A Short History of the Club
The buildings which house the club were used as a workhouse from 1737. Prior to that it was a private house. We know the front bar by the front door dates from the late 17th Century (maybe older!) However, the back bar and much of the hall are 18th century additions, with further extensions built in the late 20th century.
A parliamentary report of 1777 recorded "Kelvedon’s parish workhouse was housed at the north side of the High Street. It had a potential of housing 30 inmates".
In 1837 the master of the workhouse Thomas Arnold then turned it in to The Victorian Inn. The Cranmer family then took over the occupancy of the building in 1870 and it remained in the same family until Walter Eary took over in 1898 and ran the pub until 1925.
There were five cottages which for much of their existence were recorded as Workhouse Yard Cottages. During the 1881 census it is recorded that 16 people lived in these cottages and eight in the pub. The five cottages were converted into part of the main structure when the local council condemned them as 'not fit to live in'.
There is further information at the bottom of the page on the occupants from 1834 - 1925.
Kelvedon Labour Club was established in 1927.
Miss Helen Corke was a local teacher (headmistress), poet and writer and was a friend of D.H. Lawrence. She thought it might be an opportune time to secure the pub. Helen Corke gathered together a few Kelvedon residents and, with the help of a local businessman Valentine Crittall, purchased the property for £850.
Below is the timeline of occupants from 1870 to 1925:
1870-1881 - William Cranmer (Innkeeper)
1881 - Mary Ann Finch and family
1882 - William Cranmer
1894-5 - William Edward Bucke
1897-1925 - Walter Eary
1927 - Established as Kelvedon Labour Club