The Heaton Buffs
Newcastle R A O B Club
Best known as
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A Member

of the C.I.U

Have you renewed your club card? ( 2017)

!! This includes Life Members !!

It's just like one big happy family

 

 

THE funny thing about the Newcastle R.A.O.B. Club is that it has nothing to do with the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffalos—at least, not any more. The club opened as a Buffalo Lodge in 1925, but became affiliated to the Clubs and Institutes union In; -1931, and has been a working men's social club ever since. The most striking fact about the club at the moment is the rise in takings from £9,800 in 1950 to last year's total of £60.000. Secretary Mr. Arthur Nattrass explained: "We have got ourselves a Progressive committee, and bought the two adjacent premises to extend the club." We are trying all the time to improve our facilities. We are getting, the decorators In soon, and the whole club should be completely done out by Easter." The extensions were paid for by loans from a Newcastle brewery and the club's bank, most of which have now been paid off. The club now has 945 members and a large waiting list."We didn't take on any new members last year," said Mr. Nattrass," because we didn't lose any Members. And we don't want to Overcrowd the club, although there Is space for 1.000 members."

 

SOCIAL

The club has an overpowering atmosphere of football but perhaps that was partly because, on the night I was there, the supporters of the club's football team top of Its division In the North-East Sunday League in its first season. Was holding a social. Among those celebrating was 66 year old Mr. Charles Crowe, father of the former Newcastle United footballer, and a member of the club for 3o years. "There's been some changes in that time," he told me. "When I started the club consisted of only one house: now there are three. And the entertainment for the members is first class "and the club is much busier now than it used to be." Sitting at the very next table were Mr. Jack Hixon and Mr. George Murray, both Talent scouts for Burnley Football Club. Mr. Hlxon, a member for six years, told mo that they had never found footballing talent in the club.

 

TWO YEARS

"Only sociability," he laughed, " We only come here for social reasons. It's a grand club — the best In Newcastle." The staff thinks so, too — and it's perhaps the largest staff of any Newcastle club. Steward and stewardess Joe and Gladys Gibson command 22 barmen, waitresses and doormen. Mrs. Gibson told me that she and her husband have worked at the club for two years. " You find there are two classes of people in clubs, and we seem to have only the better class here. " I like it best when it's busy—it tires you out, but you enjoy it because the people are so nice." It's like one big happy family in this club The vice-chairman, Mr. Sid Plead, showed me around the club. He showed me the billiards room, bar and television room downstairs, and the concert room and two lounges upstairs." We are planning to convert the men's lounge into a mock Tudor, wood and bricks type room. At the moment it's only used for storing chairs when we have dancing in the concert room," One of the oldest members. 68-ywir-old Mr. Arthur Jones, a member of the dub for 23 years, approves of the club's new look. A war hero—he was awarded the Military Medal and Bar In the First World War— Mr. Jones said: "Things are a lot better now than they were in the old days, and they're still Improving. I enjoy being doorman here. It's a draughty job, but an interesting one."

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DEEP

in the heart of

CLUBLAND

Albert Watson

visits the

RAOB Club

and Institute,

Heaton Road

Byker

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FromThe Evening Chronicle 20/5/1965