front elevation sketch

The Nuneaton Chronicle of Friday January 22, 1892 records details of the opening of the New club at Bedworth on Saturday 16th January 1892

Speeches by Mr H Byron Reed MP, Mr F. A. Newdigate, Mr H. F. J. Coape-Arnold and Mr E. Truman

Last Saturday's proceedings at Bedworth in connection with the opening of the Conservative Club must have afforded considerable encouragement to those who have at heart the interests of the Unionist cause.  The dinner was attended by nearly 300 persons mainly working men a large proportion of whom were miners.  The arrangements were carried out in a manner which reflected the highest credit on those responsible, the dinner was being admirably prepared and served, and there being an entire absence of that confusion and discomfort which often prevail on the occasion of public gatherings.  The reason for this satisfactory condition of things is soon explained, however, for it was in the consequence of the fact that a perfect system of waiting upon the guests had been organised, a large number of ladies of the Primrose League performing this duty under the general superintendence of Miss Tansley the hon. Secretary.

The club buildings, which have an imposing exterior, are situate near the trampay terminus on the Coventry Road. They are of red brick with stone dressings, and the work has been carried out by Messrs Clifford and Edmunds in a manner reflecting the highest credit upon that firm.

There are two front entrances, one communicating with the various rooms on the ground floor, and the other leading by a staircase to the large assembly room, which covers the whole building stop. The apartments on the ground floor comprise A spacious reading room, a bar, a billiard room and in office before the secretary, while a Kitchin and other appurtenances have been provided at the rear. The assembly room which will supply a want which has been long felt by the party. It is a large well lighted apartment, having windows on three sides. The large window in the front gives access to a balcony. The furnishing arrangements will be taken in hand as soon as possible Mr J. S. Dugdale Q. C., M. P. has generously promised a donation of £50 towards this object, And a sum of £10 pound for the same purpose has been received from Mr. H. Townsend, Caldecote Hall. The lady assistants, all of whom wore charming costumes in which the Conservative colours were largely employed, included the following:- Mrs. Dewis, Mrs. F. Edmonds, Mrs. Birch, Mrs. Walters, Mrs. Duck, Mrs. Kinder, the Misses Smith, Cooke, Twigger, Dennis, Kinder, Kelsey, Harris, Ralley, Mockford, Knight (2), Freeman, Gibbs, F. Lenton, L. Lenton, Moore, Horton, Cox, Wiklay, F. Dewis, A. S. Dewis, Hicklin, Liggins, Pickard, Cunliffe (2), Wright, Stafford and Jackson.

The room was decorated with mottoes, monograms, and evergreens, evidence of a considerable expenditure of time and trouble being manifest in every direction.

The Chair was occupied by Mr. F. A. Newdigate, J.P. President of the Club, who was supported at the raised table by Mr. H. Byron Reed, M.P., Mr H. F. J. Coape-Arnold and Mr E. Truman (miners’ agent for Derbyshire), Mr. W. B. Mapplebeck.

The newspaper article goes onto record in detail a variety of speeches that took place during the event.

One extract was - Mr. A. Martin, a miner, in an appropriate speech, moved: “That this meeting, composed principally of miners, desires to express its great sorrow and sympathy with the Queen, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and Princess Victoria May in their sad bereavement.” 

It had been the death of Prince Albert two days before the club opened.