This is the latest club newsletter, which has been sent out to all those members whose e-mail address we have.
Any member who has not received this but would like their name adding to the mailing list - please update your details when renewing your membership for 2024 - which can be done anytime from now.
With enormous sorrow, we have to report the death of club legend George Denton. He had been ill for a number of weeks and, about a fortnight ago, was taken into Pinderfields Hospital, where he passed away on Monday 9th October.
Our condolences to all his family. The Red Flag flies at half-mast over the Shed.
George, thank you for the enormous amount of work you put into this club over a period of at least 25 years, including two long terms of office as club president. Shine on you Crazy Diamond. We hope that you didn`t suffer too much on your way out and, now you have gone off to that Great Gig in the Sky, you`re feeling Comfortably Numb.
George`s Funeral will be on Monday 6th November, 12.30pm. at Wakefield crematorium, followed by a social gathering at the Red Shed.
The last stage of the project to make the club accessible is finished. Following completion of the ramp outside, we have repainted the exterior, so this is the external appearance of the Shed now.
Members who have supplied us with an e-mail address have been sent this newsletter.
Amongst other things, it reports that we have completed the final stage of work on accessibility to the club (mentioned in earlier news) and has a list of forthcoming events in the Shed.
This site (and the facebook page) will give a bit more detail on some of these events - watch this space.
Any member who has not received this mailing, but would like to get occasional notifications like this, please get in touch and let us know your e-mail address.
This news item has been moved onto the new/reactivated "Odds & Sods" page.
This year`s AGM was held on Sunday 21st May.
Members heard reports on the club`s progress during the last year. We had a successful year, with business more or less fully recovered after Covid. This has given us the confidence and the resources to invest in the fabric of the club. Work on accessibility inside the building is complete, and work on external access is due to start within a few weeks.
The committee and officers for 2023/24 were elected, with only minor changes from last year.
A number of rule alterations were approved. These are quite minor changes - mostly tidying up the wording - also bringing our rulebook into line with changes in the law for data protection. The updated rules can be seen here.
Yorkshire`s biggest annual Trade Union gathering is back on Saturday 13th May.
As usual, the Red Shed is part of it.
On Friday evening 12th May we have a fringe event -
speakers from 7pm will be Ian Clayton (who comperes the main event) on the Featherstone massacre, followed by Annie Lawson-Foley from the `Sheffield Needs a Pay Rise` campaign. Then there will be live music with Gary McVeigh-Kaye from around 8.30pm.
On the day, we will be running a beer tent as part of the main event, and will have live music in the Shed with the 189-ers from 4pm and Sally Cinnamon from 7.30pm.
Keep up to date on Facebook www.facebook.com/withbannersheldhigh/
Join us for a special day of celebrations...
It`s Kitty Rees` 60th birthday!
All her friends and comrades are invited to the party - 12.00 Midday onwards
🍻 Special Beer
🍻 If that`s not enough, Malcolm`s beer festival is running in the club at the same time.
🍻 We are also expecting this to be the occasion for presentation of "Club of the Year" award.
♚ A "NOT the Coronation" Event c/o the Red Shed
This is what we sent to the local media...
Events were held across Wakefield last week to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the seven men who died at Lofthouse Colliery in March 1973.
On Thursday 23rd March. Wakefield Labour Club (The Red Shed) hosted an event with film director Ken Loach, the only British Film Director to twice win the prestigious Palme D'or award for best Director with "The Wind That Shakes the Barley" (2006) and "I, Daniel Blake" (2016).
The event included the screening of Loach’s 1977 BBC television drama "The Price of Coal" (Part 1 - Meet the People) set at the fictional Milton Colliery, near Barnsley. The comedy-drama revolves around the ludicrous and expensive preparations made for the visit of the then Prince Charles.
A 90-minute question and answer session followed with Ken answering questions about his films, life and politics past and present.
A quiet, unassuming man, Ken answered questions with insight, humour, dignity and authority.
This was a very special night for all who attended, and Loach was received with a standing ovation.
On Sunday 26th March the Second part of the television drama was screened. "Back to Reality" takes place a month later, and deals with an underground explosion that kills several miners and follows the attempts to rescue others that remain trapped.
The two screenings raised over £1000 , this was wholly donated to the expenses that went into organising the Lofthouse Colliery disaster commemorations in Outwood and Alverthorpe on the weekend of 18th and 19th March.
Loach was thanked for his visit and presented with a canvas of a Tim Burton painting of The Red Shed.
The evening with Ken Loach was one of the great nights in the Red Shed's history.
The Red Shed are seeking to establish regular speaking events. Watch out for future special speakers, they already have a couple lined up.
Ken also visited the memorial stone on Ings Road, Wakefield, next to where the Mines Rescue Station had been, and it featured in the drama.
We are very sorry to inform members of the death of Paul Scully. He died in Pinderfields Hospital about two weeks ago - cause unknown at time of writing. Paul was a club member for a number of years and, until last year, a regular worker behind the club bar.
There is no funeral, but Paul`s brother Darren would like to invite all of Paul`s friends to meet him at the Red Shed on
Friday 24th March - 1pm onwards - to remember Paul and celebrate his life.
Sorry for short notice of this - it was only announced yesterday.
Fifty years ago, on 21st March 1973, there was an inrush of water at Lofthouse Colliery, Outwood, which caused the death of seven mine workers. A new coalface had been excavated too close to an abandoned, flooded 19th-century mine shaft, the NCB having neglected to check all the survey records. Seven workers were trapped 450ft (230m) below ground, but a six-day rescue operation succeeded in recovering just one body.
To mark the 50th anniversary of this event, the club will be showing "The Price of Coal".
This is a two-part television drama written by Barry Hines and directed by Ken Loach. It was first broadcast as part of the `Play for Today` series in 1977. The Red Shed will be screening the two parts separately:
Part 1 on Thursday 23rd March (16.00 start)
Part 2 on Sunday 26th March (19.00 start)
In a very special event, the director Ken Loach will be with us for the first part of this screening on the 23rd March, and will take part in a Q&A session. Please note that tickets for this are SOLD OUT and there is already a waiting list. Anyone turning up on the day and hoping to get in will be disappointed - sorry. There are still a few tickets left for part 2 on 26th March - price £5.00
All proceeds from this will go to the Lofthouse Disaster Memorial Fund.
Sandwiched between these two parts, the Wakefield Socialist Historians will be meeting on
Saturday, 25th March (1pm start) at the Red Shed.
The subject will be Miners’ struggles and safety in the workplace - a meeting on the miners’ historic contribution to workplace safety. Routinely facing so many dangers together as they did, coal miners’ organised struggles over the years were instrumental in winning changes to UK law and workplace practice which benefitted all of us in this country and saved many lives.
The speakers will be:
Tony Banks, who was underground on the day as part of the rescue attempt, and
Eddie Downes, who has written an authoritative history of Yorkshire coal mining since nationalisation.
Entrance is free, and all are welcome.
Pete Brown`s book "Clubland" (see earlier news item) has been chosen as the book of the week on BBC Radio 4.
You can hear Pete reading extracts on Monday 9th through to Friday 13th January at 09.45 - and repeated at 00.30
Also available as a podcast.
Friday`s episode features the Wakefield-based campaign for womens` equality.
As the year end approaches, it is time for a reminder that membership is due in January. There is no change to subscription rates - still £4.00 (waged) or £2.00 (unwaged)
Subs can be paid from now onwards.
Happy Xmas & New Year to all members, family and friends.
As we reported earlier, we are working on improved accessibility to the club for those of limited mobility.
Following the new toilets earlier in the year, another part of this project has now been done. Two narrow internal doors are replaced by one wider door. This will allow more efficient use of space inside the building and help to keep it warmer in winter by cutting draughts.
The final thing will be to improve the entrance by putting a ramp up to the front door. This is planned for the spring of 2023.
Club opening times over the festive period are:
All other days - normal times.
Many thanks to the Hunch for a great night of music on Saturday 19th November. We raised a total of £645 for Medical Aid for Palestinians.
Last chance to get your Red Shed branded polo shirts...
We have just a few left in sizes S, M & L.
Price reduced from £15 to £10
Red Shed Beer Glasses £2
Red Shed Book (50th Anniversary) £1
This book is a history of Working Men`s Clubs in general, and the Clubs & Institutes Union (CIU) in particular. Wakefield Labour Club is featured as part of the context to a chapter about the 1980s campaign for equal rights for women in clubs. This campaign, called "ERICCA", started in Wakefield and spread around the country.
Since publication in June the author, Pete Brown, has been touring the country doing readings and signing copies of the book. He came to the Red Shed on Sunday 30th October. Following his presentation, we had a fascinating discussion around the subject - an important piece of social history which is very much under-represented in literature.
The book is now in print as a hardback. Watch for an updated version in paperback sometime next summer. Pete Brown also writes on various other subjects - particularly BEER.
Wakefield Socialist History Group was established in 2013. It has run a series of meetings, talks and discussions covering a wide range of subjects - but all with the same aim: to study history as a way of understanding how the world got to be the way it is, and how to avoid past mistakes. All of this is done from a working class viewpoint - in contrast to the ruling class version of history which is usually presented to us.
The group`s programme of events was interrupted by Covid but it has remained very active online through its facebook page. Real meetings have now started again with a gathering on Saturday 22nd October 2022.
The very topical theme for the day was the Cuban missile crisis - 60 years on
A general discussion followed on a programme of future events. Watch for more detail.
This was our special presentation to George and Jan for their many years dedicated service to the club. Don`t worry - they haven`t gone away since standing down as club officers - you can still see them both regularly.
Notices of advertised gigs with named artists are now on a new page.
Also don`t forget...
🎵 Last Saturday of each month, 20.30 - our regular Open Mic. night
- one of the performers could be you... or just come along and listen.
We do not market ourselves as a "Sports Bar" but various televised sporting events are shown in the club.
🏉 Rugby League is obviously a speciality here. We will show Superleague matches any time they are screened, also as many matches as we can fit in from the World Cup, starting Saturday 15th October.
⚽ Football also features frequently. At the time of typing this post, we have the Womens Euro tournament taking place.
We also welcome supporters of FC St. Pauli (the ethical football supporters` choice of club) whose matches we are showing on a number of occasions.
See the Yorkshire St. Pauli facebook page for more detail.
You can ask for your own particular preference to be shown - we will try to do that if reasonably practicable. e.g. expect some cycle racing this week whilst the Tour de France is on.
A total of 45 members attended the club`s annual general meeting on Sunday 5th June.
They heard a report from the club`s accountant on the finances, which are in a healthy state. There were also reports from the club officers on the running of the club, including the successful completion of the first part of the project for better accessibility.
Thanks were given to George Denton and Jan Samuel, who have stood down as president and treasurer. An event will be arranged (date t.b.a.) to pay tribute to their many years service to the club.
New officers elected were:
President: Matty Hallas, Vice-president: Steve Oxley, and Treasurer: Andy Gornall.
Linda Bratley continues as Secretary.
In the news recently because of the controversy surrounding the selection of Labour`s candidate for the Wakefield by-election on 23rd June 2022, the constituency party`s executive committee resigned en bloc.
Read more on the story here:
It is too early to tell what will be the impact on this club, but we are sure to notice it in view of our close organisational links to the party. Watch this space. This website expresses its solidarity with the resigning officers and committee.
This was not a consideration in 1966 when the club was put up and the building has not been easy to adapt. The main entrance has 2 steps up to it. Wheelchairs can get in via the fire exit, which has ramped access. Once inside, everything is on one level except that, previously, toilets could only be accessed by a step down.
As an old building predating modern accessibility standards, we were under no obligation to change this. Some changes were made over the years, but it still fell short of what we wanted in order to make the club as socially inclusive as possible. We started some years ago to develop plans for improving it. Implementing these plans was a long-term project because we first had to resolve the issue of our length of tenure on this site. Since we negotiated an extended lease, it was worthwhile spending some money on improvements.
In March 2022 we completed the first part of this project by rebuilding the toilet block, which now includes a fully accessible toilet. We had already removed one set of partitions which previously separated the bar from the small meeting room; this was part of the adaptations we had to make for Covid-19.
To improve general accessibility, this arrangement is now permanent.
Still to be done is better ramped access from outside. Watch this page for updates.