Where abouts in Haslingden was the United Service Club?
Thanks to Jackie Ramsbottom and her press cuttings click here to check out or click here for more or click here for even more. We now know that the Club was definately on Lower Lane, although when previously it had been a pub the address was still given as Communion Street. And also thanks to John Bedford for some earlier notes about when his great great grandmother (Alice Riley) was the landlady of the same building which was then the "Staff Of Life" pub.
So we have now established that the United Service Club was on Lower Lane, Haslingden (in 1912) and previous to that the Club used to be called the National Reserve Club. It was a Club were War veterans met and talked over their war experiences. The objects of the Club according to the rules is to assist in raising and organizing the National Reserve.
Reading the interesting newspaper cuttings, it seems the Club landed itself in trouble and its Secretary at that time was forced to attend a hearing of the Court and the result was taking away the licence from the Club.
|Showing the Old Unity Club during demolition of part of Top Of the Town (photo: donated by John Bedford)|
|"The Old Unity Club"|
The Staff Of Life is shown in the 1871 Census which at that time gives the address as Communion Street and the licensed beerseller (or landlady) was Alice Riley (head) (Great, great grandmother to John Bedford). Communion Street or the nearby Pocket Street are no longer there now which meant that later it put the property within the confines of what became part of "Lower Lane"
|Land League Bazaar Committe|
|John William Riley|
I can remember has a lad going into the Unity Club were they used to run Rabbit and Cage Bird competitions etc.
|Thomas in his younger days|
|Thomas with Polly and a friend|
Mike Ryan has kindly sent in two photographs of his Grandad Thomas Ryan who was the Secretary of the United Service Club which is referred to within the newspaper cuttings above. (Please click over the photos to enlarge)
The two photos of Thomas Ryan above, one as a young man and the other in later days. (Hopefully the alcohol was legally bought). I believe the crossed clubs shown in the earlier photo indicate he was a PT Instructor and certainly he used to exercise with the Indian clubs and was great at twirling them in different patterns. He was an expert on the high bar, and family legend has it that he used to run a wrestling school. He certainly made short work of two chaps who tried to mug him in his later days. The lady on the far left is his (third) wife Pauline (Polly), and the one in the middle is an old friend. (Photos of Thomas and text kindly supplied by Mike Ryan)