Club formed by ex-servicemen celebrates 70th anniversary
PUBLISHED: 10:08 19 July 2016 | UPDATED: 13:40 19 July 2016
The secretary is hoping to recruit new members
A club for retired men to socialise and take part in sports and games has celebrated its 70th anniversary.
Beckenham and District Retired Men’s Club was founded in 1946 by men who had served in the Second World War, and members marked the anniversary with a tea party last month.
The men meet every Thursday at Azelia Hall on Croydon Road, where they can take part in a range of activities such as snooker, chess, cards and skittles.
Secretary Ron Cleverley, a retired Lloyds underwriter who has worked in London for 40 years, is now hoping to recruit more members to the club.
“The club was founded by guys who had come out of the forces and wanted a social life,” he said.
“There are plenty of sports, and some people just want to come and sit and have a chat over a cup of tea and biscuits.
“It is quite a unique club.
“We are a decent bunch of guys, and I am trying to promote the club and get new members.
“The guys who come to the club regularly look forward to their Thursday afternoons.
“They have got used to each other and discuss things like politics and the referendum.
“They sit and chat and they all go home happy. They are a happy bunch.
“We have formed a little working party and we are putting information in shop windows, and we have had another three members.
“It is £15 annually, which I think is cheap, and a pound a week for tea and biscuits.”
Mr Cleverley joined the club after he retired from his job in the City, as he is a keen card player and wanted to keep his skills and memory sharp.
“I was glad I joined the club,” he said.
“We wouldn’t like to see it go under because it has been going for 70 years and was formed by ex-servicemen.”
With loneliness becoming a growing problem as the UK’s population gets older, the club provides a way for people who find themselves on their own to meet new people.
“A guy rang me two weeks ago and said ‘I would like to come along. My wife died a couple of years ago and I get lonely’,” Mr Cleverley said.
“I said he could come to the club and sit and chat, and he has done that.
“They get lonely sometimes, so we are a useful bunch of guys.”