Wolverhampton Council's Electricity Department had a social
club in Temple Street above the Palais de Dance. They had
taken over the premises from the Star Aluminium social
club. It was known as the Wolverhampton Electricity
Club. In 1946 the club bought their present premises in St.
Mark's Road, off Chapel Ash. They bought them from the
Wolverhampton Tennis and Squash Club who moved to their
current premises in Newbridge Crescent. The total cost was
£4,700 and what could not be met from the club's funds had
to be raised by a whip round amongst members. What they got
for their money was not the extensive buildings they now
have.They got the present lounge, a very cozy room with
beams in the ceiling and a large brick fireplace - and a
floor that was so rotten the members had to take it up and
replace it, which they did with their own labour. They also
got a small bar room, two squash courts and, outside, two
tennis courts facing on to Clifton Street. For a while the
old club premises in Temple Street were kept on until the
work on the lounge floor could be completed.
club's premises in St. Mark's Road
| The original room in the Club||
The present bar. The snooker room is
beyond the far doors.
|Since then the club, now the Wolverhampton Electricity
Sports and Social Club, gradually extended the buildings to provide
new facilities. There was a large new bar with a snooker room, for
two tables, at the far end of it. The small bar was extended and a
table tennis room provided. The two squash courts were knocked together
and a floor put across half way up. This way the bottom part could
be used as a billiards room and the upper floor provided a large concert
room and bar, named the Moreton Room after one of the club's early
stalwarts. The most recent addition is a bungalow for the
The club from Clifton Street.
This is where the two tennis courts used to be. The roof of the new
bungalow can just be seen to the left.
Mr. Fred Elliott. (A detail from a large
photo now in the club bar)
|When the MEB came into existence they asked for the deeds
of the property. All of the other MEB clubs, in other parts of the
Board's area, were on MEB premises and the MEB assumed that the Wolverhampton
Club was their's too. They were very quickly disabused of this
notion. Fred Elliott, who had been the last Manager of the
Wolverhampton Electricity Department and was now a District Manager, had
opposed nationalisation, was no friend of the MEB's policies and was a
regular at the club.He and Mr. Thorpe, the Chief Accountant and
also a club regular, made their objections known to the MEB and were able to
prove that the club was an independent body and that the deeds of the property
were therefore in the name of the club: it belonged to its members not the
|The club was always a members' club. MEB employees
paid 2d. per week membership to which the MEB added another 2d. The
employee's 2d per week was collected out of wages and paid by MEB to the
club. But after the skirmish over the deeds the club did establish a
class of members which allowed non-MEB employees to join the club.
In due course the MEB was taken over by Norweb and then by GPU UK, who
stopped paying their subsidy and stopped collecting employees' subscriptions.
At that point the Club made a thoroughgoing revision of its rule book
which, amongst other things, simplified the membership structure and, in
effect, further weakened the link with the electricity industry.
from a large photo now in the club bar)
These wrought iron gates were specially
commissioned by the Club and are based on the Club's lightning
bolt symbol. They were designed by Vince McHugh, the First
Engineer (Planning) at the MEB.
From 1946 onwards the club's expanding premises provided a
very wide variety of activities for its members. Apart from the
concerts put on in the Moreton Room there were all sorts of other
activities organized by different sections, including fishing, football,
snooker, darts, dominoes, table tennis, dancing, photography. The
Wolverhampton Radio club has always met on the premises.
was always a pensioners' Christmas Party at which ex-employees of the Wolverhampton
Electricity Department and the Wolverhampton district of the MEB were entertained
to Christmas dinner; a children's Christmas party; and dances.
Now the club, still a private members' club, but with a membership
which comes from a much wider base than the electricity industry, is still
adding to its facilities and will soon have refurbished kitchens, serving
hot meals at lunch times and early evenings. Sporting teams, such as
those for snooker, table tennis and football, continue to thrive.
Visitors can come and look round the club and its
facilities and would be very welcome to apply for membership. New
members will be able to join existing members in taking a quiet
drink in a friendly social atmosphere and using the club's other
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