Mr. Bray be asked to perform the opening ceremony New Club Building.

Sun. 27/3/1921 – “That Hy Tennick, Jhn Swinbank & Thos. Swinbank [the doorman!] be asked to appear before the Committee on April 4th/21 for misconduct and insults to the Committee on Sat. night Mar. 26/21.”

Mon. 4/4/1921 – Explanation from Thos satisfactory.

Apology from Jn. Swinbank and Hy Tennick satisfactory.

May/June 1922 – Cinema on Club premises (Mr. Turnbull).

Mon. 5/3/1923 – First Fruit Machine

Mon. 11/6/1923 – Steward’s wages reduced from £4 to £3/10/- per week from 18/6/1923.

16/6/1923 – fire.

Sat. 16/6/1923 (Meeting held in the damaged part of the Billiard Room not destroyed by Fire, at 1.45pm)

Present: Jont. Wilson

G. Lynn

J. Arkwright

J. Dykes

Norman Lynn

F. Miller

F. Garner

J. Allan

Hy Johnson, presiding.

1. It was moved that the Committee regret the loss by fire of the greater part of the Club premises.

2. That the Finance Committee take the stock of Articles and Refreshments that may have been salvaged from the fire.

3. That the Insurance Companies be immediately informed of the destruction by fire.

4. The Secretary and two members to meet the Insurance Co. assessors.

4. [sic] The position of steward and stewardess be considered at meeting to be held on June 25th 1923.

5. That the secretary write to Dorman Long informing them of the fire

Thurs. 21/6/1923 – Erect temporary hut in the field for the sale of refreshments.

Mon. 25/6/1923 … [Steward not mentioned…]

Mon. 2/7/1923 – No doorkeeper until further notice.

Ask Mr. Turnbull [the cinema proprietor] to meet the committee at the next meeting.

Steward’s wages to be £3 per week from the opening of the temporary hut.

Tues. 10/7/1923 (special meeting) – Accept Fire Insurance £483 for stock, fittings etc.

Accept the 28 day notice of the termination of employment of our steward as given by him in writing.

Mon. 16/7/1923 – Notice of resignation withdrawn. Pay £3 per week w.e.f. 18/6/1923.

Thurs. 19/7/1923 – £2,182/15/11 = Insurance Company’s offer in full settlement of the claim on the Building. (Accepted.)

J. Wilson to meet Mr. Carpenter re agreement with Mr. Turnbull and the club re the re-building of the Hall for a Cinema.

Fri. 3/8/1923 – £2,182/15/11 to be handed to Dorman Long & Co. “to cover the cost of reinstating the Club Building and the balance towards the repayment of the loan”.

Scheme B [of two options] approved.

Sun. 19/8/1923 – Mr. Chitty elected Secretary (at General Meeting)

Mon. 20/8/1923 – Secretary’s interview with Mr. Carpenter satisfactory.

Mr. Tunrbull to be asked to meet Committee next Monday.

Mon. 12/11/1923 – To meet Mr. W. Turnbull at next meeting. [There is not mention of this in the minutes of the following meeting, however.]

Mon. 26/11/1923 – That the President and Secretary endeavour to meet the Architect respecting the Completion of the Club.

Thurs. 6/12/1923 – That we occupy the Bar portion of the Club premises on Saturday at 5.30pm… [and] have the Lino brought up from the Institute tomorrow morning.

Mon. 10/12/1923 – Have the Piano and Lino brought up from the Institute as soon as possible and placed in the Billiard Room.

Mon. 17/12/1923 – Have the piano tuned a.s.a.p.

Thurs. 20/12/1923 – That we see the Contractor Mr. Hirst re the completion of the Building.

Wed. 26/12/1923 – Steward’s wages £3/15/0.

Mon. 14/1/1924 – Ask Dorman Long & Co. not to pay any more to L. & B. Hirst until the Committee are satisfied as to the work done.

Mon. 4/2/1924 – Ask Mr. Turnbull to attend the next meeting.

Thurs. 7/2/1924 – Contractor to be told to [re-]fit swing doors to entrance to Hall – should have been both ways, as before fire.

Tues. 12/2/1924 – Interview with Mr. Turnbull had been satisfactory.

Tues. 18/3/1924 – To get Billiard Table from Institute and ask Institute Committee to pay for removal.

Mon. 24/3/1924 – That we have the Benefit Cinema show on Tuesday 15th April.

Wed. 26/3/1924 – Windows and steps haven’t been satisfactorily finished. Secretary to write to Mr. J. W. Kirby.

Mon. 31/3/1924 – Jont. Wilson had resigned [i.e. as Treasurer?]. H. Fenwick = new Treasurer.

H. Fenwick and Hy Johnson to meet Mr. W. Turnbull re concert.

Mon. 7/4/1924 – Jonty Wilson to be asked what he’d like for presentation.

(Saturday 26/4/1924 – Presentation.)

Sun. 27/5/1928 – Treasurer absconded with £43/3/1.

Wed. 4/7/1928 – Treasurer suspended for six months.

Mon. 22/10/1928 – Financial Crisis – Consider closing the Club.

Sun. 11/11/1928 (Special Meeting) – Wind up and close down.

Sat. 24/11/1928 (General Meeting) – Carry on, in face of offer by Dorman Long.

Sun. 9/12/1928 (Special Meeting) – Confirm.

Mon. 22/7/1929 – New Cinema agreement with Mr. Turnbull.

Mon. 9/12/1929 – Cinema Agreement – three months’ termination notice.

[This expired 7/2/1930. (No licence from magistrates.)]

Mon. 15/3/1937 – Invitation to official opening of Coxhoe Club.

Sun. 17/3/1939 – Dorman Long to accept £800 in full settlement of outstanding mortgage.

[Settled 16/4/1939.]