Wolverhampton Council's Electricity Department had a social club in Temple
Street above the Palais de Dance. They had taken over the premises
from the Star Aluminium social club. It was known as the Wolverhampton
In 1946 the club bought their present premises in St. Mark's
Road, off Chapel Ash.
The club's premises in St. Mark's Road.
|They bought them from the Wolverhampton Tennis and
Squash Club who moved to their current premises in Newbridge
Crescent. The total cost was £4,700 and what could not be met
from the club's funds had to be raised by a whip round amongst
members. What they got for their money was not the extensive
buildings they now have.
|They got the present lounge, a very cozy room with
beams in the ceiling and a large brick fireplace - and a floor that
was so rotten the members had to take it up and replace it, which
they did with their own labour. They also got a small bar
room, two squash courts and, outside, two tennis courts facing on to
The original room in the Club.
For a while the old club premises in Temple Street were kept on until
the work on the lounge floor could be completed.
The present bar. The snooker room is beyond the far
|Since then the club, now the Wolverhampton
Electricity Sports and Social Club, gradually extended the
buildings to provide new facilities. There was a large new bar
with a snooker room, for two tables, at the far end of it. The
small bar was extended and a table tennis room provided.
|The two squash courts were knocked together and a
floor put across half way up. This way the bottom part could
be used as a billiards room and the upper floor provided a large
concert room and bar, named the Moreton Room after one of the club's
early stalwarts. The most recent addition is a bungalow for
The club from Clifton Street. This is where the
two tennis courts used to be. The roof of the new bungalow can just
be seen to the left.
Mr. Fred Elliott. A detail from a large photo now in
the club bar.
|When the MEB came into existence they asked for the deeds
of the property. All of the other MEB clubs, in other parts of the
Board's area, were on MEB premises and the MEB assumed that the
Wolverhampton Club was their's too. They were very quickly
disabused of this notion. Fred Elliott, who had been the last
Manager of the Wolverhampton Electricity Department and was now a
District Manager, had opposed nationalisation, was no friend of the
MEB's policies and was a regular at the club.He and Mr. Thorpe, the
Chief Accountant and also a club regular, made their objections known to
the MEB and were able to prove that the club was an independent body and
that the deeds of the property were therefore in the name of the club:
it belonged to its members not the MEB.
|The club was always a members' club. MEB employees
paid 2d. per week membership to which the MEB added another 2d.
The employee's 2d per week was collected out of wages and paid by MEB to
the club. But after the skirmish over the deeds the club did
establish a class of members which allowed non-MEB employees to join the
club. In due course the MEB was taken over by Norweb and then by
GPU UK, who stopped paying their subsidy and stopped collecting
employees' subscriptions. At that point the Club made a
thoroughgoing revision of its rule book which, amongst other things,
simplified the membership structure and, in effect, further weakened the
link with the electricity industry.
Mr. Thorpe. A detail from a large photo now in the
These wrought iron gates were specially commissioned by
the Club and are based on the Club's lightning bolt symbol. They were
designed by Vince McHugh, the First Engineer (Planning) at the MEB.
|From 1946 onwards the club's expanding premises provided a
very wide variety of activities for its members. Apart from the
concerts put on in the Moreton Room there were all sorts of other
activities organized by different sections, including fishing, football,
snooker, darts, dominoes, table tennis, dancing, photography. The
Wolverhampton Radio club has always met on the premises.
There was always a pensioners' Christmas
Party at which ex-employees of the Wolverhampton Electricity Department
and the Wolverhampton district of the MEB were entertained to Christmas
dinner; a children's Christmas party; and dances.
Now the club, still a private members' club, but with a
membership which comes from a much wider base than the electricity industry,
is still adding to its facilities and will soon have refurbished kitchens,
serving hot meals at lunch times and early evenings. Sporting teams,
such as those for snooker, table tennis and football, continue to thrive.
Visitors can come and look round the club and its facilities
and would be very welcome to apply for membership. New members will be
able to join existing members in taking a quiet drink in a friendly
social atmosphere and using the club's other facilities.
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