‘This breaks my heart’ - Chesterfield residents share their memories after historic social club announces closure

Locals have been sharing their fond memories of a Chesterfield social club that is closing permanently next month.

Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 4:50 pm

The Old Whittington Social Club has announced that it will close its doors on Sunday, June 5 after 88 years.

For many, the news brought back memories of family members.

Katie Haughton said that the closure of the club was heartbreaking, having spent much of her childhood there with now-departed family members.

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Old Whittington club

“This breaks my heart, I literally grew up in there, that pub holds so many memories dear to my heart of some now-passed family members, especially my grandparents. It’s a shame it’s got to close.”

Tracy Snook said: “Most weekends here growing up. A meeting place for my dad and his brothers every Christmas before he passed in 2010. So many memories of this place.”

Steve Poole also recounted visits to the club in his youth, and added: “I’m almost 60 and still recall being taken here occasionally as a child by my grandparents.

“From memory grandad, a committee member (also a miner and lifelong socialist) was held in such reverence he had his own chair!”

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Historic Chesterfield social club set to close its doors after 88 years

Trudy Hayes used to work as a glass collector at the club. She fondly remembered the yearly trip to Skegness, and said she was sad to see the end of the community hub.

“Such a shame that it's closing its doors. I worked collecting glasses and behind the bar, my mum is on the committee, we used to be sent up early on a Saturday night to make sure we got our seats!

“Kids Christmas parties, grab a granny night, Thursday discos, cinema nights, and we cannot forget the annual club trip to Skegness. There used to be up to 12 coaches all the way down Station Lane and the kids got a fiver spends!

“I worked for Olive and Bill, good old days, no places like it now. It was a hub for the community but it's a shame how times change and so do our social habits, sad times indeed.”

Darren Ashmore, another former glass collector, recalled film screenings, live bands and the scramble for tables on New Year’s Eve.

“Saw Star Wars on the projector along with many other films in the 80s.

“Christmas parties, live bands, packed rooms, queues all the way up Station Lane on New Year’s Eve four or five hours before it was due to open so everybody could get their usual table, all armed with jars of pickles, sausage rolls and cobs! Great memories!”

Marilyn Wheelhouse and her husband used to help with Christmas parties, and she said they shared many good nights at the club.

“l used to help with the children’s and OAP’s Xmas parties, hard work but loved it, my husband used to be Santa for the children's party and he did it for the OAPs one year, think they enjoyed it more than the children. Had some good nights in the old club.”

Margaret Wilson shared her happy memories of the club from when she first moved into the area, and echoed the sadness of other residents to see it shut permanently.

“Spent many happy weekends in this club when I married a local lad and moved to Old Whittington. That was over 50 years ago, had some really good times and seen lots of artists appear there. So it's sad it's now closing for good, I suppose times have changed, people want different things now.”

In a statement published on their Facebook page, a spokesperson said: “With heavy hearts we announce that we will have to regrettably close our doors. Our last day open is Sunday, June 5 if you would you like to come and say goodbye.

“We would like to thank everyone who has supported us over 88 years, and are forever grateful for the memories and lifetime friends we have made and lost along the way.

“Yours forever, Old Whittington Social Club.”

The club will still be hosting its party for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee on Friday, June 3. It will open from 7pm until late, and there will be a singer and a comedian to provide entertainment.

They encouraged people to come down for what will be one of the club’s final nights, and hoped those in attendance would “make it a great night to remember.”