A thriving Fylde club has celebrated its golden anniversary – with its chairman proud to be carrying on a family tradition.
Stephen Snape, who heads the committee at Freckleton Sports and Social Club, is the grandson of Fred Eaton, who founded it back in 1967.
Its 50th anniversary was celebrated over a weekend packed with special features, including £1 off all drinks, bigger prizes than usual for the bingo and Saturday evening entertainment by singer Joanne Shorrock and comedian Billy Hunter.
Stephen is the third generation of his family to be involved at the Preston New Road club, with his dad James having followed Fred into its management.
While many such establishments have fallen by the wayside in recent years, in the wake of the smoking ban and entertainment tastes changing, the Freckleton club continues to thrive, with almost 1,000 members.
“It’s all about good management, listening to the members and ensuring we keep giving them what they want,” said Stephen.
“Over the years we have altered a few things to make sure the members stay happy and the place continues to be packed at weekends.”
Clubs are clearly very much in Stephen’s blood, with Fred’s father having been a founder of Layton Institute, and Fred was treasurer at Layton when he moved to Freckleton in the 1960s.
“At first he travelled there and took my dad a few times,” said Stephen. “But he thought what a great idea it would be to have a club in the village, my uncle was a builder and had the land available and that’s how it started.
“It took five years for it to open after the original idea, with a few objections to it having to be negotiated, but it has been here ever since and I am really proud of it reaching its 50th anniversary.”
Stephen said he was grateful to local showbusiness impresario Tony Jo along with breweries Marstons, Clarks, Moorhouses and Samuel Smith for their help in making the anniversary weekend a success.
“Everybody had a great time and it was a really memorable way to celebrate such a special anniversary,” added Stephen.
“Fred would have been really proud of the 50-year landmark.”