History of Willaston Club
Willaston Working Men's Club & Institute officially came into being on 12th September 1919 when the club was registered under the Friendly Societies Act. There were three trustees and the registered office was in Eastern Road. However it is believed that there was a forerunner to this organisation where socialising and meetings took place in Mrs Cooke's rooms in the Circle off Eastern Road. Towards the end of 1920, a deal was finalised to purchase some spare land in Wistaston Road, almost opposite The Lamb Hotel. The 1.378 acres of land was sold by Sir Henry Delves Broughton and was purchased in the name of the three trustees, Frank Paynter, Walter Topham and Arthur George Allman.
At about the same time, two large wooden army huts were acquired and two clubhouses erected. One containing the bar and games/ function room and a separate clubhouse for bowls fronting a bowling green. This was the basis of the club for some 50 years and during that time it was a thriving club with many well-supported activities. These included bowling teams in both South Cheshire and Club Union leagues, as well as billiards, darts, dominoes and cribbage in local leagues. There was also a well-supported fishing section - many older members will remember prize fish in glass cases adorning the Club walls. Towards the end of the 1960s, it was clear that refurbishment and enhancements were needed for the clubhouse. This commenced with a new brick-built concert room and over the next 20 years or so added a games room, new laouge/bar, kitchen, committee room etc. culminating in what we have today. This refurbishment resulted in the removal of the bowling green and its clubhouse with the subsequent disbandment of the bowling section.
In its original form, the Club was very much aimed at providing recreation and social activities for the working man. Women were not permitted in the bar area or allowed to play games and children were not permitted anywhere in the clubhouse. With the enhanced clubhouse and facilities the Club became more family orientated and in 1974 the name of the Club was changed to Willaston Social Club. With its function / concert room, it has served the village well. It has been put to use over the years as a meeting place for many local organisations, including the Willaston Women's Institute, Willaston British Legion etc. and has also hosted many private functions such as Christenings, wedding receptions, funeral wakes and birthday parties as well as regular Christmas party for the village children.
Extract from “Willaston: A South Cheshire Village History” Written by Willaston History Group and available for sale at £11.95 in the village.