A social club at the centre of life in a former colliery community in County Durham is celebrating a national accolade in its centenary year.

Tanfield Lea Working Men's and Community Club has been named as the Club Journal publication’s Club of the Month for September.

It is not only testimony to the role played by the club in the community, near Stanley, but it puts it in the running for the prestigious CIU Club of the Year title, to be revealed at the annual Club Mirror Awards, staged in Leicester, in November.

The Northern Echo: Tanfield Lea Working Mens and Community Club (Club Journal 'Club of the Month' for Sep '23)

A regular winner of awards promoted by the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), the club also features regularly in the beer drinkers’ ‘bible’, the Good Beer Guide, because of its provision of a range of hand-pulled ales and staged its own annual Beer Festival just last weekend.

Read more: Map reveals locations of defibrillators in the North East and North Yorkshire

Club stewardess, Kay Drummond, described the cask ale provision as, “a real labour of love”, but also a “driver of trade” at the club.

The latest Club Journal honour pays tribute to its all-round role played in community life in the former pit village.

It is home to the new Tanfield Lea Miners’ Association Banner, having been at the forefront of a campaign to raise £15,000 to replace the old standard, which had seen better days.

Read more: Campaign for Tanfield Lea miners’ banner

The new banner takes pride of place in the club’s concert room and is carried by villagers in the parade at the annual Durham Miners’ Gala, in July.

Club secretary John Robson said: “A lot of the younger people are now getting involved and feel really proud of taking part in the event and keeping that part of our local tradition alive.

“This year, as well as being the club’s centenary, is also the 60th anniversary of Tanfield Lea pit closing, and, to mark that occasion, we held our own ‘mini Gala’ through the village with a band and parade, and a free day for kids in the club’s garden.”

Mr Robson said the club is now in discussions to make it an annual event on the same date each year and to involve local schools as well as the wider community.

“We already really encourage local groups and charities to use the club as a focal point and meeting place, and to use our grounds to put on events and fundraisers.”

Mr Robson said a community defibrillator has also been installed on an external wall at the premises.

Such is the club’s role in village life that the slight change, to add “Community Club” to its title, was made as part of centenary celebrations this year.

It was highlighted with a two-day outdoor event, dubbed ‘TanFest’, over the late May Bank Holiday weekend, which saw a number of bands performing live on a makeshift stage, plus a children’s inflatable fun park laid out on the club's expansive lawn.

Commemorative glasses and pin badges were also designed and produced to mark the centenary, while CIU national president, George Smith, visited to present a centenary certificate.

Next up at the club is an ‘Audience With’ football chat event featuring former Newcastle United players John Beresford and Steve Watson, on Friday (September 21), of great appeal, no doubt, to Magpie-supporting members.

Read next:

Read more news, sport and entertainment stories from The Northern Echo for just £1 for one month, by clicking here

Doors open at 6.30pm, with tickets available from the club bar priced at £15.

There is also bingo each Sunday and Tuesday, while Wednesday is quiz night.

The club can be found in West Street, Tanfield Lea, with further event details available via its Facebook page, or by ringing (01207) 238783.