White Buildings … Market Harborough Working Men’s Club


In this case, it isn’t so much the building that’s seen better days, as the institution it housed – the Working Men’s Club, which has been forced to close through debt.  The building, I note, has some Andalucian aspects – the whiteness, obviously, the flat roof and  the balconies, which offered the opportunity for a reflective smoke whilst observing the flow of the mighty River Welland.

In my experience, the name was a bit of a misnomer, as it seemed to be run mainly by women – often the dreaded single mothers from the Andy Mac Estate – who paid themselves a small wage for cleaning and running the bar and used it as a kind of communal creche.  My daughter spent several happy afternoons there playing on the fruit machines (or whatever they have there these days).  A fine example of small-scale spontaneous self-organisation and co-operation, but now – sadly – gone.

The Labour Party might, incidentally, like to reflect that they had the opportunity to at least offer institutions such as this a sporting chance of survival during the passage of the legislation to ban smoking, by passing the amendment to exempt private members’ clubs.  But clearly – during their imperial phase – they would have considered this beneath their notice.


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