Belgrave & District Working Men's Club and Institute
Like so many other Clubs of the early 20th century, Belgrave and District WMC in Checkett’s Road, Leicester would have had a membership numbering several thousand.
Founded in 1894 it had a wonderful array of facilities. It had a lounge, sports bar, concert room and even an Ambulance Room. This latter was fully kitted out for massage and heat treatment, emergency oxygen, chiropodist and all was free to members. The benefits of membership were obvious in the days when entertainment and medical provision was more restricted.
These two Rolls of Honour are real works of art, especially commissioned from a professional artist. They have both maintained their vivid colouring.
The club closed in the late 1990s and was became The Jungle Club, famous for its two huge replica elephant tusks on each side of the front door. Fortunately the Rolls of Honour were taken down from the walls to allow for the more exotic decoration suitable to new use and were stored under the stage. There they remained for about 20 years.
Thanks to the perseverance of Chris Stephens and the generosity of the owner of the club, they came into our care in 2018 when we had them re-mounted in their original frames and glazed.
World War I
This Roll of Honour with a total 508 names including 339 who died, has the flags of all the allies and unusually has a centre column headed – MEDALLISTS giving the names of the club members who had won bravery awards. Incidentally we also have a page from the Leicester Mercury with their photographs.
This beautiful work, well worth examining in detail was painted by a J.S.H.Bates of Leicester.
World War II
An equally impressive piece but in a very different style. This one was painted by a Victor Shaw who describes himself on the board as an Art Craftsman and even gives his address and Sheffield telephone number!
This Roll of Honour has a total of 393 names with 18 who died.
The wonderful thing about these two fine Rolls of Honour is that they radiate the pride of club members who will have paid for them out of their own pockets at a time when life was very tough.