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Ruth Cherrington’s book on clubs is now available!

In ‘Not Just Beer and Bingo! The Social History of Working Men’s Clubs’, Ruth traces the history of clubs from their mid-19th origins and brings the story right up to date to 2012- the year that marks the 150th anniversary of the Club and Institute Union (CIU). 

This is the first book that tells the complete club story across those 150 years.

All aspects of club life are covered in a highly readable, often funny, sometimes poignant manner. At all times, Ruth maintains a scholarly approach, drawing upon wide-ranging research and the wealth of information collected from scores of club goers, officials and entertainers from across the country. They tell their own stories throughout the book about the life and times of clubs, from nights out with the kids to seaside outings, games and gambling and club concerts.

Ruth highlights throughout the book how clubs were once at the centre of working class leisure time as well as at the heart of the communities where they were located. She shows how clubs played numerous social and cultural roles, making important contributions to the lives of their members and their families.

In this 150th anniversary year, with many challenges and club closures, Ruth details reasons for their decline but also in what ways club people are fighting back in order to bring in new members and keep their doors open. She finishes by offering valuable insights into their future prospects.

To find out more about the book and how to order, go to-

A Note about the Author.

Ruth Cherrington grew up with a club right across the street!  It was a central place in her family’s leisure time just as it was for the majority of local people.  Club life for her was both familiar and yet special.  Ruth was a university lecturer and teacher trainer at universities both in the UK and overseas for well over 20 years but never lost the club-going habit. She still likes a game of bingo!   Her personal experiences and later in-depth research led her to set up a website dedicated to the collecting memories of club goers.  Since 2008, has brought world-wide attention to our clubs.