With the decline in numbers of the working men’s clubs, Cambridge University’s Richard Hall explores the history and value today of these institutions.
By 1960, there were more than 3,500 working men’s clubs in Britain, with a combined membership of more than two million people. Richard’s entertaining talk will take you through their post-war transformation from small institutions for drinking and bar-games to larger family-oriented entertainment venues, while they continued to provide social, welfare and educational activities for local communities.
Operating on the boundaries of public and private life, Richard’s current research will highlight how they remained alternative sites of domesticity to the home, in which men nurtured relations with both friends and family. Nevertheless, though women and children came to represent a significant presence in the clubs, their cultures remained largely patriarchal and discriminatory. However, working men’s clubs provided an important source of community and continuity for their members, during a period of rapid social and cultural change.
Normal admission charges apply; £2 per adult, Network Members and under 16’s free.