Recreation Club – Jim Spain

When the last Triumph car left the assembly line at Coventry’s Canley plant the last workers were redeployed to other factories in the group.

The absence of production workers at Canley placed a big question mark over the future of the firm’s social club in Tile Hill Lane, a facility that had served the needs of the workforce for some 50 years.

Fortunately, through the persistence of a dedicated few, the Standard Triumph Recreation Club, survived.

Jim Spain, joined Standard in 1955 and became associated with the club in 1970.

He said: “Arlington Properties, who also own the business park, granted us a 25-year lease for a peppercorn rent.”

“Staff at Gaydon, Longbridge and Solihull still have their 35p social club sub stopped out of their wages and the committee here get a cheque each month from Rover.

“At the time Canley closed as a manufacturing unit we had five full- time staff, but then couldn’t afford to pay them with Standard no longer covering much of the running cost. But we turned it round with people like Dot Lloyd taking responsibility for running the office side of the club.

“The building was opened in July 1932 by the Duke of Gloucester, and for many years it was a social club at night with dances, concerts and meetings.

“It served as a staff canteen during the day with a big tarpaulin protecting the ballroom floor.” 

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