Hunwick & District Working Mens Club & Institute LTD.
Hunwick WMC officially opened for business in February 1908 when twenty five members each loaned
£25 and purchased the premises, which were formerly a Joiners Shop including a Coffin Makers. The
house next door was purchased in 1950 and extensions took place creating the Stewards quarters,
Lounge, Concert Hall and oil central heating, which still runs today. The then steward Mr Tom Dowson
and his spouse, served the club through this period for 29 loyal years before finally retiring.
In 1946-1954 a Billiard team was formed, they were Durham County C.I.U. champions for six successive
years, retaining the famous shield which is proudly on display in the club today. In this same period they
were also All England champions on one occasion, and runners up on another! During this period the club
also had a successful Domino team, who were also County champions on one occassion.
In the 1950's the club organised an annual carnival for four years, this included a fancy dress proccesion
through the village with eight silver bands, to the recreation gound behind the club. Here took place the
Silver band contest, Side shows, Fun rides and a village queen was crowned, the festivities continued
for a full week. Also in this period, the club started it's 1st of many Summer club trips to neighbouring
seaside resorts, where members could take their children along for free and they were given a small amount
of pocket money to spend, this continued until the 1980's when sadly, lack of interest and club finances
could no longer support this wonderful activity. Also during this period the had a major setback when there
was a serious fire, this almost destroyed the club. Thankfully, some members got together and kept the club
open whilst trying to clear the damage. The snooker table survived but took a lot of hard work to clean by
some dedicated members, the insurance covered the damage and the club was finally revamped later.
In 1994 the club reached it's all time low and danger point of closing. New officials were installed who were
Thomas Ward (Secretary) Neville Blenkinsopp (Treasurer) and Ian Richardson (Chairman) and they still remain
today. The club was given three days to pay ageing VAT debts before baliffs would arrive and shut the
premises, the secretary arranged a meeting with the then Federation Brewery and a cheque was handed
over to help keep the club going. Things got gradually worst, more debts were discovered, including rates,
National Insurance and Beverages, the total debt discovered during this time was a staggering £98,000.
After many years of hard work and effort, the officials finally turned events around and today the current
debt owed is only £4500 for the mortgage! This will be paid off in two years time when the club should
finally belong to the members and a brighter future looks promising. A big thanks has to go to the supporting
members who have continued using the premises with such activities as a Football Team, two snooker
teams, Ladies darts team and an unusual Sunday Individual Pool League, which was a roaring success!!
A view of the Bar with the famous Billiard
shield on view. The club is in need of some
refurbishing but as can be seen it's not too
bad, members have continually helped to
decorate and one local upholsterer has done
The club also has a large concert room that
can hold up to 120 people and this is
available free of charge. It has in the past
supported presentations, concert parties and
race events. It is also used as part of the
Community Club for Carpet bowls, Pool and
Table Tennis! Anyone wishing to use these
facilities should contact the Secretary,
Chairman or Treasurer.......