Knapton Men’s Club


The Knapton Men’s Club was born at a meeting held in what is now the Village Hall, on 2nd November 1938.
Although only 30 men attended the inaugural meeting, the first list of members totalled 48.


Extracts from the Minutes Book of the inaugural meeting in 1938

2nd November 1938
A meeting was held in the Parish Room (today’s Village Hall) to form a Men’s Night Club.  About 30 men present.

  • The Rev. Pritchard was elected Chairman
  • Mr E Coe – Secretary
    NB: He later had to resign, with regret, due to blackout conditions – Station Master of Paston-Knapton Railway Station
  • Mr H Fawkes then became Secretary
  • Mr T A Claydon – Treasurer
  • Mr R Kirk – Caretaker


  • G Gayle
  • W Small
  • R Wright
  • H Wild
  • F Pardon
  • H Fawkes


  • Dr Gutch from The New Hall – Dartboard
  • Miss C Robinson from Knapton House – Bagette (sic) Board
  • Mr May from Church Farm – 5 packs Cards and Table Tennis equipment


  • 3d per week for Members
  • 2d per week for boys under 16 years

Room to open:

  • 7th November 1938
  • Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays – 6.30pm until 10.00pm.


  • To be paid 8s 0d per month
Extracts from the Minutes Books 1939 to 1949

16th January 1939
Committee Meeting to make arrangements to hold a whist drive and dance from 7.00pm – midnight.  It was agreed that Mr Watts of Mundesley would print all posters and tickets and also to check if Burton’s Band was available for the evening.   Price for the event  including refreshments would be 1s 3d (around 6p in today’s money)

  • Door Keeper – Mr Small
  • MC for Whist – E Coe
  • Refreshments – Mr Claydon

28th April 1939
A supper was arranged for the closing of the Room for the summer at 7.30pm consisting of: 14lbs Salt Beef;  14lbs Roast Beef;  3 Jars of Pickle;  Cheese Biscuits;  Bread Rolls;  Ale and Stout.

  • New session starts 20.11.1939
  • Mr May generously undertook to provide frames for the windows and the club agreed to supply the necessary addition of material to screen the windows to prepare for the “blackout”.  Mr Claydon undertook the supervision of this.
Men’s Club costs

Parish Room 1947 to 1948
28th Nov 1947  –  £1 02s 0d
30th Jan 1948  –  £1 03s 0d
25th Feb 1948  –  £0 11s 0d
09th Apr 1948  –  £0 16s 0d

Scrubbing Parish Room
5th Jun 1948  –  £3 12s 0d

Billiard Room at Knapton House 1947 to 1948
25th Nov 1947  –  £0 15s 0d
3rd Mar 1948   –  £0 15s 0d

12th April 1940 AGM
Treasurers Report shows balance of £6 19s 6d.   £4. to be spent on fellow parishioners serving in H M Forces.   A parcel of cigarettes to be sent to each serving man and any surplus to be handed to Knapton Working Party for the troops.
This was carried unanimously.
A week later it was proposed that a money order be sent to the 13 men of the Parish serving in H M Forces which was carried out.   This cost, with postage, totalled £3 2s 0d leaving 18s 0d. to be handed to the Knapton Working Party.

18th October 1946
Subscription to be increased this year:

  • 6d. per week for adults
  • 3d. per week for 14-16 year olds

16th December 1946 AGM
Mr May and others had visited Miss Robinson (the owner of Knapton House) in regards to a loan of her Billiard Room.  She was very pleased to be able to help the Men’s Club and gave her permission.

Subscription Receipts

Receipts paid to Treasurer 1946 to 1948
1st Nov 1946   –  £2 00s 0d
2nd Dec 1946  –  £1 10s 0d
17th Dec 1946  – £2 00s 0d

21st Mar 1947  –  £4 00s 00d
10th Apr 1947  –  £2 14s 06d

Whist Drive
7th Jan 1947  –  £11 2s 01d

Receipts from Billiards Table at Knapton House
14/9/1946 to 14/9/1948  –  £18 3s 10.5d

Fund Raising Receipts

Whist Drives
25th Nov 1949  –  £4 4s 0d
17th Feb 1950  –  £9 10s 0d
24th Mar 1950  –  £10 7s 0d

Donations made towards a raffle price (a pig) to be held at Church Farm from Miss Pain, Mr Fisher, Mr Burlingham and Mr Guyton

Receipts paid to Treasurer 1950 to 1951
Collection taken at the “Marcus Owen” Billiards Exhibition  –  £4 12s 4d
Barn Dance & Whist Drive –  £15 6s 0d
Fête on 7th July 1951 held at Knapton House  –  £23 16s 7d

Miss Robinson image

About £9 5s 0d was needed to install electric light in the room and a whist drive was held on 3rd January 1947 to meet the expenses.   The Billiards Club opened in September 1947 on the evenings of Tuesday & Thursday and entered the Alby & District Billiards League with their league games starting on October 9th.

In March 1949 Miss Robinson told the Committee that if the Men’s Club chose to work and build a place of their own, she would present them with her billiard table.   This offer was gratefully accepted. (note: the billiard room was where the dwelling Camelot is today).

Miss Robinson also offered the grounds of Knapton House to hold fêtes and a whist drive and barn dances were also held in Mr May’s barn at Church Farm to raise money for the new club building to house the billiard table.

Alby & District Billiards & Darts League

The following details have been extracted from notes taken at Committee Meetings Men’s Club in 1947

Billiards image

Billiards League
Games to be played on Thursday nights at 7.00pm.   First games to be played on October 9th.
Ten teams have entered so far.   Team to be picked on Monday nights at 8.00pm.

Darts League
A Dartboard has been lent to the Club by Miss Robinson.
It is to be checked to confirm it is suitable for League matches.

darts image

Clubs taking part in the league
Iteringham  |  Wickmere  |  Banningham  |  Northrepps  |  Southrepps  | Hanworth  | Knapton  |  Alby  |  Oulton  |  Trimingham  |  Thorpe Market  |  Aylsham  |  Matlaske  |  Aldborough  |  Trunch  |  Antingham  |  Mundesley (Haig Club)

The Men’s Club building

Early in 1949 Mr David Cargill at Gimingham, who farmed at Old Hall Farm, Knapton, was approached to see if he would sell some land to build the new club house.      He agreed to give them a 99 year lease on a piece of land adjacent to the Old School House.  The offer was accepted by the club.

Until the opening of the new Men’s Club building the members of the club worked hard both fundraising and building their own premises.  They held whist drives, dances at the village hall, barn dances in Mr May’s barn at Church Farm, and billiards and darts tournaments to raise funds.

Burton’s Band, seen on the right, played at their dances.

Burtons Band image
Extracts from the Minutes Books 1949 to 1963

1st June 1949
Application for building the club house had been submitted and certain work could commence straight away.

Building the Mens club house 3 image

27th September 1949
Owing to a shortage of bricks and labour the new building was not progressing as fast as first hoped for, but as harvest was nearly over, it was expected that there would be an improvement.

25th September 1950 (extract from) AGM Minutes:

Building the Mens club house 2 image

AGM held in the new club house

  • To open Monday – Friday, Saturday when required.
  • Cleaner, Mrs H Wild 4s 0d per week.
  • Responsibility for table Mr W Wild.
  • Subscriptions increased to 1s 0d per week in winter and 6d per week in the summer.
  • Snooker balls to be purchased.

Cost of the new Club premises

  • Materials – £338. 8s 11d
  • Electrical fittings – £20 15s 0d
  • Seats – £9 10s 0d   from a bus being dismantled at Jordon’s of Coltishall
  • Moving, rebuilding and re-cushioning table – £32 18s 6d

The rules laid down by the Committee were as follows:

  1. Committee man who is in charge of the room to have, if he so chooses, the option to play first game.
  2. Members wishing to play billiards to enter their name on slate & time of playing.  Also, that players can change their turn of play by mutual agreement with other players.
  3. A member can invite a friend, who is a non resident of the village, to the billiard room and that he can play providing that does not take up a member’s turn of play.  The charge of 6d for ½ hour.
  4. No smoking over the table.
  5. No bad language to be used.
  6. No gambling.
  7. That the Committee has a right to deal with any offender of the above rules.
A few examples of the Men’s Club expenditure 1950-1951

Coke – ½ cwt  (Mundesley)  –  £0 2s 4d
Firewood – 1 bag  –  £0 3s 0d
Oil – 2 gallons from Dixon’s shop, Knapton  –  £0 3s 6d

Tips for Billiard Cues  –  £0 2s 6d
Dart Flights – 2 sets     –  £0 5s 0d
White Chalk                   –  £0 0s 2d
Coal – 1 cwt  (Larke)    –  £0 5s 3d

Starling & Sons - Hire of coach 1950 image

Tea, Sugar etc  –  £0 5s 10d
Rates  –  £20 1s 5d
Electric Light  –  £1 8s 3d

25th September 1952 
Mr Guyton of White House Farm presented the club with a Challenge Cup

Mr Guyton image

It was agreed that this be played for each season by holding an American Billiard Tournament.

12th December 1952
It was decided to plant two trees on Coronation Day, with Mr Cargill’s permission, on either side of the entrance to the club house.

mens club tree image

25th March 1963
A General Meeting was held in the Club Room on Monday 25th March 1963 with Mr J Wild as Chairman.
The Minutes of the last General Meeting were read and passed as correct.   Apologies for absence was given for Mr Wilkerson.

TRUSTEES: That Mr S Wright be elected as a Trustee to replace Mr May of Church Farm who had recently died.  It was agreed that the Secretary and Mr W Wild would attend the next meeting of the Alby League Meeting.
It was agreed that Mr C Wakefield of Itteringham Club be nominated by the club.

Reference the Annual League Meeting: The Club would put forward a resolution that at league games all Clubs should mark an equal number of games and it be left to this Club’s representatives to vote on any other League Rules.

Presentation of Guyton Cups:  That the presentation would take place on April 8th and that a Tournament take place. Mr Guyton (White House Farm) to be asked to present the cups, failing that Miss Robinson (Knapton House) to be asked.

Finance:  Balance £42. 10.5½.   It was hoped to arrange a joint Fete with the WI to help raise more funds.

Mens Club 1973 image

Taken in 1973 from what is now the playground
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The inside of the clubhouse 2005
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Mens Club 2005 image
Knapton Dart League Winners 1985 image

Darts Champions 1985-6

Old bus image

Club members playing league games away from home to pay 2/- (2 shillings – equivalent to 10p today) a head towards the cost of transport.

Club funds to pay the difference.

Knapton Billiards League Winners 2006-7 image

Billiards Champions 2006-7

Working Mens Club 2020 2 image
The final days…

The club continued to be used until 2012 when, due to lack of support, it had to close down.

The (Billiards) table was disposed of by one of the Trustees of the Club, Andrew Lubbock, and the hall and the land passed back to Mr Alan Cargill, David Cargill’s son.

In 2019 planning permission was sought to turn the building into a private dwelling.

After carrying out the normal practise of consulting the immediate neighbours, the Parish Council has approved the plan but have indicated their desire for the “new” building to retain the date stone, in memory of a irreplaceable piece of Knapton’s history.

Working Mens Club 2020 image

28th December 2019