All decent sized clubs, and even the smaller ones, have a ‘function room’ available for hire for special occasions. This was even more so the case after the extensive refurbishments undertaken by many clubs back in the heyday of the 1960s and 70s when some luxurious looking rooms became available. Some function rooms were built for that purpose only and not used for anything during the week. Other clubs hired out, and still do, just about any room such as the concert room or lounge, outside of the peak hours when they may be needed for bingo and concerts. Having a room available for hire provides a service for members as well as bringing in additional money.
The functions catered for are diverse ranging from christenings parties, wedding receptions to post-funeral wakes for deceased members. When my own father died, for example, we didn’t have to make a choice about where to celebrate his life and send him off on his way: it just had to be the ‘little lounge’ in the club across the street where he had spent the best part of his leisure time for over 50 years. He wouldn’t have wanted it anywhere else. But nor did my mother on her 80th Birthday, a few years before. On that occasion we had the concert room, as we are quite a large family and wanted some space. We had a special cake made with the icing made out to look like a bingo card. She loved to play bingo so that was also an easy choice to make. Going over the club was easy, cheap, very convenient and very familiar. One of my brothers celebrated his 60th there as well. This is a typical pattern for many families who have used clubs regularly. It also helps clubs out as it puts money behind the bar.
Usually the local club caterer will be available to provide whatever snacks and tasty morsels you want to order, whatever the occasion being marked. This again is a convenient asset to using your local club and the cost usually very reasonable.
When Coventry Working Men’s Club suddenly closed down in August 2008, there were many disappointed customers who had booked the function rooms. Some couples who had planned their wedding receptions there had to make last minute changes to their plans and it seems that other local clubs and pubs offered their help. When a club closes, there are always great losses to the local community including for those who had arranged all the catering, DJs and other facilities for weeks and months ahead in a club room.
Club function rooms are local, reasonably priced and the regulars know the staff. If you are planning some sort of celebration or other social gathering, don’t forget to think about your local club’s function room. I’m sure it’s available now and you are helping to keep the clubs going by using them more.
Dec. 15th 2008
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