To view the Conservative Clubs War Memorial, follow this link.
The first time the Conservative was formed was in 1873 at 52 High Street, a cottage on Petre Row. Soon after a custom built 3 storey building was erected at number 61, officially opened on the 30th November 1878.
The ground floor had to be a shop due to a local bylaw that dictates that ALL the buildings along High Street had to be this way. This bylaw is still in use to this day. Two shops where originally in the building, as well as the club itself.
The ground floor consisted of the shops and the club keepers quarters, while the first floor had a large newsroom and two small card and draughts rooms. On the second floor was the billiard room.
Once work started on the new premises in Cliff Street, the building was taken over by J & H Smiths, a printing company, and is still used today by Fred Ellison for the same purpose.
The Architects of the new building were J.C. Howard Sandbach, and J Parker, and the foundation stone was laid on the 12th November 1898, by Sir Robert Hermon – Hodge who was later to become Lord Wyfold.
The club was official opened on the 16th June 1899 by the conservative candidate at the time, Mr Edward Michaels.
The building consists of stone frontage, in an Elizabethan style. In addition to the club proper which consists of a reading room, library, two billiard rooms, two smoke rooms, committee room, card room, Stewards room and other offices, there is also a concert hall and lecture hall on the ground floor which is capable of seating up to 300 people.
A bowling green occupies a large part of the property, which consists of almost 3,000 square yards.
The club has had many distinguished visitors over the years, not least of which was Lord Derby, who used the premises for an important address.
Past presidents include J Hanson, J Whittaker, H Whiteside, H. H. Cormack, J Bateson, R Gilroy, A. Smith, A Trengrove, and in 1951 Mr T Hacking.
Once members reach the age of 70 they have become Honorary members, having been paying members for the previous 10 years, who have then been free to enjoy the benefits of all the club has to offer.
The club was once known as THE RISHTON VICTORIA CONSERVATIVE CLUB, the Victoria having been dropped in later years.
In 1933 the club won the Conservative Clubs Political Challenge Banner, which was presented in London to Mr. H. Wilson (chairman) and J. H. Brindle (secretary) by Lord Bayford.
Like most of the clubs and pubs in Rishton, the Conservative Club used tokens which could be exchanged for a pint of beer. These tokens were given to members, usually at Annual General Meetings, for the members to use. They were issued as "teasers" to keep the members in the club, and also to show appreciation of the clubs members. These tokens have been replaced by plastic in the pubs and clubs that still exist in the town.
The council clerk was instructed to write to the Conservative Club on the 9th July 1936, and ask for the use of the Assembly room on Tuesday Evenings from 7-30 to 9-00 pm for the Keep Fit Class that was being formed. A reply from the Conservative Club was received on the 6th August, stating their price for the rent of the Assembly Rooms for the Keep Fit Classes was 10/- per night. This was accepted by the council.
On the 13th February 1941, Rishton Urban District Council received correspondence from the Area Public Assistance Officer concerning the rest centre in the district. Application was to made to the Conservative Club for the use of part of the club premises as an Emergency Rest Centre.
The club is affiliated to the Association of Conservative Clubs.
Rishton on Record by Various Authors.