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Ivy Leaf social club celebrates 100 years with bingo and buffet

A social club toasted 100 years of friendships with a weekend bonanza of bingo, buffets and booze.

The Ivy Leaf Club hosted the mayor, Cllr Paul Lion, on Friday afternoon (June 8) to kick off its centenary celebrations.

Hundreds of the 1,040 members popped in to the group’s Holmanleaze hall at some point over the weekend to take part in activities.

Club secretary Tracey Moore, 55, said: “We wanted to share our anniversary with all our members.”

The Fifield resident added: “They absolutely loved it – they loved the buffet because it is free.”

The Ivy Leaf Club was founded in the aftermath of World War One by soldiers returning from the front.

Club president Alan Geen, 73, who lives in Laggan Road, believed it had started after soldiers from the South of England hosted troops from the North who they had met in the trenches.

The southerners would then head up North to visit, and it was decided the get-togethers should be held in a pub.

“They were all old soldiers. They just wanted somewhere,” Alan said, adding that the main focus of the club was ‘friendship’.

“I think the Government had something to do with it,” he said.

“They said ‘look, we will give you a little bit of cheap beer’.

“Because of the things they had gone through.”

Tracey said the club ‘is the pub of the community’ of ‘mainly local’ members.

It hosts events every day of the week and is a place for all ages. Besides food and games, the weekend included dancing, a child disco and a live band.

Elderly members can feel safe there, Tracey said, and ‘they mix with all generations in here’.

“There is never any trouble,” she added.

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