Reddish Conservative Club was founded in 1899, when a number like-minded individuals applied to be accepted as members of the Association of Conservative Clubs. At this time, regular meetings were held in rooms above Reddish Post Office. From the earliest records we have available, a register of shareholders shows that in 1908, eight members were each issued with a single 2/6d (half crown) share (about £50 today based on average earnings).
The building that Reddish Conservative Club now occupies was built in 1870. Originally called Summerfield House, it was built as a residential building for the Shawcross family. Mr Shawcross was a partner in the hat manufacturing company Barlow & Shawcross of Pig Bank Lane, Longsight. Pig Bank Lane has since been renamed to Priory Lane and is situated just across the road from Summerfield House. Ownership of Summerfield House then passed to Mr Lowe, who owned the chemical works, also at the bottom of Priory Lane.
A significant extension to Summerfield House was constructed in 1908 (this date is given on a plaque embedded into the extension). This extension provided an entirely new façade onto Gorton Road (see Figure 1, which was taken sometime between 1912 and 1920). The Committee of Reddish Conservative Club purchased Summerfield House in 1912. The double bay windows on the ground floor of this extension have since been lost to a more recent extension. In 1977, a flat-roofed, single storey extension was added as a purpose-built snooker room (see far left of Figure 2).
A memorial to Sir William Houldsworth, Conservative MP for Manchester North West (1883–1906), was erected in Houldsworth Square, Reddish in 1920 (see Figure 3). The memorial—based on a similar clock tower in Douglas, Isle of Man—was paid for by public subscription and included a £20 donation from Reddish Conservative Club. The clock is now electric but was originally manual, and was wound via a mechanism that went under the road from the Houldsworth Hotel.
More detail on the Club's history can be found in the minutes. Please click here to go to that section.
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- Bertin C., Around and about Reddish: an historical trail for you to follow, 1999. (Online: Accessed 31st March, 2008).
- Kiernan, M., Local and General History, 2008. (Online: Accessed 20th April, 2008).
- Public Monument and Sculpture Association, Houldsworth Clock and Fountain, 2008. (Online: Accessed 8th April, 2008).
- Measuring Worth,Five Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a U.K. Pound Amount, 1830 to Present, 2009 (Online: Accessed 26th February, 2009).
- Thorpe, G., Minutes of Reddish Conservative Club (1917–1980), 1999.