Harmonic Working Men's Club

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Former Club building in May 2001
Former Club building in May 2001.
Embedded in the wall is the Harmonic Clubs Emblem. (Photo used courtesy of Derek Barden)

Or to give it its full title “Rishton Harmonic Institute and Working Men's Club” was opened in 1905.

The Rishton Harmonic Club only became the Harmonic in 1905 when it join the C.I.U., before this it was named the Rishton Philharmonic which was opened in 1876 at 1 George street.

In 1905 the club then purchased 23 Hicks Terrace becoming the Rishton Harmonic C.I.U. and Working Men's Club, then in 1946 they purchased 21 Hicks Terrace.

The 1960's the club went further, purchasing firstly number 19, then 17 Hicks Terrace.

The objects of the society were to afford to its members ‘social intercourse, mutual helpfulness, mental and moral improvement and rational recreation’. Something that the club managed to maintain up to its closure in the 1980’s.

A regular night in the Harmonic

The club gave liberally to many charities over its 80-year life, as well as being members of the Club Union Convalescent Homes, which was usually at Grange Over Sands, were many members were restored to health.

The first Secretary was Mr. Walter Duckworth who was later appointed to a similar position for the Weavers Amalgamation.

Another busy night for the club

The club was the first to give its members children a coffee, bun and field day, which was accompanied by a band to a field in Tottleworth. There was once a race were a lady member lost her shoe, and had to abandon her attempts to win the race!

It was March 1936 when the Harmonic was granted permission by the Local District Council to erect an illuminated sign on the building.

Beer Token
The front of the token issued by the club.
The back of the token.
(Photos and coin used courtesy of Derek Barden)

Like most of the clubs and pubs in Rishton, the Harmonic 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 These tokens have been replaced by plastic in the pubs and clubs that still exist in the town.

During the mid 1970’s my Grandfather, Frank Belch, was dominoes champion at the club, not an easy feat when the club sustained an healthy membership.

The club was based on George Street, on the corner to Hicks Terrace

Although the club has now shut down the stone carving can still be found on the wall next to the former entrance (see picture on this page).

CIU certificate issued in 1918
CIU certificate issued in 1918.
(Supplied by Derek Barden)

The club finally closed its doors on the 5th August 1985


Rishton on Record 1951

Derek Barden

Council Minutes 1935 - 1936.