Washington County Durham


Memories of Usworth Working Men's Club

The Top Club

The Original Usworth Working Men's Club

The Old Top Club

'The Top Club',  Elliot Terrace  -  Usworth Station Road  -  The Stile Inn,  Woodland Terrace

The Old Top Club 1955

'The Top Club' in 1955  -  Stile Inn, opposite.

The Old Top Club & Stile Inn

Industrial Rd (right) leads to the 'Usworth Station Rd bypass' i.e. the new road from Blue House Lane to Usworth Railway Station.

Usworth 'New' Top Club Committee

Usworth Top Club Committee (Sulgrave)



Back Row:  Bob Pitt (Steward),   Steve Nesbitt,   Bob Thirlaway,   Jack Pearson,   Joe Marshall,   Charlie Quinn,
Not Identified,   Jack Lowden,   Alex McDougal,   Henry Bannister,   Harry Skillcorn

Front Row:  Harry Lamb,   Terry Shannon,   Dennis Sweeney,   Jim Nesbitt,   Jim Carruthers

New Club Press Cutting

A Washington Newspaper Cutting - 1968

The New Club

The 'new' Usworth Top Club on Manor Road, opposite St. Michael's Church.

Usworth Top Club - Long Service Certificates

Long Service Presentations


Usworth Top Club Domino Champions

Usworth Top Club Domino Champions - 1953

[ Usworth Colliery Welfare Football Field.   Note the Brickyard Chimney in the background. ]

Usworth Top Club - Billiards Champions

Brian Simpson
Brian Simpson, aged 22, with the 1955 Trophy

Winners of the


Brian Simpson
... won the competition for Usworth Working Men's Club in 1955 by beating Walter Smith of Kingston-on-Thames in the final.  The score was 882 - 651.  Brian was also runner-up on two occasions, in 1960 & 1965, while playing for Ashington Excelsior and Blaydon & District, respectively.  He worked for NCB / British Coal and held the senior management post of Unit Surveyor at Easington Colliery.

Alf Nolan (1927 - 2014 )
... was the first man to bring the National Club & Institutes Union Billiards title back to Usworth Top Club.  He won it in 1953, beating Reg C. Wright of Hinckley Regent by 1,000 - 559.  Reg turned the tables in the 1954 final beating Alf by a score of 784 - 650.

After Brian's victory in 1955, Alf retained the title for Usworth Top Club in the following year's competion.  Once again, the other finalist was Reg C. Wright.  Alf took that 1956 trophy with a 872 - 788 victory.

Alf Nolan later represented Blaydon & District Club and was runner-up in the 1966 and 1972 competitions.  He brought Blaydon two championships in 1962 & 1963 followed by a hat-trick of victories in 1967, 1968 & 1969.  His final victory for Blaydon came in 1971.  Alf went on to play for Western Social Club and was runner up for them in 1983, 1985 & 1991.  He gave Western Social a championship victory in 1989.  Alf was the Individual National CIU Billiards Champion 9 times.

Alf Nolan was also English Amateur Billiards Champion in 1964 and was the first ever President of the English Amateur Billiards Association.

Usworth Top Club Billiards & Snooker Team - 1955/56

Usworth Top Club Billiards & Snooker Team - 1955/56


Usworth Top Club - The Blue Room

Usworth Top Club - The Blue Room

The Blue Room was first on the right after entering The Club.

Members of the local football fraternity will recall that this room was often used to host celebrations following league / cup success.

[ Photographer: G. Eaton of 17 Western Terrace, Washington, County Durham.   Thanks to Ray Middleton for supplying this picture. ]

The Top Club Staff - 1953

The Top Club Staff - 1953

[ Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was crowned on 2nd June 1953. ]

George Gibson's Club Cards
(1913 - 1918)

The Demolition of Usworth Working Men's Club - 1970

Demolition of Top Club

The short minor road down the left side of the 'Top Club' led to Olds' Shop, about one hundred yards away.
From the Shop a footpath led to Usworth Welfare Park, Manor Road, Usworth Miners' Hall and Usworth Colliery School.

[Posted courtesy of Beamish Museum Resource Centre.  Thanks Julian.]

The 'Top Club' - Gone!

Site of Old Top Club

The van is leaving the 'new Industrial Road' linked to the 'Station Road Bypass'.
Stile Inn on the left.  -  Front Street straight ahead.


1.  On my 18th Birthday, back in 1965, my Dad presented me with a small black wallet - my membership documents for The Top Club.  Wow!
2.  Along with life long friend, Tom Thirlaway, I regularly attended The Top Club’s Group Night - live Pop/Rock Music.  I remember it was held on
     Thursday nights, upstairs in a large room looking out across Station Road to The Stile Inn.  I don’t know any details about them but we were fans
     of a Rock Group who performed there on a regular basis ... Gin House.
3.  In that same ‘Concert Room’ Tom and I were there to see a Comedy Act end in a near riot.  The tall ‘butch looking’ female comedienne was very
     funny and drank several pints of beer during her act, nipping into the Ladies Loo on several occasions.  When her act finished to great applause,
     she removed her wig and some items of clothing  ...  She was a He!  A man in the audience stood up and shouted something along the lines of,
     “You’ve been in that toilet when my wife was in!”.  This was followed by much shouting and bawling.  What a lovely end to our musical evening.

[ Jim ]