Denaby Main Institute – Lucky Denaby – An attractive scheme

January 1919

The Times, Saturday, January 18, 1919

Lucky Denaby
Handsome new Institute offered by Colliery Company
An attractive scheme

The 38th annual meeting of the Denaby Main Young Men’s Institute was held on Monday night, Mr WH Chambers, presiding over a fairly good attendance.
Mr W Astbury, secretary, treasurer, and librarian, presented the financial statement, which showed an income of £795 16s 2d, including a balance brought forward of £205 17s 6d. This balance is increased by a profit on the years working of £273 1s 2d. The Denaby and Cadeby collieries Ltd. have given fuel and light to the value of £58 17s 11d. Contributions had been received from 256 members. 106 members had enlisted, and of these 10 had fallen. The library account shows a credit balance of £26 19s 24d. During the year 1929 books had been lent.

The report was adopted as satisfactory, and the following officers were elected to act for the ensuing year: president, Mr WH Chambers; Vice Presidents Messrs HW Smith, H. C. Harrison and WL Worsley; committee Messrs G Chadfield, Tom Clayton, William Bell, George Milnes, James Feeney, John Feeney, Ernest Robinson, H Hulley, Tom Cooper, B J Hadfield, E Dickens and T Jones. The secretary, treasurer and librarian Mr W Astbury was re-elected. The auditors, Messrs M. Soar and GL Robinson, were reappointed. Messrs H W Smith, H Hawley, and W Wilkinson were re-elected

Mr Chambers congratulated the Institute on the fact that it is now well over 300 members. He thought the time had arrived when better accommodation should be found for them. Some years ago it was represented to the committee that better premises were required, but at that time there was a spirit of apathy abroad, which he did not believe to exist now. The late chairman of the committee, Mr Buckingham Pope, considered very favourably a proposal to build a large new Institute, providing the members themselves saw to the furnishing, and it was suggested that should be done by raising the capital among the members, thus assuring that at least a proportion of the members would have a vested interest in maintaining control and carrying on the Institute properly.

The stipulation was that at least 100 members should take shares in the furnishing fund, but it was found at that time that only 20 were willing to do so, though those who were willing would have put up the whole of the money if they had been allowed to. That did not meet the view of Mr Buckingham Pope and the company, who wished that a small financial interest in the Institute should be spread over as larger number of members as possible, and the scheme then fell through.

The idea had recently been revived, and the new scheme had been submitted to the present chairman of the company (major MEW Pope) was very anxious carry out as fuzzy could the idea that was in the mind of his uncle and predecessor, and that was that the company should make no profit out of the Institute, and should delegate full control to a responsible committee of management.

A plan of a new Institute had been sketched, and formed the groundwork of the scheme he proposed to lay before them that night. He would like in that place to acknowledge the valuable services in this matter of Mr HW Smith,who had prepared a plan setting out his idea of the sort of Institute Denaby main ought to have. It was proposed to build Institute on a site (if the land could be obtained.) between the present cricket and football grounds (indeed it will be necessary to appropriate about an acre of the latter) and giving direct access to both grounds. The building would be so situated and arranged so that it would be possible to watch the progress of either cricket or football from the Institute premises. On the cricket side there will be a tier platform, with a tearoom behind, so that the cricket field will be furnished with two pavilions, as it was not proposed to abolish the existing one.

This year will embody a large billiard room, with accommodation for four tables. Above that there would be an assembly room, which would be useful lectures, and social and recreative purposes. He soon will be a 12′ x 36 for, and will be furnished with a separate entrance for the public. There would be lavatory and cloakroom accommodation, which, when not required for any other purposes, could be used by cricket and football teams. There would be a vestibule and entrance Hall, opening on to the billiard room, and also to a staircase leading to the assembly room. There will also be a reading room, a small room, a library and secretary’s office, and a central bar, which would serve the whole of the Institute, and also a summer canteen. There would be caretaker´s quarters, and adequate cellerage and storage.

A very important feature will be a large swimming baths, which would be undercover, and in connection with that eight or 10 slipper bus, which, he believed, would be of great service to men returning from work. There was also a provision for a skittle alley of quoits ground, and this would be sufficiently commodious to be put to other uses. The colliery company were prepared purchase the site and put up the building, at an estimated cost of about £5000, and hand it over to a committee of the members, resigning all control of it, and charging the committee event equal to 5% on the capital outlay. The company would, of course, continue to supply coal, gas and water free. The company wish the Institute to be a real benefit to the community. They desired the welfare of everybody in Denaby. The scheme was designed to give the prospective members of the Institute, a sense of independence. The company did not wish anyone to feel under an obligation, beyond appreciation of the company’s goodwill in the matter; they certainly desired the people of Denaby feel that the company had goodwill toward them.

Mr Chambers, in conclusion, said he did not suppose we should be privileged to remain with them much longer. It had been one of his hobbies to do what he called for the people of Denaby main, and he regarded this scheme as, in some sort, a culmination of his life work among them. He did not think Denaby had, in matters of this kind, been behind any other modern village will stop he hoped the scheme will be approved, and that its detail would be quickly worked out and carried into execution.

Arising out of a point raised by Mr Worsley, Mr Chambers said the new Institute would have all the facilities this and supplies open to any registered club. It might be thought that the scheme would interfere with the train of the “Drum” (Denaby Main Hotel), in which the company had an investment. He did not know whether it would not, and he did not care; indeed, he rather hoped it would, though, whatever other people might think about that is regarded a public house as a reasonable necessity for some men, and if men wanted a public house. There was no reason why they should not have one. A public house had been provided this, and what was now propose would give men a choice between the public house and a club such as he had outlined a man could choose which she lacked, and many men would probably choose bowled. The club was not intended to be a public out, but it would give the members all that public out could give them, with something, he thought, in addition.

Mr Hulley said it was an excellent scheme, and the proposed site was ideal. One of its most attractive features was that it would maintain close touch between the Institute and the sports and pastimes of the place.

Mr Smith said he was very good of Mr Chambers to mention his name so kindly in connection with the scheme. It was true that he had taken a great interest in the idea, and had gone to some trouble to work it out. He had felt it his duty to take an interest in the welfare of the people of the place, and it had seemed to him that this was an excellent way of promoting that welfare. He wanted to see the men at play as well as a work. One of the recommendations of the scheme was that it would be a powerful inducement to the men, in their leisure hours, to come up out of the village into the fresh air, and to many of them to take part in healthy athletic exercises. All around the proposed Institute cricket, football, tennis and balls will be going on, with billiards, swimming and cards indoors. The scheme for capitalising the furniture offered manifest advantages to those members who elected to join it. No member would be allowed to take more than ten one pound shares; to allow the shares to concentrate in a few hands would be to defeat the object of the scheme, which was to spread the social and financial interest in the Institute and its good government over as many members as possible. He urged members to set the companies offer, and to go in for this scheme “smoke or nettles.”

Mrs J Hewitt then proposed and Mr W Widdowson seconded, that the scheme be approved, and that the committee be instructed to do all that was necessary in the matter. This was carried unanimously.