If you are driving down the A45 on the south side of Coventry, you might be intending to by-pass the City. But perhaps you shouldn’t by-pass the Green Lane Ex-Servicemen’s Club which lies just off the A45 on the corner of Leasowes Avenue/ Beanfield Avenue. It may not be one of Coventry’s oldest clubs, with only just over 50 year’s worth of history, but it has another notable claim to fame. The club was built using two Nissan shelters after the War which were moved from their nearby home on Kenpas Highway. They were originally used for carrying out tank repairs during the War.
Not wanting to waste a good base, a group of local ex-service men raised funds to buy the huts after the War and started to transform them into a social club for local people. They were fortunate to be given the land by William Bassett Green who is famous for his Lady Godiva Statue, dating back to 1949, which still stands in the city centre.
The club had to sell some of the land in order to raise funds and has little space for expansion, being surrounded now by residential housing, some of it relatively recent.
Committee Member Tom Wyer is actively trying to promote the club and get more people to use it otherwise he fears they may have to close. He first got involved after being introduced to the club by a neighbour and now works hard to promote the club. It has a good sized function room which is available for hire and a friendly bar/lounge. The ex-servicemen’s link, though part of a proud tradition of many clubs across the country, is seen as less relevant in this day and age. Many of the original founders were indeed men who had fought in the Second World War but there is a need now to attract younger members from across the social spectrum.
One of the oldest members, Derek, first visited the club in 1959 but didn’t become a regular member till 1970 after which he went on to become Vice President then President. He would like to see the club stay open and attract more members rather than close its doors.
For more information, see www.greenlaneclub.co.uk