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Madrassa plan for historic former Keighley club
9:00am Thursday 19th December 2013 in Keighley
The historic Pop & Pasty social club in Keighley – opened in 1908 as a teetotal meeting place for political activists – might soon become an Islamic education centre.
An application to transform the upstairs area of the defunct North East Ward Liberal Club into a madrassa have just been received by Bradford planners.
Keighley-based agents AA Plan-ning Services submitted the bid, which includes creating a three-bedroom dwelling on the upper floor in Bradford Road, opposite Victoria Park.
A spokesman for AA Planning Services said: “The aim is to create a centre for a range of educational activities.”
Originally built as two terraced houses, the Pop & Pasty has no off-road parking, according to the application form. However that did not prevent it being a bustling social club when in its prime.
But dwindling numbers meant it was run at a loss until hosting its final act in March last year.
At the time, club spokesman Marjorie Atkinson described the closure as “the end of an era”.
The North East Ward Liberal Club opened in 1908 as a purely political club, gaining its nickname from the strictly non-alcoholic refreshments on offer.
It gained a drinks licence in 1932, and became independent in 1948, even though it retained its Liberal title.
Originally in the upstairs room of one terraced house, the club opened a bar downstairs in 1964, then seven years later extended into the next-door house.
In 1981, the club was still so popular it put in expansion plans to Bradford Council to take over an adjoining house. But that scheme was turned down following objections from neighbours.
After being closed for a year, local pub landlord Mickey Thompson was employed to clear out decades of memorabilia. It was full of club paraphernalia, including a framed Second World War roll of honour.
Mr Thompson said many of the treasures, including the roll of honour, had been re-homed at other social clubs in the town.
The gutted Pop & Pasty was then sold to its current owners.