Regal Social Club

By David Merchant

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Regal Social Club' page

David Merchant

The Regal Social Club stood on the corner of Pound Lane and Nicholas Lane, with Dickens Drive just running down the side. This photo was taken early 50s, I am partly hidden behind the girl with her finger tips touching the floor, my twin brother is further along to the right holding a torch, we were born at the end of 1947, we could only have been 3 or 4 at the time of the photo. Our dad used to take us there sometimes  on a sunday lunchtime for a drink, and I remember a couple of children's Christmas parties there.

This page was added by David Merchant on 06/06/2011.
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I lived immediately opposite the Regal Club and remember it well, in particular the dance floor which was very springy. This is what probably disoriented my Dad and affected his ability to walk properly (a lot like dizziness) and therefore what led to Mum and myself having to help him out of the ditch on the opposite side of the road on many occasions! As already mentioned the Nuth family lived in one half of a pair of large semi's in St Nicholas Lane down the hill from St Nicholas church. In the other semi lived Pat Wall who sadly died at a very young age, don't remember which school she attended, but wonder if anyone remembers her ?

By Donald Joy
On 17/08/2015

John Bathurst  (11/07/2011), quoting from the Laindon and Pitsea Recorder of April 3rd 1936, tells us that the Regal Club was located in the former Laindon Theomonistic Church. This seldom encountered church appears to be heavily involved in a belief of symbols and spiritualism derived principally from the book of Revelation. What an unlikely church to find in an economically challenged rural Essex village.

This adds one more to the extraordinary number of churches, missions and chapels to be found in Laindon. From Bebingtons corner to the station alone (a distance of less than a mile) there must have been the better part of a dozen making perhaps the better part of a score in the entire area. What can possibly account for this large number of churches? I have no comparative statistics but it seems far greater than other Essex villages.

One wonders if some rite of desacralization needed to take place before the church could become a drinking spot! What happened to the Theomonistic flock? Where did they go? I also was taken to the Regal by my parents (which was anything but regal) to play on the grass hill opposite which at the time was open grassland up to St Nicholas Church. My principal memory is the bog at the rear of the Regal which was the most evil smelling I have ever encountered.

By Alan Davies
On 30/09/2014

I remember the club well as this was a big part of my young life.  The photo shows a girl hugging two boys and another girl between them.  The boys are twins David and John McNally in the arms of my older step-sister Maureen Starling, this makes me think the girl between must be June Starling, my younger step-sister (not the best shot of her).

Yes the club's beer-stained wooden floors will always be a fond memory, the music, bingo I'm thinking and the great club atmosphere, something a child never forgets along with the taxi ride home, alas always too early but always loved. Don was the driver, a big car with leather hand-stitched seats.

Now I've recalled this, my mind I know will bring back more happy nights at the Regal.

By David McNally
On 30/09/2014

Gloria (Sewell), unless there was an Alec Nuth Snr and a Jnr. I don't think Alec opened a bar in Spain as until recently he was a member of Orsett Colf Club.

By Georgina Nottage (nee Ellingford)
On 06/09/2013

David, as my parents also used the club and were friendly with Alec can you tell me if he opened a bar in Spain??

By Gloria Sewell
On 28/01/2012

My dad used to be a member of the Regal Club. He would occasionally take my mum and I with him. It was run by Bill Nuth, Alec being his son. 

They lived at the bottom of Chuch Hill. My dad, George Atkins, worked for Bills brother Pat Nuth.

By Pam Quarman nee Atkins
On 27/01/2012

Hi David, love the photo I believe my younger sister and I are on the photo. Our dad over the 40's and 50's played darts for the Regal Club and The Crown. I believe the girl seated on floor 4th from left to right, and I think I am in front of the boy at the right hand side who is standing next to a man. 

My dad was known as a very good dart player and won many medals, over the years. I'm afraid we were allowed to play with them consequently I now only have four in my possession, one being a Regal medal for 1948/49, they are silver and a good quality, shame we lost all the others.

By Ellen English née Burr
On 27/01/2012

Since I submitted this photo I have spoken to my older brother Donald, who was born in 1938, he confirms a little more information about the Regal which I omitted until I was sure of the facts. 

Our grandparents Ernest and Maggie Pickering ran the bar there for many years before their deaths. Donald tells me that he spent a lot of time there when he was young, and sometimes was put in the cellar when German planes were going across to London, it was considered safer there for him?? As he got a bit older he often helped out doing odd jobs, collecting glasses, wiping tables etc. 

Ernest died in 1947, six months before I was born. Maggie carried on with the bar with help from a Mr Nuth, I believe it could have been an Alec Nuth? Maggie died in 1952. I have a vague recollection of her being looked after by my mother for her final months at our home in Noak Hill Road. 

Ernest and Maggie had lived in a house at the top of Church Hill near St Nicholas and they are both buried at St Nicholas.

By David Merchant
On 14/08/2011

The “Laindon and Pitsea Recorder” (price one penny) of 3rd April 1936 revealed that a “New Club” was to open the following day (Saturday 4th April) and provides us with the following information: “The new Regal Social Club opens at “Rosedale”, Pound Lane, formerly the Laindon Theomonistic Church, tomorrow (Saturday). Mr. G. H. Madeley, formerly of Laindon has been asked to officiate.“ For the past two weeks the hall has been in the hands of decorators and a transformation has taken place. A bar has been erected, furniture and games installed and an effective lighting scheme introduced. “About 150 invitations have been issued for a concert and social which is being held as the opening event tomorrow. A London company will give a variety performance. “The new club is fully licensed and being supplied by Messrs. Mann Crossman and Paulin. The secretary and manager is Mr. P.A.Dyson of Wash Road and Mrs. Stanley of Queen’s Road is stewardess. The general committee has been elected as follows: Messrs. G. Jenkins (chairman), H.J.Ragan, O.M. Stanley, J.Parker, Worth, N.D. Coleman, J. Gibbons and J.J. Chater. A wine committee has also been elected, to consist of Messrs J.Parker (chairman), G Jenkins and O.M. Stanley. “The subscription is 2s 6d a year.”

By John Bathurst
On 11/07/2011
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