The Bishop Beveridge Club was founded 65 years ago in 1953. Despite its name, the club is non-religious. The name was chosen, by members, due to the fact that William Beveridge was born in Barrow in 1637and he became Bishop of St Asaph in 1704; hence “Bishop Beveridge”. Initially it was set up for residents of Barrow over the age of 65 years. Nowadays, membership is open to those aged 60 and above in Barrow and surrounding villages, but all are welcome to come along to organised events, regardless of age.
One of the main reasons for this institution’s longevity is that, thanks to the foresight of founder members in the 1950s, the building is owned by the club. Many such clubs were formed in that era but have failed to continue due to the rising costs involved in hiring a venue. So, although the building is owned by the BBC, it is available for hire, and income from lettings is extremely important for the club’s continuation. Therefore, if you need a venue for a meeting, social event, rehearsal space etc, please remember that this building can be hired at a competitive rate. There’s good access for those with a disability, plus a small car park.
The newly decorated hall, in South Street, is currently used as a cinema, games room, yoga studio, craft workshop, bingo hall, coffee lounge, quiz venue, cafe and music room, all organised by the Bishop Beveridge Club. Other, external activities include theatre trips and a monthly coach trip. The coach trips are exceptionally good value; included is the coach fare, entrance fee (if applicable) to the place you are visiting, a free raffle ticket (for a prize draw on the return journey) and a ‘toffee from the tin’ as it’s passed down the coach. It’s just delightful, as are the Monday film shows. Up-to-date movies can be seen for £4, £4.50 to non-members; included in the price is a cup of tea/ coffee and a slice of cake. Forthcoming films are: April 16th ‘Victoria and Abdul’; May 28th ‘Murder On The Orient Express’; June 25th ‘Breathe’ and on July 16th the not to be missed ‘Paddington 2’.
As a community we are extremely lucky to have this facility, although I have heard some over 60s say, “Oh, I can’t go there, it’s for old people!” or “I can’t go there it’s where my mother used to go!” I say, “Come along and give it a try”. Visitors and new members are warmly welcome to attend any event, there’s such a variety of activities on offer.
Suggestions for something different are always welcome. If you want more information about the activities, you are welcome to contact Joyce Noon on 414519 or Ginnie on 413996. Newsletters are available from the club in South Street or from Barrow Library.
As a final note, once a month, lunches are prepared and cooked at the venue for 30 single pensioners. Some of the regular, volunteer cooks have retired recently so there are vacancies. If you would like to be part of this team and can give a few hours a couple of times a year please contact Sylvia Steane on 413565 for more information.