Rothwell Conservative Club - 100 Years in the Making
Rothwell Conservative Club has held a respected position in the Town since its formation on 29th October 1896.
The first general meeting was held in the Church House at Rothwell under the Presidency of the Vicar, the Rev. W. S. Parker, to further the proposal to form a conservative club in Rothwell. The committee reported upon some premises in Crispin Street belonging to Mr Buckby as being most suitable for the club premises.
Another meeting was held on November 6th 1896 for the purpose of enrolling members and electing officers. It was proposed that members paying 3s/6d down should be free until the end of 1897.
Within 8 days of the original meeting, premises were opened up at number 51 Crispin Street with a President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, a Committee of 7 members and 60 ordinary members.
First Orders Please! - in 1896
In the minute book for Nov 10th 1896, the secretary was instructed to order 2 barrels of Double Diamond, 1 barrel of Triple Diamond, 1 gallon each of Irish Whiskey, Scotch Whiskey, Gin and 1/2 a gallon each of Pale Brandy, Ginger Brandy of messers Phipps, 100 cigarettes from Mr Pentelow, 2 gallons of Ginger Wine and 3 dozen each of Spruce, Ginger Ale, Lemons and small Sodas. The club would open at 6.30PM and 2.30PM on Saturdays.
It soon became obvious that these premises were inadequate to accommodate the huge increase in membership and so Rev. Parker offered the Church House as premise for the new club at a rent of 5 shillings (25 pence) per week.
One year later
On January 29th 1897, the club became a member of the Association of Conservative Clubs, being no. 583 on the register. On 16 June 1897, (Rowell Fair Wednesday) the new premises in the Church House were officially opened by the MP for the Mid-Northants Division. Membership grew rapidly and in 1908 the property was bought for £650.00 and when the present club was built it was sold back to the Church for £600.00.
While at the Church House the Country suffered two wars, the Boer war and the Great war 1914-18, over 60 members were on active service, several members lost their lives on the battlefields. After hostilities were over, it was proposed that all who had served in the war should each receive 5 shillings, including two members who had been prisoners of war in Germany. Despite two World Wars the Club continued to prosper, even though it only had a 6-day licence - the building being used as a school room for the church on Sundays.
Membership continued to grow, and it was felt that there was a need for a 7-day licence and so the hunt began, yet again, for new premises. A site became available at 7 Market Hill (the site of Rothwell's first workhouse and formerly the shop of Mr Harry Chamberlain with the rear used by Taylor and Sons in the manufacture of boots and shoes) and the present building was erected there with the official opening on 29 December, 1930.
A New Beginning
The club was officially opened on Monday evening, December 29th 1930 by Sir Herbert Nield KC. MP, Chairman of the A.C.C. who after a celebration dinner said "Never in my experience have I seen a club better proportioned and suited to fulfil the objects for which it was founded."
There was a billiard and snooker room with two full sized tables. In the Autumn of 1956 this room, including the darts and skittles room was converted into a lounge and bar and was opened on November 29th by Mr J. Hedley Lewis, the prospective candidate for the Kettering division.
Rothwell Conservative Club - One of The Finest
Over the years there have been many conversions and alterations and improvements to the building and the facilities, including the provision of a restaurant and a fine bowling green, thus making it one of the finest Conservative Clubs in Northamptonshire and the Midlands. The Club now boasts a membership of over 600, with a waiting list of prospective members, and is a thriving business in the town, offering many facilities to its members and their guests.
Details of membership, and Forms of Application can be obtained by calling into the Club or e-mailing The Secretary.
Here's to the Next 100 years at "The Cons"!