The inaugural meeting of the club on 28th June 1961

The Over 60's Club was a social organisation for the pensioners of Weatherfield that was formed by Albert Tatlock and Michael Courtenay in June 1961. Leonard Swindley was an enthusiastic supporter of the idea and offered the group of the facilities of the Glad Tidings Mission Hall. Albert offered her services as secretary and Michael that of treasurer at a preliminary meeting and those positions were confirmed at an inaugural meeting that took place on 28th June.

Albert tried to get as many people as possible in the area to sign up, though Nancy Leathers was initially shy of doing so and needed some persuasion. Jack Walker refused on the understandable basis that he had enough to do already as landlord of the Rovers Return Inn, though he and Annie promised all the other support they could give. Annie felt that Albert ought to come up with a proper title for the club, telling him there was a lot in a name, but in the event it was always known as the "over 60's" and never as anything else.

At the inaugural meeting, ideas were canvassed as to what the club ought to do and Minnie Caldwell suggested a musical evening, prompting Swindley to tell the group that a piano had been donated by the Bottle Lane Congregational Youth Club who had now moved into modern times with a jukebox. Ena Sharples was the only one who could play the instrument but, contrary as ever, she refused in a fit of spite to have anything to do with the club, despite always bemoaning the lot of pensioners to anyone who would listen. She was eventually tempted by the thought of the new instrument to have a go and became, more or less, an enthusiastic member of the club from then onwards.

The first event that they held was a jumble sale to raise funds which took place in the mission hall in August 1961. Albert and Michael went around the area to collect items and Jack and Annie, keeping to their promise, readily agreed to store them in the Rovers. A hitch occurred when they went on holiday to Torquay and troublesome relief manager Vincent Plummer countermanded their orders and refused to take in the items. Rebellious barmaid Concepta Riley sneaked them in and stored them in the yard shed. The sale was a big success with Ena and Michael manning the refreshments stall, Emily Nugent the book stall, and Minnie and Martha Longhurst on the clothes stall. A raffle was held and this only resulted in Elsie Tanner winning back an old fur coat she had donated in the first place!

With suitable funds, a first trip could be organised and it was decided that that should be to see the annual Blackpool illuminations. Unfortunately, the take-up was small as the date clashed with a Rovers' trip to Morecambe and only twelve tickets were sold. Emily and Albert suggested they merge the two trips and Ena was agreeable - so long as Blackpool was the destination. This took place but Ena missed the coach back and ended up having to return to Weatherfield in a potato lorry, arriving back in the foulest of tempers.

The next big event was a variety concert for the over-60s which took place in the mission in March 1962. This proved an outright disaster, due in no small part to being organised by Dennis Tanner. He oversold the number of tickets with generous allocations being given to the pensioners themselves as well as Jack to sell in the Rovers and Christine Hardman to do the same with the employees of Elliston's Raincoat Factory. In the end, only two sealions Bunny and Sherry, and a girl group of dancers, The Blue Streak Rockets, turned up and Dennis had to announce the concert was cancelled, leading to him being pelted by the angry audience.

The pensioners enjoy a bingo and dance social paid for by the funds raised by the success of Lady Lawson Loses

In December 1962, Lady Lawson Loses, a melodrama, was staged at the mission hall and the players voted to donate the profits of the enterprise to the club. Albert decided to use these to buy prizes for a raffle evening which was held in March 1963. Jed Stone agreed to be the caller and a dance was held afterwards in which the fifty-odd participants happily joined in.

Two months later, a desperate Dennis asked Minnie and Martha to get their friends from the club to attend a talent show at the Pelican Club at which one of his acts which he managed through Dennis Tanner Enterprises would be appearing. Remembering the fiasco from the year before, Martha refused to corral them together.

A bazaar was held for the club on 12th July 1964 but thereafter it drifted into obscurity until Ruth Winter was appointed as a community social worker in May 1966 and decided to revitalise the enterprise. She encountered some opposition as the pensioners felt that she was being condescending towards them and treating them like children. Only one old lady turned up at a social event she organised when Ena and Wally Tanner organised a boycott by their friends.

In April 1973, Minnie recognised out-going Lady Mayoress Ethel Bostock as a former member of the club and the two reminisced about their former times socialising together.

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