Photo copyright Google Street
The Late Stan Blake talking to Jenny Baldrey – taken from Avebury World Heritage Site book- Values and Voices – part of the residents World Heritage pack – reproduced with kind permission of Stan Blake.
Mr. Stan Blake was a local resident and lifelong honorary member of the Club.
The Club was built in approximately 1926 by local ex-service men of the 1914-18 World War on land given for the purpose by Mr. Butler, a farmer from the nearby hamlet of Beckhampton. Among the builders were the Shipway brothers who were bricklayers and the Titcombe brothers who were carpenters. Both families lived in Avebury. The Club opened in around 1927 as the Avebury Branch of the Royal British Legion and it was fully owned by the Avebury Branch members. Non-servicemen were allowed to join and became honorary members.
As the years passed by the British Legion members dwindled, so the Club changed its title to the Avebury and District Club with membership to Working Men’s Club and Institute Union and Headquarters of the Avebury Branch, Royal British Legion. The British Legion branch membership became so low the branch was closed and the Branch Flag was laid up in Avebury St. James’ Church on Sunday June 8th 2003.
The recently retired and long serving Chairman Mr. Robert Cooper of East Farm, Winterbourne Monkton held the post for the last 46 years.
Robert Cooper retired from Avebury Club as Chairman after over 45 years of dedicated service to the club. At the AGM of Avebury Club a special presentation was made to Robert Cooper to mark his retirement after 46 years as Chairman. The gift from the members of a wildlife camera kit and a certificate of honorary life membership of the Club were awarded in front of a grateful and appreciative audience. Further awards of honorary life membership were also later given to Stan and Margaret Blake to mark their outstanding service. Margaret had been Steward for many years and Stan has been a member for 64 years.
The Club is owned by its members and run by an elected committee. All new members have to be proposed and seconded, all new members are welcomed.
The Club over the years has provided the place to be, whether it was VE Day, Coronation Day, Avebury Flower Shows, Boxing Days, the Millennium, all sorts of celebrations have taken place here, bringing people together to share their part in Avebury’s history.
Avebury Sports & Social Club regularly hosts Skittles & Darts League Games, and these are also part of the current entertainment along with live music, race nights, quizzes and bingo. Each year the Club holds a New Years Eve Disco which is very popular.
Avebury Club sits on the outside edge of the south west quadrant of the Henge on the side of the A4361. Not a beautiful building, it has to be acknowledged. It does not enjoy the approval of many – “consider the long-term relocation of Avebury Club house to a less sensitive location” – a quote from the Avebury World Heritage Site Management Plan (2000). Nevertheless the ‘Club’ has played a big part in the history and hearts of the local people.
Some of the club officers over the past years have included:
Mr. Butler, Farmer Beckhampton
Mr. Vernon Blake Avebury Trusloe
Mr. Jock Lawson Avebury
Mr. Alexander Keiller Avebury Manor
Mr Maurice Brown Avebury
Mr. Honey, Green Street, Avebury
Major General Heath Avebury
Revd. Robbins Avebury
Mr. H. Blagrave, Racehorse Trainer, Beckhampton
Capt. Vaughan Winterbourne Monkton
Mr. Bill Pearce Avebury
Mr Robert Cooper, Farmer Winterbourne Monkton