Middlecliffe W.M.C. – £30,000 Ultra Modern Club

March 1967

South Yorkshire Times March 4, 1967

Village is Proud of Its £30,000 Ultra Modern Club

Something really big has hit Middlecliffe.

Everyone is talking about the £30,000 Ultra modern working men’s club, not least the women who will now not have to travel outside the village for entertainment.

When it was opened on Wednesday by Mr Ian McEnery, President of the Club and Institute Union, it was indeed a proud moment for the officials and 16 man committee who have worked hard for the past three years making a pipedream into a gleaming, handsome reality.

It is a far cry from the old premises, which were converted into Middlecliffe W.M.C. headquarters from an old shop in 1932.

Family meeting place

In those early days Middlecliffe was much smaller than it is today and as the club was formed by a group of friends it became known as “the family club.”

Everybody helped to convert that shop into a club. Such was their enthusiasm for the club that they endured much discomfort, even to the point of holding their meetings in the house next door while renovations were taking place.

When it was built it was adequate for the needs of the men, plus a few women, but towards the end, with many new and large clubs being built all around South Yorkshire, Middlecliffe found itself at a disadvantage, some members were finding better entertainment outside the village.

It was then that a zealous committee and the officials took the bit between their teeth and decided that they would show clubland that Middlecliffe was a force to be reckoned with.

The club has been open to the public since December and since then patronage has been overwhelming. The concert room is packed to capacity each weekend and membership is increased by a quarter as many again in three months.

Visitors come from many parts of South Yorkshire to listen to the top class turns which entertain at Middlecliffe since the advent of the new club.

This is the finest advert, for any new club, found by many because of its ideal position at a road junction on the main Rotherham to Pontefract road.

“Once seen never forgotten,” is the maxim, judging by support from people from outside areas. And it is not surprising.

Aberration starts and ends in the large car park and swings through an entrance of two sets of twin girls into the foyer pumps. From that focal position the club is at your disposal.

To the left is the largest room, the 60’ x 45’ concert room with a seating capacity of Swinton 50. At the far side is the stage, flanked each side by changing rooms for the artists.

At the other end of the room is the barn. Bench seats around the perimeter of the bar, with tables and chairs forming a rectangle. The floor is tiled in partial shade bringing a fresh and cheerful character to the room.

Opposite the concert room from the passageway are the women’s toilets.

Opposite the entrance hall is the lounge. Club should provide a room for those wanting a quiet drink and Middlecliffe W.M.C.were quick to realise this.

A warm glow envelops the room, with its carpets and red upholstery and benched and reclining seats. Murals of scenic beauty cover the walls. These were painted by art student appointed by the decoration. They also painted the murals in the games room, and the signs of the zodiac on the back wall of the stage in the concert room.

Soft lighting adds to the cosiness of the lounge. One aspect which is particularly pleasing is the serenity of the room. So the lounge is situated between the concert room and games room, the acoustics are such that little or no noise creeps through to the lounge.

The games room and the extreme right and side of the building accommodates darts, billiards, snooker and the more usual requisites of a tap room.

Central Bar

All these three rooms are served by a bar, situated centrally so as to save time and unnecessary effort for Stuart Mr Ray Gill (38) and his attractive wife, 36 years old Joyce, who are thrilled with their living accommodation of dining room, lounge, kitchen, two bedrooms and bathroom. They have a 15 years old son Robert.

Mr and Mrs Gill have been stewards of Middlecliffe WMC for the past 14 months.

On the right of the entrance room is a cloakroom, and the committee have their own room next to this, equally tastefully decorated in pastel shades as are all other rooms. The men’s toilets are situated near the games room.

This lush building is the club of the future brought to the village of Middlecliffe today. With all electric central heating and ventilation, villagers must be extremely proud of their club.