Comment was earlier promised on the perilous state of survival of one of the longest lasting traditions in our town, the social club. In the nineteenth century, the middle classes had their hotels and private Clubs for their exclusive entertainment. The working men’s clubs filled a niche for the other five eighths.
The Catholic Workingmen’s Club dropped the Catholic, admitted women and ignored the ‘working men’ label, and still cannot attract members. There is one night a year when food is laid on, a free drink provided etc. where members more than recoup their fee. It’s the only remaining packed house. People were being admitted last New Year’s Eve, up to and after midnight. What does that tell you? The Hibs cannot even produce a quiz team any more. The Indo has recently invested heavily in extensive renovations, but the gamble is unlikely to pay. Out of town clubs are faring little better, despite better community spirit. The Protestant Clubs, Henry Thompson Memorial, Masons, Hockey,
We will speculate on that soon. Meanwhile expect them all to fall like ninepins in the coming decade. It’s an evens bet we will be less a few this time next year!
Photo shows Margaret Kimberly, Brenda D’Arcy, Sally Gray and the late Desie Kimmons in St Catherine’s Club, Merchants’s Quay 1990