We are sad to announce the recent death of Jean Unsworth 4 days short of her 90th birthday. Jean was secretary of the club from 1975 to 1990 and worked alongside her husband Ken who was joint leader with Dave Waterson. Ken and Jean are pictured (centre) at the 1982 camp. Jean was secretary at the time of Stephen Wright’s now iconic photograph of The Smiths taken in 1985, but back then it caused a lot of controversy. The MEN newspaper article from 1998 is now pasted in the Smiths room and gets lots of interest from visitors from around the world.
“ To Brighten Young lives & Make Good Citizens” is our founding motto, so it was good to welcome a group from Nelson last night with very similar aims. Positive Voices is a global youth project from Marsden Heights Community School in Nelson working with year 10 students. The young people and youth leaders had a tour of the club meeting volunteers before joining our Wednesday lads club sessions of boxing, football and table tennis.
22,500 membership records – We get lots of enquires from people tracing family history and one recently asking about boxing at Salford Lads Club in the early 1900s. Unfortunately we didn’t have a membership record in this case, but the outfits in the photograph are exactly like lads used to wear here for a variety of sports including gymnastics boxing and wrestling. The picture of a boxing class is from the book “working lads club” published in 1908 and shows boys in similar outfits. Boxing was very popular here in 1903 and classes took place in the concert hall. The detailed picture of the concert hall today shows the location of the original corner posts for the boxing ring, which are still visible. Maybe somebody knows about other lads club in Salford who had boxing classes; there were at least 5 other lads clubs, including Irwell Street, Adelphi, Egerton Street, Pendleton and Chapel Street.
The entrance hall was transformed yesterday with filming for a series called “Thirties in Colour” with Brian and Leslie viewing and talking about the 1939 SLC camp film. Amazing to see this b/w footage in colour for the first time, the series will be shown on Channel 5.
This week the concert hall has been transformed for the recreation of “ The Netball Party” an annual event that took place between 1919 and 1939. By the 1930s netball was the most popular indoor sport at the club with more than 200 boys playing each week. We would like to thank Salford University for helping us make the project happen and to St Josephs RC Primary and Primrose Hill Primary for taking part. Thanks also to volunteers from Talktalk.
The event was featured on ITVs Granada Reports and in the MEN https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/salford-lads-clubs-forgotten-sporting-16028831
The exhibition is open to visitors on Saturday 30th March from 11-2pm (please note resident only parking on street around the club)
Today marks 100 years since the end of World War One, on 11 November 1918 and we remember all the club members and volunteers who died. Our WW1 memorial lists the names of 138 club members killed during the conflict. The memorial was errected in 1920 . The clubs weekly newsletter from 15th November 1918 details the news to club members.
We are open Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th September from 11am- 3pm for the Heritage Open Days. Our event features the special exhibition “Albert Finney was never a member” in the form of 21 blue plaques installed in different rooms around the building, to mark people’s visits or links with the club; like Graham Nash and Alan Clarke performing in a minstrel troupe here in 1956, Wayne Rooney and Frank Sidebottom together in the gym in 2014, or the most current one Maxine Peake in the kitchen wearing a pair of marigolds!
An Exhibition about the Nippers of Salford Lads Club is showing at the Peoples History Museum in Manchester every day until 17th January 2016. The exhibition title is taken from one the clubs 22,500 record cards from 1903, when lads aged 13 worked as Nippers in local industries. The exhibition links these records to photographs from the clubs archive, showing football, boxing and gymnastics teams along with famous club members and long serving volunteers.
Tomorrow a group of young people and leaders from the club, set off on a historic visit to South Dakota at the invitation of Red Cloud High Indian School on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The group will lead soccer workshops, meet people in the community and visit the Wounded Knee Cemetery and the Crazy Horse Memorial. The group will also visit Mt Rushmore, and The Badlands. The project has been funded by sales of the Smiths T shirt, courtesy of photographer Stephen Wright. The trip is featured in the Manchester Evening News tonight. “Salford Lads Club set off on trip to America – thanks to Smiths shirt sales”
Our under 16 five a side football team made history today by being the first team from the club to win the National Title. They won the final of the Boys and Girls Clubs against teams from Newcastle and Durham. Along with our under 12 team they represented Greater Manchester in todays finals. In previous years our under 16 teams have made it to the North West Finals, but this year they achieved the top spot. A great achievement lads, well done.