Copper Beech Club
|Previously||Baildon Working Men's Club|
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In 2000 the Copper Beech Club moved into the upper floor of the newly built Co-op Foodstore. As part of this new build the previous Copper Beech Club building was demolished to make way for the food store carpark and the food store itself built on the site of Prospect Works that until recently had been a factory for Silver Cross prams.
The club started life as Baildon Working Men's Club in 1892.
- 1 Baildon Working Mens Club
- 2 Copper Beech Club
- 3 Bobby George
- 4 Billy Pearce
- 5 Wall of Fame
- 6 Arthur Edwick Notes
- 7 Newspaper cutting
- 8 1967 Souvenir Handbook
- 9 References
Baildon Working Mens Club
Several men met (in the upper 2 rooms) at 24 Northgate on November 12, 1892 and formed the Baildon Working Mens Club which was later to become the Copper Beech Club. They rented the premises from Mrs Ambler for 4s 4d and the weekly member subscription was 1d per week.
Mr Hassie Taylor who lived at 11b Westgate was one of those involved from the beginning until his death in 1930 and was a Trustee for many years. However he is not mentioned in the Copper Beech Club Souvenir Handbook 1967.
A green plaque is now on the side of 24 Northgate stating that the building originally housed the Baildon Working Men's Club.
In 1901 the members decided to buy 32 Northgate for a club from Mrs. Padgett for £292. They had £169 in the bank and took out a mortgage from the Baildon Friendly Society of £175.
In 1926 a new building for the club was constructed on the other side of Northgate behind the existing buildings. It was opened on 26 June 1926.
On Wednesday 12 November 1952 Baildon Working Men's Club celebrated its Diamond Jubilee and 4 typed pages (possibly written by Whiteley who may have been associated with the club) mention the plans for the event and also include several memories from a Mr Mitchell, a life member of the club, who had served as steward and secretary.
One of the memories of Mr Mitchell is that when building and mortgaging the new club the building society would only lend the money if the president, trustees and committee members would guarantee it with mortgages on their own homes. This they did but most DID NOT TELL THEIR WIVES. Click on the image above or this link to read about the Baildon Working Men's Club Jubilee
A typed page that looks as though it was the speech notes for the opening of the concert room seventy years after the formation of the club mentions that it represents the last of the modernisation plans and was accomplished without borrowing. The page has no date or name. You can read the text of the page and view a scan of it by clicking on the image above or click here - Baildon Working Men's Club Concert Room
Copper Beech Tree
A copper beech tree stood in the grounds [of the Baildon Working Mens Club] (and incidentally) this tree was a source of annoyance to one of the older members of the club. Mr Tyson regularly complained about its height, and on one occasion, Mr Jimmy Roberts became so “fed up” of Mr Tyson’s complaints that he took upon himself the task of lopping the tree. So severe was his pruning that it was thought the tree would not survive the surgery. However next Spring the tree began to flourish.
Victor Gould, via his sister, has provided copies of his photos from October 1966 of inside the burnt-out Working Men's Club.
Victor also wrote the following:-
Baildon Working Men’s Club was opened in June 1926.
It was a single-storey, double-fronted building, with a central entrance. When you went in, there was a small lobby with a table for the doorman to check on visitors.
If you turned left and then right you came to the games room; if you turned right and then left you came to the lounge.
There were doors in both the lounge and the games room that led to the concert room.
The concert room had a stage and, at the far end of the room, a snooker table. In the far corner of the concert room was a door leading to the committee room.
The bar was in the centre of the building, and had three counters: one for the lounge, one for the games room and another for the concert room.
The bar had wooden shutters, which had been lowered on the night of 26th October 1966. When the fire started that night, all the spirit and beer bottles exploded and blew the shutters right across the room.
At the side of the concert room bar were two one-armed bandits (tic tac toe machines), which took sixpences. The heat of the fire ruptured the machines, sending sixpences spewing across the floor.
The building was completely gutted and had to be rebuilt.
After the fire, the Conservative Club allowed WMC members to use its club; then permission was obtained to use the old ballroom in the cinema building until the new club house was built, changing its name to the Copper Beech Club. That building was demolished in August 1999, to make way for the Co-op car park.
These photographs were taken in October 1966, shortly after the fire at the Baildon WMC.
I can’t name the elderly man on two of the photos but Mr Jimmy French is pictured on the right.
After the fire of October 1966 the secretary of the club, Mr E. Exley, was tasked with taking the money at the club home to clean it and wash off the soot, dust, and fire damage.
Copper Beech Club
When fire had virtually destroyed the fabric of the building the committee decided to completely rebuild the club and also a new name was to be chosen. Mr Jack Ellis (a trustee) suggested to Mr Jimmy Roberts that the club should be named after the Copper Beech Tree. This proposal was eventually agreed upon. The fire was on 26 Oct 1966.
Note the Copper Beech tree on the left of the image.
These photos show that the walled flower bed and grass on the right of the footpath entrance to the Copper Beach Club was removed and became the wider vehicle access to the Co-op carpark.
In the lower photo the Co-op is out of sight on the right behind Sanctuary, which in the previous image is Thornton's. Note that part of the Thornton's building facing onto Northgate has been removed. The building on the left is Websters Fish & Chip restaurant (2019) which took over the Trawl Bar and extended into what had been Bargains Hardware. Note that the Copper Beech tree is still there. (Though it underwent "surgery" in March 1993.)
|President||J. Cockshot||Mr. J. ROBERTS||Mr J Kerr|
|Vice President||Mr. P. COOLEY||Mr Albert Garnett|
|Treasurer||J. J. Topham||William Cox, 2, West Lane||Mr. R. WILKINS||Mr Arthur Edwick|
|Secretary||M. Green||Fred Goodall, 24, Lane End||Mr. E. EXLEY|
|Trustees||Joseph Fawcett, Tentercroft,
Thomas Halliday, Fountain Buildings
Benjamin Batley, Beck House, Station Road,
|Mr. E. A. HOLROYD,
Mr. S. HYDE,
Mr. J. ELLIS
|Mr J Ellis|
Mr E A Holroyd
|G Bennett, |
A scan of the 1969 Statement of Accounts for the Half Year ended 30 June 1969 can be seen here.
In June 1992 the members of The Copper Beech Club elected a lady as secretary. The first club in Baildon to do so.
Christmas Night Closure
On Christmas night in 1994 the Copper Beech was closed for the first time in living memory because the steward refused to work on that evening.
The club closed on the night of 31 July 1999 and the building was demolished on 10 August 1999. The adjacent stone built detached house that was the steward's residence was demolished on 7 August 1999.
Above the Co-op
In 2000 (calculated based on an ad in issue 31 of Local Focal July 2010 saying that it was 10 years old.) the Co-op supermarket was built. The demolished Copper Beech Club building was in what became the Co-op carpark and the Club moved into the upper floor of the Co-op building. The address of the Club is 31 Northgate and the Co-op is given as 25 Northgate but 25 Northgate is also the address of The Sanctuary which is the building on the right of the vehicle access to the Co-op!
The Copper Beech Club has its own website here.
The photo above shows that the stone from above the door of the 1926 building is now above the door of the new club in the Co-op building.
On 6 April 1998 Bradford Council received a planning application from Yorkshire Co-operatives Limited, which was granted on 15 Jul 1998, for the erection of a food store and social club, including the demolition of the Copper Beech Club, at 31 Northgate Baildon Shipley West Yorkshire BD17 6JZ.
This link is for a PDF copy of some of the drawings from the planning application that shows the position of the original Copper Beech Club (to be demolished) and the position of the Copper Beech tree, to be retained. It also shows that the majority of the food store will be built on the site of Prospect Works. For some reason a drawing of Silsden is included. Link to the PDF.
Building Control Application 99/04494/OTHFP at Bradford Council, received Mon 22 Nov 1999, shows that work to the accepted plans had been completed and this was accepted on Mon 17 Jan 2000 and a Completion Certificate Sent.
World renowned London based darts player and now TV presenter Bobby George graciously stood in at the last minute for Eric Bristow, who had collapsed and died the previous week, to appear at the Copper Beech Club in 2018.
The local comedian Billy Pearce has appeared at the Copper Beech Club in 2018 and 2019.
Wall of Fame
This photo of the Wall of Fame in the Function Room of the Copper Beech Club was taken in July 2020.
Arthur Edwick Notes
For completeness the text from Arthur Edwick's green folder that is related to the Copper Beech Club is included here.
A copper beech tree stood in the grounds [of the Baildon Working Mens Club] (and incidentally) this tree was a source of annoyance to one of the older members of the club. Mr Tyson regularly complained about its height, and on one occasion, Mr Jimmy Roberts became so “fed up” of Mr Tyson’s complaints that he took upon himself the task of lopping the tree. So severe was his pruning that it was thought the tree would not survive the surgery. However next Spring the tree began to flourish. When fire had virtually destroyed the fabric of the building the committee decided to completely rebuild the club and also a new name was to be chosen. Mr Jack Ellis (a trustee) suggested to Mr Jimmy Roberts that the club should be named after the Copper Beech Tree. This proposal was eventually agreed upon.
Baildon Tide Week always started on the first Sunday after 11th July and if the date was a Sunday then the Tide week commenced on that weekend. The last Baildon Tide was held in the field belonging to the Baildon Working Mens Club in 1954.
Date unknown. Publication unknown. Doing simple arithmetic the publication date is presumably 1967 (1892+75)
... far cry from humble start 75 years ago.
The new club envisaged for Baildon is a far cry from the humble little village club, formed by a small group of working men who wanted a club of their own completely free from patronage of any kind.
The original objects still hold good however. They were, according to the club's own historian, Mr. George E. Bird, "to afford to its members the means of social intercourse, mutual helpfulness, mental improvement and rational recreation."
The vision was so clear to those who prepared the way that it is said that some of the officers even mortgaged their homes to make available the funds for building a club.
The men who met together at No. 24, Northgate, on November 12, 1892, to form the club were A. Wallbank, J. Cockshott, W. Halliday, J. Moss, J. H. Mann, J. J. Topham, J. Deardon, J. Mashew, T. Harrison, C. Booth, E. Halliday, M. Green, and S. Waite and the committee they formed consisted of J. Cockcroft (president), M. Green (secretary) J.J. Topham (treasurer), W. Halliday, J. Moss and L. Hutton.
At first premises were rented at 24 Northgate, for which they paid Mrs. Ambler 4s 4d a week rent.
The weekly subscription was one penny.
The club did good trade in clay pipes which came from Dublin in wood boxes packed with sawdust. Churchwarden pipes cost 4 1/2d a dozen and ordinary pipes 3d a dozen.
Bagatelle, quoits and darts were the popular games.
In 1901, with £169 in the bank, the members decided to buy 32 Northgate for a club from Mrs. Padgett. The price was £292, and a mortgage of £175 was obtained from the Baildon Friendly Society.
Early in the following year a further £100 was borrowed for alterations and furnishings that cost £200 and the whole of this had been repaid by 1913.
Several events became annual features including a flower and vegetable show (later being replaced by a buttonhole flower show for prizes on Summer Sunday mornings), a harvest festival, and the custom of preparing pancakes for the members of Shrove Tuesday.
Budget increases in 1909 forced the committee to put up the price of Spirits by a halfpenny a measure to 2 pence and cigarettes by a half penny to three pence for a packet of ten.
Water from Joe's well over the moor, subject of considerable controversy in recent years, was used for breaking down the gin and rum as it was considered by Baildoners to be far superior in quality to other natural waters found int he area.
It was said to give a crystal clear dilution and impart to the spirit a flavour and character unsurpassed in the district. The secret, however, lay, perhaps in the adding of a little less than a quart of water to a gallon of proof, giving a spirit of about 18 or 19 under proof against the 20 under proof that was customary in the trade.
By 1916 nearly half the members were away in the Forces and the club came upon difficult times. So uncertain were supplies of intoxicants that the committee...... (end of clipped image)
1967 Souvenir Handbook
To mark the official opening of the new Copper Beech Club in 1967 a Souvenir Handbook was created. Click on the cover image above for the text and a scanned copy of the handbook, or go to the Copper Beech Club Souvenir Handbook 1967 page.
- Red folder. Arthur Edwick notes.
- Newspaper cutting. Unknown date. Unknown publication.
- Shipley Times & Express. Page 8, 1 Feb 1930.Late Mr. H. Taylor
- Green folder. Arthur Edwick notes.
- Info provided by his son, Graham, via facebook 2 March 2021
- Copper Beech Club Souvenir Handbook 1967
- Typed sheet by A Edwick, Treasurer at the time.
- Bradford Council Planning application ref 98/01137/FUL