The Cliffeton Club

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The Cliffeton Club founded in 1978, takes its name from the names ScarCLIFFE and PalterTON.  This name was suggested by Mrs Ellen Turner, a founder member.

Throughout its' existence the membership, which has remained in excess of 30 members from villages in and around Palterton, has comprised of elderly and disabled persons who are mostly either on low incomes or rely on others to take them out.  It has provided members with the opportunity to meet and socialise in a safe and friendly environment.

However members frequently undertake excursions to various parts of the country, especially places of local interest.

First birthday party 23 July 1979

The club was the brainchild of the late Mr. Sam Henry, who in early 1978, recognised "there were some sixty odd senior citizens in the village, with no amenities whatsoever for their use".

Consequently, on the 15 May 1978, he wrote a letter to Mr. D. Broomhead, senior Welfare Officer for Bolsover District Council.  Mr. Henry wrote that he was desirous of getting a club formed for these senior citizens, which would provide a place where they could go and chat, read a paper or look at television programmes etc.

He had done some research with a small number of people and they were in favour of such a club.

Furthermore, he had spoken to some of the senior citizens in the village and he got the distinct impression "they are lonely people" and he would dearly love to put that right, hence his desire to have something for them to do if only for one or two days each week.

In his letter, he sought guidance from the Council on a few matters such as accommodation, assistance, funding, committee and membership requirements.  Also, he wished to commence before winter.

He received a quick response to his letter on the 22 May, concerning his "laudable desire to instigate an Elderly Persons Club in the Palterton area".  His letter had been forwarded to Mr. Geoffrey H. Speed at Derbyshire Social Services Department.

On the evening of the 22 May 1978, Mr. Speed had a meeting with Mr. Henry at the latters home.  Clearly the meeting was friendly and positive, albeit there is no record of it, other than the visitor thanking his host "for his hospitality".

However, on the 1 June 1978, Mr. Speed of 'Age Concern' replied to the earlier letter answering the questions posed and offering suggestions to progress the matter.

On the 5 July, Mr. Henry wrote to the Management Committee of Palterton Miners Welfare requesting the use of their premises for this worthwhile project on two days each week that the proposed club would meet.  At that time, Mr. Henry was secretary of the Miners Welfare.

Their response to this request was a unanimous "Yes".

The inaugural meeting of the club was held in the Miners Welfare on Tuesday, 18 July 1978 and twenty six of the fifty three elderly residents attended.  It was stated that following the succesful Jubilee Party held in the village, it was proposed to start a senior citizens 'over 60's' club.  Mr.G.H.Speed attended and addressed the meeting.

After a lengthy discussion, it was agreed by those present that :
1.  Members meet Mondays 3.30p.m. to 6.30 p.m. fortnightly.
2.  First meeting be held 24 July 1978.
3.  Membership to include elderly from Palterton and Scarcliffe.
4.  The steering committee to be as follows:
Mr. Sheppard, Mr. Sam Henry (Advisor), Mrs. Betty Henry, Mrs. Ruth Audis, Mrs. Sylvia Dickenson, Mrs. M. Dickenson, Mrs. Bradley of Devonshire Cottages, Scarcliffe.

The committee to have their first meeting on Monday, 24 July when issues such as a constitution would be considered.

Those present were asked to give some thought to a title for the club.

On the 24 July 1978, the following twenty one members attended the first meeting of the new club.  Mrs. L. Walker, Mrs. Millward, Mr. and Mrs. Bradley, Mrs. F. Sutcliffe, Mr. G. Riley, Mrs. Turner, Mrs. Thacker, Mrs. Ruth Audis, Mr. L. Edwards, Mr. J. Flint, Mrs. Floyde, Mrs. Dickenson, Mrs. Hilda Carter, Mrs. Mabel Tuckwood, Mrs. Henry, Mr. and Mrs. Clayworth, Mrs. Cuff, Mrs. Audis, Mr. Sam Henry.  Mr. G.H.Speed also attended.

It was resolved the club be known as the "Cliffeton Club" and that members pay a subscription of ten pence per fortnight.

Mrs. Betty Henry was appointed secretary, Mrs. M. Dickenson as treasurer.  A chairman was not appointed at that time.

At the next meeting on the 7 August 1978, Mrs. Millward agreed to take the appointment as chairman.  There were 32 members present.

Tea Ladies at first birthday party 23 July 1979

1978.13 NovemberMiners Welfare.  Membership cards that had cost 16.90 were issued.
1979.23 JulyMiners Welfare.
The first birthday party was held.  Everyone worked hard to make it an enjoyable evening.  There are photographs on this page of the event.
1980.19 MayMiners Welfare.
Mrs. Millward resigned as chairman and was given a vote of thanks.  Mrs. Ruth Audis was elected to the post being proposed by Mrs. Luke.  The secretary agreed to continue with her duties.  Mrs M. Dickenson resigned as treasurer and was given a bouuquet of flowers.  Mrs Elsie Clay taking over her duties.

The committee elected were Mr Luke, Mr Bell, Mr Clayworth, Mrs Dickenson, Mrs Wragg, Mrs Clayworth.

1982.27 AprilMiners Welfare.
Mrs Ruth Audis agreed to stay on as chairman as did Mrs Betty Henry as secretary.  Mrs Clay was treasurer.

The committee elected were Mr Luke, Mr Bell, Mr Henry, Mrs Dickenson, Mrs Norman and Mrs Smith.

1991.30 AprilChatsworth House, Derbyshire.
Mr and Mrs Morley formerly Brunt represented the club at the Duke and Duchess of Devonshires' Golden Wedding anniversary.  They received a plate as a momento.

Presentation of the Lottery grant
2001.18 DecemberPalterton.
Good news.  The club received a grant of 3,898 from the Lottery 'Awards for All' scheme to take the club members on a "tinsel and turkey" holiday on the 18 December 2002.  They stayed at the Durley Dean Hotel, Bournemouth.
A copy of the Award certificate This lovely friendly little club continued to achieve its aims and objectives as set out in 1978 and has celebrated 32 years of success (2010).

If it to survive it needs to attract a new influx of "younger" members, but this has always been the case.

Every year since its opening, it has received a grant from Derbyshire County Council and Bolsover District Council.  This helps pay for the meetings at the Welfare.

It would be remiss not to pay a tribute to the late Sam Henry whose efforts in 1978 has brought so much pleasure to members of this club.  He was not born in the village so who was he?

He was born April 1916 in Cookstown, Northern Ireland and later joined the Royal Inniskillen Fusiliers at Omargh.  In 1943 he joined the Parachute regiment as a Signals Sergeant and around 1945 was stationed at nearby Hardwick, Derbyshire.  He had a long army career.  Sadly he died in ????

Sadly, in December 2010, the curtain had to come down on this lovely club.  There were only ten members left and it had become increasingly difficult to continue, new members were not forthcoming.

Quite simply, life in the two villages of Palterton and Scarcliffe had changed.

The Cliffeton Club


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Created 2 December 2001
Last updated: 10 February 2011