Westgarths History

 

The club was first set up in 1911 by 100 boiler makers from Middlesbrough’s rise to iron-mining and steel making capital of the world.

It wasn’t until 1912 the founders actually bought a premises in Linthorpe Village. However, due to the Quakers of Middlesbrough Estate not liking workers drinking - fearing they wouldn’t turn up for work - the club was not allowed to sell alcohol. So for the next two year, the club was used as a social hang out where the workers could play cards and quoits.

In 1914 the club moved to Lancaster House, where it stayed for five years. Lancaster House, we think, was based down near Marks and Spencers on Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough.

In 1919 the club moved yet again, this time to Southfield Road - its current location. Back before local demographics changed and interest in Social Clubs declined, the club had a vast member base and plenty of capital

To celebrate 50 years of the Westgarth Social Club, the club hired Middlesbrough Town Hall for two days for a huge celebration, this was in 1951.

It wasn’t until 1964 that there was a full refurbishment and the properties which the club had bought were all converted into a more suitable building, reducing the amount of rooms and creating a concert room.

2008 was the beginning of the new era at the club when local promoters TKASG approached the Westgarth as a venue to play host to some incredible live bands. The club has now developed in reuptation and popularity amongst other promoters, bands and people who to come see them alike. The club now receives regular attention from the media, always from the local newspaper and often referenced on BBC Radio Tees.

The club does have some more interesting history too, as the two snooker tables – which are still used every day and in the games league – are the original tables bought in 1912. Going back a few years the club was also given an award for Best Pint and Best Kept Cellar.

One of the most notable occurrences happened in 2008, a plastic bag was left on the door step of the club with a book inside. The book contained the very first minutes of when the club was founded, the first page talks about how they want to open up a club. More amazingly, this was left anonymously.

Here at the Westgarth we are very proud of our long history and traditions with our members, and while maintaining our title as a social club, are excited to look toward the future and the development of our club as a thriving music venue too.

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