Manchester Evening News

GLAD TIDINGS

ICONIC LANDMARK CELEBRATES 120TH ANNIVERSAR­Y OF OPENING

- By NEAL KEELING

ONE was steeped in the establishm­ent, an esteemed army general, who created a code by which young boys should live. The other a music maverick.

But they are both forever linked to a city’s iconic, and still thriving institutio­n, at one end of Coronation Street. Salford Lads Club was officially opened 120 years ago yesterday.

The opening ceremony on January 31, 1904, was conducted by Major General Baden Powell – the “gallant defender of Mafeking” as the Daily Despatch described him in the paper’s coverage of the event.

In 1985 The Smiths chose the entrance to the club for a photoshoot. The black and white picture taken by Stephen Wright became part of the city’s rock heritage. In time, the band’s associatio­n with the red-bricked Edwardian building was a source desperatel­y needed funds. The group’s singer Morrissey donated £20,000 to the club in 2007 to help with its restoratio­n.

The iconic picture of the band was used on the inner sleeve of The Smiths The Queen Is Dead album.

As result of the band’s associatio­n tens of thousands of pounds have been raised for the club from the sale of T-shirts making the most of the link. And fans regularly flock to the club buying memorabili­a.

To mark the 120th anniversar­y a new T-shirt has been launched by the club embossed with the original title and motto from a commemorat­ive card given to the first 100 boys who joined the club in August 1903.

One of the cards is still on display in the club’s entrance hall, alongside a photograph of the official opening 120 years ago.

The club was opened by Major General Baden Powell who later founded the Scout Movement. He is photograph­ed with the club’s founders, James Grimble Groves, and William Grimble Groves, of the Groves and Witnall Brewery.

In the club’s archive a report from the Daily Dispatch shows sketches of the event. Crowds lined Regent Road and at the time the club was the largest purpose built lads club in the region. It was designed by Henry Lord, who also responsibl­e for Salford Royal Hospital and Salford Museum and Art Gallery.

Leslie Holmes, project manager, at the club, said: “We’ve had an incredible start to our anniversar­y year. In 2023 we collaborat­ed with Salford City FC with a new first-team football shirt and track suit top featuring our logo, which raised £10,000 for our club.

“We continue to attract brands like M&S who featured the club and nearby streets as iconic locations in a recent campaign and Manchester United followed this with a shoot featuring John Cooper Clarke. Then in December we hosted an intimate dinner for Chanel.” The Chanel party was attended by stars including Kristen Stewart and Jenna Coleman.

The new T-shirt is now on sale and all funds raised will go towards providing activities for young people – and the annual camping trip which has taken place since 1904.

Eddie Colman who became a United Busby Babe and was killed in the Munich air disaster in 1958 first shone at Salford Lads Club. He was one of many whose potential was spotted there before they went on to be profession­al players.

Other famous former club members include Graham Nash and Allan Clarke who used to practice at the club before they formed The Hollies. Nash later found world fame with Crosby Stills Nash & Young.

 ?? ?? Morrissey has donated money to the club after The Smiths’ iconic picture outside the venue
Morrissey has donated money to the club after The Smiths’ iconic picture outside the venue
 ?? ?? Salford Lads Club opened 120 years ago
Salford Lads Club opened 120 years ago
 ?? ?? Major General Baden Powell in the gym at Salford Lads Club at the official opening, flanked by the club’s founders, William and James Grimble Groves
Major General Baden Powell in the gym at Salford Lads Club at the official opening, flanked by the club’s founders, William and James Grimble Groves
 ?? ?? Salford City players, Ethan Ingram, Curtis Tilt, and Alex Cairns, wearing the 120th anniversar­y T-shirt
Salford City players, Ethan Ingram, Curtis Tilt, and Alex Cairns, wearing the 120th anniversar­y T-shirt

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