Celebrations for the 50th anniversary of St Patrick’s Irish Club in Leamington will be complemented by a special exhibition at the Pump Room gallery this autumn.
From There to Here: 50 Years of St Patrick’s Irish Club opens on Saturday October 19 and will include photographs tracing the development of the club since it was established in 1963, including its redevelopment in 1993-4 and the flood in 1998, as well as photographs by Brendan Farrell of the 32 Irish counties and a collection of Irish musical instruments.
The idea for the club came from the Leamington Literary Society and the money needed to fund it was raised by the town’s Irish community. St Patrick’s Irish Club - affectionately known as the ‘Hoot’ - provided a place for them to come together and preserve their shared heritage and culture.
Due to the popularity of the club among both Irish and non-Irish people of Leamington, it eventually outgrew its premises at the old fire station and the new club at Adelaide Road was officially re-opened on April 16, 1994.
But just four years later the River Leam flooded, causing damage to the ground floor and cellars.
Members raised money and repaired the building - and in 2003 St Patrick’s Irish Club celebrated its 40th anniversary.
The exhibition, which will take place throughout the museum, will run until November 17. Entry is free.