The village has had a succession of clubs and societies today we have the Birdbrook Club, The Ladies Group and Bowls Club but in the past there has been a wider selection covering every interest.

The Men's Social Club

This club ran through the winter months and met at the Old School House twice weekly, Tuesday and Thursday evenings.  When it started and how long it ran for we do not know, here are some items we have found in the 'Ruridecanal Magazine'.


The following comes from the 'Ruridecanal Magazine', April 1911

THE MEN'S SOCIAL CLUB - The last meetings, for this winter, of the Men's Social Club were held on Tuesday and Thursday, March 7th and 9th.  It is hoped that next winter it will be as great or even greater success.  The accounts of the Club are given below, where it will be seen that its finances are in a very sound condition, thanks to the careful management of our treasurer, Mr. Stubbings.  A vote of thanks was accorded to him before the club closed its session.  The thanks of the club was also expressed to Mr. Haggart, senior, for the interest he has taken in it, and for the manner in which he conducted its business during the recent indisposition of Mr. Stubbings.


 Members' subscriptions£3  2s  0d   Newspapers £0  9s  3d
   Oil for lamps £0  3s  3d
   Mrs. Hayes for cleaning room etc. £0 19s 0d
   Firing £0  6s  0d
   Sundry games, etc. £0  8s 10d
   Boxing Gloves £0  5s  0d
   Lock for Box £0  0s  9d
   Balance in hand £0  9s 11d
  £3  2s  0d  £3  2s  0d

Audited and found correct, ALFRED YOUNG March 14th, 1911

 'Ruridecanal Magazine', October 1911:-

THE MEN'S SOCIAL CLUB - It is satisfactory to be able to record that the meetings of the Social Club in the Church School on Tuesday and Thursday evenings are being largely attended.  The success of the club is due in a great measure to our able Secretary and Teasurer, Mr. Stubbings, whose efforts are well seconded by the committee.  The thanks of all interested are due to him and them.

The Club pays its own way and has purchased many attractions with the weekly subscriptions of its members.  A set of boxing gloves, the latest acquistion, has tended to make the evenings distinctly lively at times.

We have to thank the following for gifts to the club:- The Hon. Mrs. Ives, books and papers; Mrs. King Viall, various games; Mr. Unwin, bagatelle board; Mr. Sherwood, donation.

If any kind friend has one or two small light wooden tables to spare, we know they would come in very useful at the club meetings

The Birdbrook Shoe Club

This was a savings club for the poorer families of the village, when it started and how long it ran for we do not know.  The following comes again from 'Ruridecanal Magazine', October, 1911:-

The Birdbrook Shoe Club in connection with the Sunday School closed its year on September 25th (the last Monday in September), when members received back the money they had paid in, with the bonuses due to them.  It is satisfactory to find that altogether £12 4s. 1d. was paid into the Club during the year, and exactly £2 became due to the members in the way of bonus.  The Club opens for the New Year on Monday, October 2nd at 12 o'clock.  Its object is to encourage thrift, and to provide funds for boots and shoes at the beginning of the winter.

The Invalid Chair Fund

This is not really a 'club' but we think it deserves a mention.  This fund was set up to buy a wheelchair for use in the village.  Before the National Health Service items such as wheelchairs would have to be purchaced by the patient, an expense that many could not afford.  The average  wage being for an argicultural labourer for 1913 16s 9d per week.   

The following items are from 'Ruridecanal Magazine', April and May 1913: 


£  s.  d.



 £  s.  d.

 The Hon Mrs. Ives                                   

0  10  0 

 Noeniare & Co. for Wheels

 2   0  2

 Miss Ives

0    5  0

 Windsor Chair

 0   9  0

 Mr. King Viall

0  10  0

 Atterton for Bracketts, & c.

 0   8  6

 Mr. G.E. Unwin

0  10  0

 Carriage and Sundries

 0   3  1

 The Rev. Dr. Young

0  10  0

 Balance (carried to Sick and Needy Fund)

 0 10 9

 Miss Payne

0    7  0

 Mrs Sherwood

0    5  0

 Mr. R.O. Payne

0    5  0

 Mr. W. Price

0    5  0

 Mr. P.R. Pannell

0    2  6

 Mrs. Blacklock

0    1  0

 Miss Blacklock

0    1  0



£3  11  6 


 £3  11  6

'An invalid chair has been subscribed for, for the use of the sick of the parish.  The chair has not arrived yet though it has been on order for quite a long time.  The first user of it is to be Mrs. Mason.' 

'THE INVALID CHAIR - The new parochial Merlin Chair is now being used by its first occupant, Mrs. Mason.  It is a great boon to have it, as the patient is able to wheel herself about without assistance.  We hope that Mrs. Mason will live long to enjoy it, and that there may not be many who will require its assistance.  But there always seems to be one or more in the parish who would be glad of such means of getting about.'

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