History

The full name of the Club is the Parochial and Home Guard Club. It was founded in 1942 as the Home Guard Club.

To celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the club in 1992, a scroll was produced by Jack Barstow in beautiful copper plate script. The 'Many' acknowledged their debt of gratitude to the founding 'Few'. Extracts from the scroll appear below.

"Before the outbreak of war, a Young Men's Church Club occupied the Parochial Hall, most of whose members were called up for military service. Later it was used by Dunkirk survivors who were billeted in the Roundhay area in 1940."

Harry Penfold who died in 1990, was the last original member of the club. He was one of the Local Defence Volunteers (LDV). More than 100 men had volunteered their service in 1940, all of whom were under or over military age. The total armoury at that time consisted of six .303 Enfield rifles from the First World War, plus 30 rounds of ammunition.

The men drilled with dummy rifles or sweeping brush handles, the drills taking place on wet days in the Parochial Hall - shades of Dad's Army! A hut on Roundhay Park golf course was manned dusk till dawn, two hours on and two hours off, to guard against attack by German parachutists. At that time, Hitler had decreed that any armed and uniformed civilians would be shot on sight and for that reason the LDV wore khaki denims, army boots and an LDV armband. The headgear was trilbies, bowler hats, caps or knitted balaclavas.

In 1942, the then Home Guard was given permission to use the Parochial Hall as a club and a licence was granted to keep up the fighting morale. All public houses had been severely rationed but for the above reason, the Home Guard was given priority. Wooden barrels were the order of the day but venting proved difficult.

The snooker club was formed with a few broken cues and an incomplete set of snooker balls - one red was missing. Annual subscriptions were set at 5 shillings (25p). A Committee of 12 was elected. The first President was Major Hollis of Hollis and Webb. Corporal Ryder became the first Secretary and Harry Penfold, a committee member, was the first competition organiser.

Harry's first competition was the Fur and Feather Handicap, the first prize being a box of tomatoes (!) at at time when almost everything else was rationed - two ounces of butter, four ounces of sugar or jam, a little meat and points coupons or tins of beans or fish when available. These were the rations per person per week. Imported fruit and nuts were unobtainable.

Since 1992, improvements to the club facilities have been made under the auspices of a number of Past Presidents. See the displayed photographs, testament to their efforts and the thriving club of today. The launch of this website attempts to embrace 21st century technology, whilst fully recognising the traditions of the previous one.

From time to time the club award Honorary Life Membership to those who have made a significant contribution to the club over a long period of years. The following are the current life members: Allen Bampton, Jack Barstow, Brian Broadbent, George Grimes, Ray Hudson, John Lound, David Smith, Tony Stone, Dave Williams, Mick Lynch and Ian Kirk

In recognition of this illustrious band, their predecessors and other members, a collection of anecdotes is in the course of being collected and will be displayed via a link here in due course.

Mick Lynch, George Mawby and Lance Tattersall are the current Scrutineers in accordance with the Constitution. Perhaps 'the boys' have a sinecure because they seem to be elected regularly!

Every member wishes the club continues to thrive. What better way to ensure the future of the club than by incorporating a bequest in your Will.

Last but not least, the club has for many years employed a Bar Steward and we are most fortunate to have Steve Mayne filling that position. He might even set a quiz on a Wednesday night if enough people request one. At quiet times, he'll be glad to accept a challenge to a game of darts.