History of The Nottingham Branch

Although the Lighthouse Club was founded in 1956 by Mr. Eddie Ward, it was not until June 1965 that the Nottingham Branch came into being. This came about by a chance meeting of Mr. Keith Mitchell and Mr. Trevor Caunt, a member of the National Council in London.

An Inaugural Meeting was called at the Five Ways Hotel in Sherwood on the 28th June 1965 and it was at this meeting that the Branch was formed. Mr. Albert Trigg became its Founder Chairman with Mr. Frank Clarke as Vice-Chairman. Mr. Keith Mitchell, Hon. Social Secretary, plus approximately 20 people attended this meeting. It is not known exactly who was present, but from memory those attending included:- Messrs. E. C. Whalebone, A. McDonald-Miller, G. E. Broadberry, G. Gadsby, R Clay, P. A. Nott, S. W. Christopher.

Mr. Keith Mitchell as Hon. Secretary became the driving force in the newly formed Nottingham Branch and membership increased rapidly, recruiting from Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire. Functions were held in such good hostelries as The Three Horseshoes, Ripley – The Green Dragon, Oxton – The Boat at Stoneyford – Chesterfield Arms, Bingham and not forgetting the barbecues held at Mr. John Fitzherbert’s house in Barkestone-le-Vale, Notts. This latter venue was eventually, but reluctantly, stopped because of the new drink-drive laws – it was a great money spinner quite apart from being a most enjoyable evening.

The second A.G.M held on the 20th February 1967 saw a new Chairman elected, Mr E. C. Whalebone with Mr. A. McDonald-Miller taking over as Vice Chairman, the rest of the Committee being unchanged.

The first Branch Annual Dinner was held on Friday the 26th April 1968 at the George Hotel, Nottingham. Mr. Ted Whalebone was in the Chair and about 142 members and friends attended, at a cost of £2.10.0d each. The chief guest was Mr. A. T. B. (Sandy) Shand, as the President of the club, Col. A. C. Newman, V.C. was unavailable. Mr. Shand proposed the toast to the Club and Mr. Eddie Ward responded. Mr. Congdon proposed the toast to the Guests and Lt. Col. B. D. Shaw responded. The comedian was Mr. Leslie Adams. The profit from this first dinner was £63.13.4d and the collection during dinner raised £120. After three Annual Dinners at the George Hotel, due to demand for tickets, we had to move to the Albany Hotel.

In December 1971 the Branch launched its Christmas Luncheon with the now traditional Steak and Kidney Pudding fare. This was held at the Garage Hotel but the venue had to be changed to the Albany, again due to the very high demand for tickets, 300 to 400 in the early days, requiring a larger room. Last year was our 21st Christmas Luncheon. There is no doubt at all that this is out main money raising function of the year. It is interesting to note that one year we changed the menu to Roast Beef and we had a riot on our hands, thus the following year saw a return to the traditional fare.

Mr. Albert Trigg again took over as Branch Chairman at the A.G.M in 1974 and completed 14 years unbroken service to the Branch as Chairman. “Anno Domini” eventually caught up with him and after a very colourful and energetic stint in the Chair, he bowed out in 1988, but not before being made a life member of the Nottingham Branch, a reward he so richly deserved.

Mr R. A Wallington took over and remained as Chairman for three years and he in turn handed over to Mr R. E. Airey, in February 1991. Mr Wallington had served the Branch as Hon. Treasurer for several years.

Many other members have served on this Branch Committee, some for many years. Mr. A. E. Blanchard who took over from Mr. Keith Mitchell as Hon. Secretary and became Vice-Chairman. Mr. P. A Nott who was Vice-Chairman to Mr. Albert Trigg for 14 years – Mr. B. G Burke, Hon. Social Secretary and now Hon. Secretary – Mr. Terry Payne, Hon. Social Secretary and now hon. Treasurer. Other regular members of the Committee are Mr. S. Dilks, Hon. Benevolent Officer – Mr. H. Bradford, Hon. Golf Secretary – Mr. W. Wheeler, Mr. V. Clough and last, but not least, Mr. F. G. Clarke.

The very fine model of the Lighthouse you see flashing on the top table is of the St. Mary’s Lighthouse, Whitley Bay and was commissioned and presented to the Branch by Mr. Keith Mitchell. This model, greatly admired by the many members of National Council visiting our functions from time to time, was built by Mr. L. A. Smith, works joiner for Mitchells of Nottingham.

Unfortunately the Lighthouse was lost and Mr. Peter Greaves  commissioned a fine new model in 2009
which now graces the top table. The Club goes from strength to strength and we would like to thank the many Companies, Directors,Managers and Representatives who continue to make it a successful and Viable Branch

The Branch has collected and given away many thousands of pounds to the Benevolent Fund and we thank everyone for their generosity and hope that long may it continue.

The Branch has given many thousands of pounds to the Benevolent Fund and we thank everyone for their generosity and hope long may it continue.

Past Chairmen

1965-67 A.A.Trigg Esq
1967-74 E.C.Whalebone Esq
1974-88 A.A.Trigg Esq
1988-91 R.A.Wallington Esq
1991-93 R.E.Airey Esq
1994-97 M.Clarke Esq
1997-07 C.Balls Esq
2007-09 A Bow Esq
2009- E.A.Pollard Esq