The Founder Members of Bishopthorpe Social Club

Bishopthorpe Social Club was founded in 1946 and this photograph was taken of the founder members during that year.

Social_Club_1946The Club purchased or rented the large, traditionally built house on Main Street, formerly a private residence known as ‘The Poplars’. It became a friendly meeting place for both sexes where, for a nominal annual subscription, members could enjoy a game of cards, billiards, darts and many other pursuits. From 1948 to 1966, the York & District Society of Model Engineers rented part of the extensive gardens to run their locomotives.

A large, framed copy of this photograph hangs inside the Club.


The men in the picture are:(Left to right)

Back row: George Pearson, Bill Snape, Tommy Mennell.

Middle row: Jack Elliot, Jack Masterman, Herbert Seal, Bert Tait, Ben Hudson, Duke Appleton, Fred Waite.

Front row: Reg Forrest, W. J. (Bill) Simpson, Ted Foster, Fred Finnerton, Dick Myers.

We would be grateful for further information regarding the history of the Club. For example, what was the initial idea behind the club? Was it purchased outright? When did it become affiliated to the Working Men’s Association? If you can answer any of these questions, please see ‘Contact’.

15 comments on “The Founder Members of Bishopthorpe Social Club

  1. It is our 70th Anniversary this year and we are holding a display of photographs, memorabilia, documents and archive material relating to the history of The Poplars and Bishopthorpe Social Club.
    The event is on Saturday 27th August – 5pm start.

    Dawn Paylor – Treasurer

    • Good Evening Dawn ,
      We have done some research on be half of my Dad who has recently been very unwell ( Barrie) , during this time he asked me to find out information on a verity of things and one was the Club, which I did as it cheered him up as a Bishy boy born and hopefully coming back soon to live , as it is part of his history and wished it to be documented ,instead of hearsay .
      He know’s the names of the people, but I am just getting validation, before I can confirm anything and will take a few month’s and have the first title page there is around 50 extra pages or more . Upon finding the information, I will send a full copy or bring to the club as very time consuming has taken 18 months already .
      It is a great record of history which I am sure the founder member’s would be very proud ,it is still on going and enjoyed by many … Have a great time. Jacky, Sallyanne and Louise and Mandy and of course Barrie.

      • Hello Jacky
        It’s very interesting to read that your Dad wishes to document the history of the Social Club. We’d also be very keen to have a copy for the Bishopthorpe Community Archive which I run upstairs at the Village Hall on Monday afternoons (2.30 – 5.00pm). We supplied the Club with photos and information about The Poplars for their display for the 70th anniversary.
        I believe your Grandad, Bert Tait, also set up the cafe on the boat on the river – the name of it escapes me just now! Would love to hear about that too!
        Best wishes
        Linda Haywood

  2. I forgot to add on the title it would have cost £600.000 IN TODAY’s money , at the time it was purchased for £3200 . according to the calculator on the www.

    Jacky Featherstone

  3. Jack Elliott and Duke Appleton were my two grandfathers.My mum, Dorothy was Duke Appletons daughter and my dad, Peter was Jack Elliotts son. My mum is sill alive. I would love a copy of the photo.

    • Hi Mark the photo takes pride of place in the social club, you are very welcome to call in to have a look at it any time. Your Mum took the time to write to the Club which was lovely and tell us about her association with the Club and her memories. Our Secretary wrote to her and posted a copy of the photo. If you email the Club on I can email you a copy. If you are interested there is an album of our 70th anniversary on the Club’s Facebook page, the first one being the founder members. Thanks, Dawn Paylor

  4. Hello,my uncle Ben Hudson on the photo he was my Dad’s Job Hudson’s brother.My dad spent many hours on the club, he liked playing snooker.I watched my first television in the club a grainy black and white.They used to let members children in to watch if we were quiet.Also there had a miniature railway track in the large garden, Sunday afternoons we could ride on the little train.Ben Hudson’s daughter Jean had her wedding reception there i was a bridesmaid along with Jill Tait Barrie Taits sister

  5. Having just discovered this site, it is great to read all these comments, I have the original photo of the founding members of the club, my grandad was Ben Hudson, my dad Geoffrey and mum lived in Bert Taits flat when they were first married and held their golden wedding party at the club, dad helped Bert to build the Bosuns Chair cafe by the river, mum and dad have now passed away, but they would have been fascinated by this site, lots of happy memories of Bishopthorpe, I could go on and on about Auntie Elsie and the tennis club, grandad Ben and the cricket club, Auntie Jean and the girl guides, Eve Hale nee Hudson

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