Brothers raise a glass to celebrate 100 years of Denholme Conservative Club

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Raymond, left, 92, and Jack Greenwood, 82, at Denholme Conservative Club, which is 100 years old Raymond, left, 92, and Jack Greenwood, 82, at Denholme Conservative Club, which is 100 years old

t was a man’s world when the Greenwood brothers joined Denholme Conservative Club which has now celebrated its centenary.

Raymond Greenwood, 92, a member for 74 years and brother Jack 82, who joined 64 years ago, have stayed loyal throughout to the club where their father William was secretary for 43 years until his death in 1969.

“I can remember smoke-filled rooms and even spittoons on the floor for those who used chewing tobacco,” said Jack, of Denholme, recalling the old club opposite the Mechanics Institute in Denholme’s Main Rd.

“They’d cut a piece off a stick of tobacco with a knife and then spit into sawdust filled jars on the floor - and they never missed!”

He has a treasured photo of himself and middle brother Ronnie, who served as a stewards at the club for several years and remained a regular up until his death last year aged 87.

“I can remember when I joined that a pint of Ramsden’s bitter, brewed in Halifax was less than a shilling,” said Jack, who told how his father encouraged him to join the club, which moved up to Minorca Mount in the early 1970s.

“And there were no women allowed in the club until the 1960s, apart from special occasions.

“Most Denholme lads joined the Mechanics to play snooker and billiards, but my father said “go to night school and study textiles and I’ll get you joined at the Conservative Club when you’re 18.

“So that’s what I did!”

“I didn’t – I joined the Mechanics!” said older brother Raymond, of Keighley.

The Denholme club is still going strong, although numbers have dwindled as with many social clubs across the district.

“There was always lots going on – games leagues for snooker, darts, cribbage, dominoes and a card game called “don” which only a few people knew how to play,” Jack said.

“The problem is that these days people just go to the supermarket, buy beer and sit at home watching TV.

“It’s a shame.

They and their families enjoyed a special 100th anniversary party, said club secretary Joanne Simmonds: “We needed to celebrate it in style and these two were our special guests.

“They’ve never been any trouble and never been barred – not yet anyway!” she joked.

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