The club provides a very real social asset to the village and the officials and members of the club take an active interest in the social activities of the village. This includes the Yearly Carnival where the club provides the beer tent and the carnival committee have use of the club committee room in order that the organisation may plan the logistics of each years carnival.
Club members take advantage of various organised trips that meet the requirements of specific groups such as coach outings, shows, weekends away, the annual Children’s Christmas Party and the senior citizens Yuletide knees up.
Below are some significant dates and happenings in the history of the club with royal connections.1881
The first mention of a Working Men’s Club in Old Windsor was recorded in the Parish Magazine of February 1881 and her Majesty’s Commissioners of Woods had “definitely agreed to let a desired piece of land for the purpose of an iron building to be erected as soon as possible”, generously donated by Colonel Follet. The first ever meeting of the club, or institute, as it was sometimes known, was on 27th February to form a working committee of 12. Colonel Follet was unanimously elected president and the vicar and Mr F Ricardo, Vice Presidents. The Official opening of the Working Men’s Institute was on the 25th of May1881 by Lady Julia and Colonel Follet.May 1882
The club continued to flourish and the accounts for the year showed a profit of £9.00.November 1883
A concert was held in the Institute consisting of ventriloquism, mimicry, duets and a recitation of “The Dream of Eugene Aram” was performed by Mr Freeman.1919
A licence to sell intoxicating liquor was granted. Also a nissen hut was bought from the Army at Salisbury Plain and joined on to the main building.1920
A lending library was started with Mr Franklin as librarian. 1921
The club committee decided to join the Club and Institute Union and purchase shares worth £1.00 in the club movement.1926
The Old Windsor Boxing Club held many boxing competitions and was well supported by members. 1939
With the outbreak of the war, the new building planned in 1938 was not started. The steward of the club was Mr Norman Butler on a wage of £2.00 per week
Many of the members were in the armed forces and the steward was Mr W.Nicholls. The club was used by many organisations during the war, as an overflow school for evacuee children, A.R.P. lectures, ante-natal clinic, the British Legion, a Catholic Church on Sunday mornings and later, a doctor’s surgery, Mrs Nicholls took over as stewardess. After the war the NAAFI organisation donated money towards club funds.1959
The club seemed to be on the decline and Mr W.E. Ellis the club president, called a special meeting to ask members to rally round and decide what to do. A new committee was formed with younger committee members being elected to serve with the older generation. Volunteer painters and decorators from the committee gave the club a face lift and two sixpenny fruit machines were installed.1967
Plans of the new club building were shown to the committee and an offer of help came from Thomas Wethered and Son. Of Marlow.1968
The old club premises closed on Wednesday the 28th August and the footings were laid for the new building in St Luke’s Road.1969
On 12th July the new building opened it’s doors to the members and on Wednesday 1st October the club was officially opened by Mr B.G.W Boyer MP,. a Director of Thomas Wethered and Son.1970
22nd May His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh made an informal visit to the club, where he was welcomed by the club president Major J.O.K Purdy and Sir George Bellow. He was introduced to the officers and committee and their wives and met many of the members.1971
A colour TV was installed for sports programmes and bench seating was installed in the concert hall.1973
The club was presented with a royal portrait of Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh from Windsor Castle .1974
A new lift was installed to carry crates and bottles from the cellar to the bar. 50 year membership awards were implemented by the committee and presentations took place to Messrs G.Giles H.Best A.G.Eymor and S.D.Arnold 1975
Plans were drawn up for a joint car park scheme and a new porchway on the main door of the club.1977
A gun and Rifle section was started. The lounge was redecorated. A letter was received from Buckingham Palace on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen thanking the officers, committee and members for the loyal greetings and congratulations on the occasion of her Silver Jubilee Year. All the member's children were given a Silver Jubilee coin.1978
A door keeper's office and cloakroom was installed and bench seating was installed in the lounge and new chairs installed to match the door.1979
12th July The new club building was 10 years old. A new bar, suspended ceiling was installed and a new car park fence was erected.1980
A Centenary committee was formed to organise events for the centenary of the club. Three tables and bench seats were purchased and located in the front outside area of the club. A bar footrest was installed.1980
25th May and the club became 100 years old.
Many thanks to Stan Choules and Keith Watson - www.oldwindsorclub.co.uk
The Centenary Programme has been electronically restored and reproduced as a pdf document which can be seen in full by clicking here or on the photograph of the cover.
Thanks to Keith Watson for providing the original copy.
Keith has also supplied a newspaper cutting announcing the decision to allow full membership status to ladies. Click on the small image to open the article in a pop-up window,