Friday, 10 March 2017

For those with fond memories of Salford Lads’ Club

Now the story of Salford Lad’s Club is pretty well known.It was founded by the two brothers James and William Groves in 1903, opened a year later and has offered thousands of young people a heap of exciting, and interesting things to do.

I could at this point reel off the names of club members who went on to become celebrated actors, sportsmen and musicians but that would detract from all those who attended the club, got something out of its varied activities and also helped make the place a success.

It wasn’t the first that was Hulme Lads’ Club founded in 1850 which were quickly followed by others.

The historian Andrew Davies attributes the spread and success of the clubs as one of the contributory factors to the end of the Scuttler gangs.*

These were the youth gangs which were active across Manchester and Salford in the late 19th century.**

The gangs had a distinctive uniform and at times engaged each other in fairly brutal street violence.

But the lads’ movement offered an alternative which could be equally if not more exciting and had the added bonus that there was little danger of getting hurt.

So the clubs thrived and there will be people in Salford today who will also be able to claim associations with others like the Adelphi Club and Ardwick Club, the Openshaw across the river.

Now because for a while I lived off Grey Mare Lane my memories are of Openshaw Lads’ Club.

But for many in Salford it will be the Adelphi Lads’ Cub which strikes a chord.

It was the first in Salford, opened in 1888 and catered for young working class boys in Adelphi and Greengate.

And for those who want to know more I suggest you follow the link to that excellent site at Adelphi Lads’ Cub.***

All of which leads me to wonder whether Peter will go looking for more clubs to paint.

Some I know have long since gone but others linger on challenging anyone with a bit of imagination and a lot of spare cash to save the building.

For now though I will close by saying how much I like Peter’s painting.

Painting; Salford Lads’ Club, © 2016 Peter Topping, Paintings from Pictures,

 * The Gangs of Manchester, Andrew Davies, Milo Books, 2008

** Of Scuttlers, and street violence,

*** Adelphi Lads’ Cub,

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