Just thought I'd let folk know that my book on Working Men's clubs is now out.

It features clubs from around the UK but two locals one are mentioned a fair few times- the Langham in Green Lanes (Harringay end) which dates back to 1910 (began life at Turnpike Lane) and used to be big for boxing.

Plus the Wood Green Social, which dates back to just after WW1 and had various premises around Wood Green area until settling in Stuart House, on corner of White Hart Lane, where it can be found today. 

Quotes from prominent local councillors from the past are also included- such as Vic Butler and others so Haringey features quite a lot really. 

Further details can be found at the publishers website


best wishes



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Congratulations on getting your work to publication - Have you considered an author talk about the book? I'm sure there would be many locals interested in this history. Maybe the Big Green Bookshop would host an event? 

hi Richard

Thanks Richard! 

Good idea re: talks, I was considering doing some but not organised anything yet. I have my eye on the Big Green Bookshop as a possible and I will be holding a launch possibly at the Langham as that is where I am a member of. I might do some library talks as well. Have mouth will travel- that's my motto! The local aspects are quite strong- didnt realise when I set out how prominent some councillors were in early/mid 20th century in club movement and Haringey. 

Your book looks really interesting - I come from Leeds and spent many Saturdays travelling over the Pennines to various working men's clubs when I was young.  I remember that women weren't allowed into them many evenings - especially in the pit villages.   I have an article about Bolton Socialist Club which holds an annual Whitman walk in honour of the poet.  Our recent conversation about libraries and research with regard to Passmore Edwards on another thread links in with this one about working class social clubs.  Not sure if a Socialist Club is the same as a working men's club - but I thought you might enjoy this article.  http://suite101.com/article/walt-whitman-and-the-bolton-socialist-c...

Many thanks Kathleen! I will be very interested to read this later. Some wmcs were socialist or radical inclined. Some did exclude women (particularly the northern clubs!) If you ever want to share any of your own memories, I run a website dedicated to club histories- www.clubhistorians.co.uk. I am always seeking out people's memories and reflections so have a look!
All the best from Ruth 

I just got your book as a download for my Kindle.   And I will definitely take a look at your website.

Kind Regards - Kathleen

that's good news! thank you for buying that. It's so easy now to download books and quite cheap. As you were a club-goer, I think you will find many familiar things in the book. Enjoy! And look forward to hearing some more of your club memories at a later date. 

best wishes


Ruth - I have been on your website and I left an e-mail but not sure if it went. I hope it's ok if I leave a copy of it here.  I am not sure if it's relevant, but here goes:


Hello - I come from Leeds originally and when I was young in the very early sixties I used to sing with jazz bands. I would travel in an old car with one of our band members, across the Pennines to various working men's clubs.  The band I sang with was The Wool City Jazzmen (called Wool City because it was based in Bradford).   I still have my old diary with the gigs in from those days. 


I cannot remember the specific WMCs because it all blurred into one - but I do remember being told that the audiences at WMCs were hard to please and if they didn't like you they just carried on drinking and talking....They worked hard and they expected the best...sometimes we went down well and sometimes not!   Also we often played in the evenings during the week to men only audiences - if I remember rightly it was only on Sunday afternoons when women and children were allowed in.  I was only a young kid, 16 in 1961, and I remember on Sunday lunchtimes when we played in the pit villages that the miners' wives were so lovely to me and would call me in the interval to sit with them and have a drink.  


Many of these WMCs were quite well furbished with stages and good sound systems for those days. I may be wrong but I think it was Batley that went on to feature great singers like Shirley Bassey and Matt Monroe.  Not wishing to bore anyone, but here is a list of some of the places I sang in, way back then taken from my diary: Wibsey WMC, Sheepscar WMC, Batley WMC, Brownroyd WMC, Co-op Bradford, Kpppax WMC, East Ward Labour Club, Milfors WMC, Ossett Trades & Friendly, East Leeds WMC, Meanwood WMC, Thornhill Lees WMC, Micklefield Miners, Osmondthorpe WMC, Belle Isle WMC, Carlinghow WMC, Lindwood WMC, Cudworth Village, Bingley Ex-Servicemen's Club, East Leeds WMC, Carlinghow WMC.

Those days singing with the Woolcity Jazz Band, although not long, were happy days for me.

This is fantastic Kathleen. Thanks so much. I shall get it sorted ready to put up on out website. My webmaster is on holiday right now but he can upload once he's back. The list of clubs you cite is very impressive. Your diary with all your gigs is a very valuable historical document now you know! Will be in touch again soon. 

all the best


so glad you found this info useful - just a tiny, humble diary with some pencil marks in it - who would have thought it was useful?  Not me...

That's one of the fascinating things about history for me especially history from the grassroots! What might seem unimportant at the time becomes something of value. Whole exhibitions are constructed from what, some decades ago, would not been seen as important. Your humble diary gives insights into the way a club entertainer worked, don't you think? I spoke to another former entertainment some months back in Sheffield and her mother used to keep notes on what the places were like, how the audience were etc. Would have been great to see them but after her mother died they got lost. All the best 



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