HISTORY OF THE LONGDON CLUB
Sir Villiers Forster and Lady Forster attended a Parish Council meeting and proposed that they build a “Parish Room” as a Memorial Hall. It was agreed and built in 1919. When the Memorial Hall was near completion, it was offered to the Longdon Parish Council (LPC) who declined the offer as they felt the cost of maintenance would burden the LPC with an expense that it would not be able to meet. At this point six representatives of the working population, led by Tod Jones, approached Sir Villiers Forster in October 1919 and asked that the Memorial Hall be registered as a Mens Club. They stated that a Mens Club would be a great benefit generally and would be self–supporting. This proposal used a previously agreed arrangement with Armitage Club, as a precedent.
Longdon Club and Institute (the Club) was formed.
1920s and 30s
Longdon “W.I” used the Club for meetings until its own hall was acquired.
During the General Strike school children were fed in the Club with donated hot dinners cooked and served by members.
Sir Villiers Forster dies. His estate, including the Memorial Hall, passes to Dame Mary Forster (as owner) plus trustees.
By a conveyance Dame Mary sold the Memorial Hall site and building to Captain William Walford as permanent trustee.
An order was made for the Memorial Hall to vest in Official Trustee of Charity Lands Commission. The management of the Club was deemed to be satisfactory, via the Trustees and the Committee, requiring no input from a freeholder interest.
The Club used its facilities to raise contributions towards the War Comfort Fund.
The Club continued successfully throughout these years, being of great value to the community. The village school used the premises and the field over a period of time until the new school was built with its own facilities
The field at the rear was bought by the Club.
The village ‘Old Peoples Committee’ met in the hall as the ‘Over 60s’ do today.
Donations were raised for The Old Peoples Committee.
Tod Jones, one of the Clubs founders, retires after 35 years, much of this as chairman.
The Pre-school group used the Club facilities.
An extension was built at the rear to provide toilets and a utility room.
The village Cub Scout pack used the Club and its field for football, including matches with other packs in the district.
Village celebration party at the Club for the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana.
The Club had major renovations including the distinctive black and white frontage, also electrical improvements. All this work was entirely funded from Club resources and private donations. At this time the membership stood at 140.
The Club Ladies Dominoes Team wins Rugeley and District League trophies.
The Club Quiz Night raises funds for a St James Church fund.
The Club joins Lichfield and District CVS, qualifying as a 3 rd sector organisation. This is a Staffordshire support group organisation.
2011 and 2013
The Club Snooker Teams win The Chase League ‘Albert Fleming’ trophy.
The Club hosted ‘The Village Picnic’ for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. This was an all-day party.
The Club ran a charity disco for British Heart Foundation.
An internal refurbishment took place.
Sky Sports TV installed.
The Club’s own web site established. This enables everyone to easily access all current and future events.
Regrettably, due to the COVID-19 pandemic The Longdon Club & Institute was forced to shut its doors due to UK lockdown laws put in place.
With The Longdon Club still closed the opportunity to carry out building works on the Memorial Hall was undertaken. Along with HS2 funding plans to move the toilets to the rear of the building, moving the bar, insulating and new heating system throughout, new windows and doors and resurfacing the car park were a few of the upgrades to the building that were undertaken.
With the building work complete and UK COVID-19 restrictions lifted The Longdon Club was able to reopen again to the delight of the Committee, Members and Staff.
Along with the reopening a change of name from “The Longdon Club & Institute” to “The Longdon Club”.
Throughout the remainder of 2021 The Longdon Club has been well supported by everyone in the community with music events, birthday parties for young and old and of course Bonfire Night.
Throughout The Longdon Club’s history the village community have always been supported and made welcome.
The November fireworks and bonfire party is always popular and The Longdon Club is an ideal venue for all types of functions.