Broadwater Working Men’s Conservative Club



First registered as a Friendly Society in 1925, the club’s affiliation to the CIU (Club Institute and Union) commenced in 1937. The club is now registered under the Co-operative & Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 (No. RS004681) CIU Associate and Pass Card holders are welcome.

The club has Sky and BT Sports, with three large screens in the front bar and one in the back bar.

The club has recently completely refurbished the back bar and is always planning continual improvement of the décor and facilities for the enjoyment of members.

The building of an extension to accommodate new high quality toilet facilities is now complete and as of June 2019, we also have a brand new accessible toilet with baby change facility.

What is a Working Mens Club?

  • Unincorporated and not for profit
  • Holds a club premises certificate and a gaming machine permit
  • Does not sell alcohol, but supplies it
  • Special types of gaming machines and different bingo regulations
  • Does not need a registered doorman or personal licences

First founded by Methodist minister Henry Solly in 1862 as an alternative to the pub, club facilities were provided for ‘rational recreation’ such as daily newspapers and a lending library before free public libraries were available.

Games such as darts, snooker, shove ha’penny, crib, dominoes, skittles, bagatelle and chess were also available and a benefit box was also provided. Our minutes describe it being opened at committee meetings and the proceeds awarded to deserving members for want of work, sickness, etc. Needless to say this is strictly not allowed today!

Being ‘not for profit’ drinks are priced at a level to make enough to run the club, with no shareholders and management structure to pay. Members own the club, each with an equal share. When a member pays for their drink they are technically paying the other members their share of the drink. This explains why members guests are strictly not allowed to purchase at the bar because that would then become a sale and liable to tax.

Because they are ‘private places’ members enjoy higher levels of fruit machine jackpots. Another special category is a pull tab machine with tickets priced 50p and £1 and jackpots to match. Bingo regulations for prizes & stakes are also relaxed. See Club Historians for more about working men’s clubs