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West Hallam and District Coffee Club



History of West Hallam Coffee Club

Coffee In 1966 a few ladies were chatting together about some areas that had started having Conservative Coffee Club meetings on a monthly basis. They also discussed the possibility of forming one in the Stanley and Stanley Common area.  This sounded quite good, having a chat over a cup of coffee and a biscuit and probably have a speaker to give a talk occasionally. So the Stanley & Stanley Common Coffee Club was born.

It was decided that they could hold the meetings on a Wednesday morning on a monthly basis. They had to think of a venue after holding them initially in members’ homes, including the Thatched Cottage. They then moved to Stanley Hall and after enquiries had been made it was decided the upstairs room in The White Hart pub in Stanley village should be booked.

Word was sent out and a number of ladies attended the first meeting. They had a President that chaired the first meeting which was Mrs Sutherland of Dale Road, Stanley. A treasurer was appointed, a lady who lived in Stanley, Eileen Jackson and a Secretary who recorded and typed up the notes, this was Jean Norman. Two ladies volunteered to be in charge of making and serving coffees and teas, and biscuits.

Some months a speaker had been booked or it was just a chat morning, which all the ladies enjoyed as they had closed their doors on the washing, ironing, cleaning etc. It all seemed to be going reasonably well but at times it was difficult making hot drinks downstairs in a busy pub. So it was decided to move a few yards away and use the schoolroom of Stanley Methodist Church. It was also much easier to make the hot drinks where there were no stairs to negotiate.

Then it was decided to try out some evening social events. A trip to Long Eaton was organised, to a nice pub that served excellent meals. Many of us chose a delicious juicy steak with chips and salad helped down with a glass of red wine knowing our children were being looked after by husbands, mothers or mothers in law, or friends who baby sat for us. One event that we organised was a fashion show at the home of Captain Drury Lowe at Locko Hall, which was enjoyed with wine and nibbles served. The tickets had sold very well.

Parking on Common Road, Stanley was a bit of a problem. For a while the meetings were held in the Scout Hut which was in the grounds of Stanley Common Church. One of the members was a secretary in the offices of Charnos Factory in Ilkeston which made ladies beautiful underwear and night dresses. The factory was owned by the Nosqueth family. Mrs Annette Nosqueth was a Magistrate and Councillor. She very kindly invited us to hold Coffee Mornings or Evenings at her home in Ilkeston to raise funds for the Conservative party. These events were very popular and a good number of people attended. Dinner and dances were arranged at different venues such as The Regency Rooms above the Co-operative shops in Ilkeston, the Wilmot Arms in Spondon and at Kirk Hallam School Hall. Anywhere that wasn’t already licensed Brenda Steadman had to go to court to apply for a licence. We used to tease her about having to appear in Court! By this time Brenda had taken over and chaired the meetings.

At the time when Peter Rost was elected MP for this area he used to come and speak to us at our meetings. He asked if we would like to visit the Houses of Parliament. We said we would and so a date was arranged. We shared cars to Derby Railway Station and boarded the London train. Mr Rost met us inside the building and after coffee he escorted us around explaining everything to us. I always remember when we see MPs who are speaking or challenging each other they tend to hold on to a brass box. The two boxes contain a large bible and in holding or touching the box MPs must be speaking the truth!

There is a shop there and we were able to purchase a few things and they sell the very best after dinner dark chocolate mints I have ever tasted. After we had a meal we caught the train back to Derby. Our secretary wrote and thanked Mr Rost for a very interesting visit.

It was decided to have a trip out to a Pottery and the ladies enjoyed this very much, returning home with new cheese dishes, teapots, cups and saucers. We had an evening visit to the Polish Club at Weston-on-Trent where a fashion show was being held. The ladies did a car share and one lady who drove a Cortina car on the way back suggested going into Derby to Harry Ramsdens for a steak meal. So this is what they did. They had steak, chips, salad and a glass of wine which they all enjoyed. Driving through Derby one of the ladies noticed a car behind that was repeatedly flashing its lights. It was the Police! So the driver pulled to the side of the road and wound the window down. ‘Madam’, said the P C ‘where have you been and where are you going?’ So he was told they had been to the Polish Club and then for a meal in town. He informed the lady driver she had not switched her headlights on. After apologising to the PC and putting her lights on, he said he was giving her a caution this time but next time if he caught her again it would be a fine. Oh, the relief as they drove on, that they would not get their names in the Derby Telegraph!

One evening the ladies set off in cars to Stanton-By-Dale to Stanton Hall where the grandson of Sir Winston Churchill was giving a talk about his grandfather and the Churchill family history. This apparently was a wonderful evening and Stanton Hall itself was most spectacular.

The morning meetings were now being held in the Institute building at the side of Stanley Common Church, but as the number of ladies increased, a larger venue had to be found. So, it was decided to hold the meetings in West Hallam Methodist Church Hall. Also, several of the ladies that had held principle roles in the running of the Coffee Club had returned to work now their children were older.

Special thanks to Iris Howes, Jean Norman, Julie Battelle, Brenda Steadman and Moira Attenborough for the back history.

In 2004 the President was Mary Brewer

Chair was Helena Chapman

Vice Chair Barbara Tanner

The position of Secretary was vacant so Helena Chapman took on the role until Elaine Sarson took it over in 2016. Elaine’s role also includes researching and booking all of the Speakers.

Then in 2018 roles changed and Helena Chapman became President, Christine Bowden – Chair and  Carol Jackman, Vice Chair, they also serve the refreshments, introduce the Speaker and do the vote of thanks at the end.

2019 Helena Chapman was appointed Honorary President and I was approached to be President which I agreed to and enjoy being. We ceased to be linked to the Conservatives at this point.

The late Beryl Jones was Treasurer for a good number of years before Celia Stephenson took over in 2014 and when she retired in 2017 due to health reasons then Theo Marsland took it over.

In 2018 Julie Belk took on the role of Social Secretary, arranging days out and meals out which we really enjoy. Janet Hunt and I meet, greet and welcome the Speakers and new members. We are always thankful for the willing members that do the washing up and tidying afterwards.

2019 saw the introduction to the world of the Coronavirus desease, COVID-19 pandemic. We were unable to meet as a group between March 2020 and September 2021.

In September 2021 West Hallam Methodist Church advised us that we could no longer use the hall as it was being used for collating Food Bank items. So, we moved to West Hallam Village Hall in October 2021. December 31st 2021 we officially broke our association from the Conservative Association.

2022. It was decided to revamp our club and no longer operate as Committee and Members but we are fully inclusive and work together with Coordinators and Teams. Our motto being Teamwork Makes The Dream Work.

I hope you have enjoyed and found of interest a look back at the history of your Coffee Club.

Elaine Sarson
(Some background information. The club was originally known as West Hallam Ladies Conservative Coffee Club. In the last few years the ‘Conservative association’ was removed and we also removed ‘Ladies’ to make it open for all. We now operate under the name of West Hallam and District Coffee Club with no political connections.)


CURRENT NEWS

Coffee

On 27th April we welcome our speaker Phil Whitland who will be telling us all about his life from being told by his parents not to make an exhibition of himself. The talk is titled ‘Pictures of an Exhibition’

Our membership is currently full but if you would like to come along as a visitor you will receive a very warm welcome. Entry is £5 with refreshments and raffle included.

We meet in West Hallam Village Hall on the last Wednesday of the month 11.15am

Our May meeting is on 25 th with a wonderful entertainer, David Moylan

Contact us - Email: westhallamcoffeeclub@outlook.com for more information.

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