BBC's 'The One Show" 24 August 2011
Ruth travelled to Blackpool in order to appear on The One Show and add her opinion to a televised feature covering the history and the current state of clubs.
The present situation was described as; ‘One of the last bastions of British Social life is in decline, the good old working man's club.’
Clubs have been the springboard for some of our best known entertainers. One of them, Russell Watson, was asked to find out how they're adapting to life in the 21st century.
Russell visited the Blackpool Philarmonic Club where he had performed previously. He and Ruth discussed club history together with the rise and fall in popularity. Discussions revealed that the number of clubs in Blackool has fallen from 32 down to 15, following the national trend.
A local club stalwart and spokesperson mentions his fears for the consequent effects on social activity.
The programme moved on to Bloomfield Club, another of Russell Watson's previous venues. This place is thriving and boasts a membership of some 1200 with a 3 year waiting list! This club's success is put down to 'going back to their roots' - offering games, social activities and entertainment to attract not only the working men but also their wives. The club representative said that they try to attract the younger element through sports and other activities. ‘They have their own football teams, snooker teams, bowls teams... the funds are there for them’.
‘There's a need to give attractive bar prices together with good quality entertainment’.
The dedication of Bloomfield’s officers is plain to see in the results they have achieved. It does seem that they have come across the correct recipe for success in their particular area.
Russell Watson repeated the hope of many thousands of people that the great British tradition of the working men's club era was not coming to an end and that long may it continue. ‘To survive they're going to have to move with the times’.
Well done to the BBC and in particular to Ruth.
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