“I can do things here that I can’t do in my own life”: The Making of a Civic Archive at the Salford Lads Club
AbstractOccupying purpose built Edwardian premises, Salford Lads Club (SLC) in Ordsall, Greater Manchester has served more than 20,000 young members since its establishment. Founded in 1903 by brothers William and James Groves, owners of the nearby Groves and Whitnall Brewery, the club quickly became established within a movement of similar lads clubs (Russell 1905), which offered opportunities to local working class children growing up in the densely populated neighbourhoods surrounding the Manchester Ship Canal, which opened in the 1890s (Davies and Fielding 1992).
 Lads’ or Boys’ clubs were predominantly located in the industrial towns and cities of northern England, though Russell (1905) notes a cluster of Jewish Lads’ Clubs in east London at the time of his audit (see also Russell and Rigby 1908). There were also a number of Girls’ Clubs with similar origins and intentions, though these were separate entities. The Salford Lads’ Club became open to boys and girls in 1994, using the same building but primarily running on different club nights. The nearby Salford Girls’ Club, including its own collection of records, was irreparably damaged by an incendiary bomb in 1941 and never reopened.
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