Happy 5th Birthday, Club Historians!!
It’s hard to believe that another anniversary has come round for the Club Historians website! It’s always great to celebrate another successful year for the site, which had such humble and tentative beginnings.
As we approached the site being five years young, the number of ‘hits’ surpassed 150,000- an amazing tally for an amateur site.
We’ve received growing recognition and praise as our site visitor tally kept increasing. It’s not only in this country that people click onto Club Historians- the audience is global. From ex-pats in Aus, to home-sick soldiers in Afghanistan and club entertainers on cruise ships half-way across the Atlantic.
I originally wanted to set up such a website as a repository for some of the many memories and experiences of club life I was recording from interviews with club members. I felt an urgency because when older members pass away, they take memories with them and they are often lost forever. Plus, I soon discovered that very little had been recorded about clubs. I realized that these important memories of a key part of working class leisure needed to be shared with a wider audience.
I also wanted to stimulate interest in the present, not just the past, to help keep clubs going for future generations. So, very quickly, Club Historians became something of a campaigning tool.
I was very fortunate to link up with webmaster Geoff back in late 2007 who made my dream of a club website a reality. A huge thank you to this webmaster extraordinaire!
Club Historians sets out not only to document the history of clubs across the country and their members, but to highlight the valuable community roles they played in the past, and still do in the present.
We encourage people to send in their experiences, memories and views. From the emails we receive, I am able to write up the stories and experiences they want to share, keeping their own individual voice as far as possible, whilst making the story accessible to the site’s audience. Pictures or images are worked into the piece. Most people are thrilled to see their ‘ordinary’ story online.
What has happened in these 5 years since the site was set up? Sadly hundreds of clubs have closed down right across the country. Many more are struggling. I would like to think some committees have found some good ideas to help keep their club going or to find ways to seek support through our website.
What else has happened? Not Just Beer and Bingo! A social history of working men’s clubs was published in 2012 and more people are getting in touch with their stories or requests for help.
I’m convinced the site will go from strength to strength and hope we can help more clubs to have a future, not just a past.
I would like to celebrate our website’s birthday and all the continuation of clubs everywhere. Cheers everyone!
2013 11,451 (to 15th May)
Total Hits 150,226
©2008/14 - Club Historians