Madrassa plan for Keighley's Pop ’n’ Pasty club

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The Pop ’n’ Pasty club The Pop ’n’ Pasty club

The historic Pop ‘n’ Pasty social club, which opened in 1908 as a teetotal meeting place in Keighley for political activists, may soon become an Islamic education centre.

An application to transform the downstairs area of the defunct North East Ward Liberal Club into a madrassa has just been received by Bradford planners.

Keighley agents AA Planning Services has submitted the plan, which includes creating a three-bedroom dwelling on the upper floor of the building in Bradford Road, opposite Victoria Park.

A spokesman said yesterday: “The aim is to create a centre for a range of educational activities.”

Originally built as two terraced houses, the Pop ‘n’ Pasty has no off-road parking according to the application.

However, that did not prevent it being a bustling social club in its prime.

But recently dwindling numbers meant it was running at a loss until hosting its final act in March last year.

At the time, club spokesman Marjorie Atkinson described the closure as “the end of an era”.

She said: “It is a great shame as the members who attend every week love the club and many friendships have been formed.”

The North East Ward Liberal Club opened in 1908 as a political club, gaining its nickname from the non-alcoholic refreshments on offer.

The club gained a drinks licence in 1932 and became independent in 1948, even though it retained its Liberal title.

Originally in the upstairs room of a terraced house, the club opened a bar downstairs in 1964, then seven years later extended into the neighbouring house.

The upstairs walls were knocked down to create a larger upstairs bar, dance hall and concert area.

Both expansions were opened by John Taylor, then chairman of Keighley brewery Timothy Taylor, which sold its beer at the venue.

And in 1981 the club was still so popular that it put in expansion plans to Bradford Council to take over an adjoining house.

But that scheme was turned down following objections from neighbours.

After being closed for a year, local pub landlord Michael Thompson was employed to clear out decades of memorabilia.

It was full of club paraphernalia, including bar stools, pint glasses, snooker cues, a full-size snooker table, and a framed Second World War roll of honour.

Speaking this week, Mr Thompson said many of the treasures, including the roll of honour had been re-homed at other social clubs in the town.

The gutted Pop ‘n’ Pasty was then sold to its current owners.

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