Alan’s amazing 40-year service at Miners’ Club

Alan Kennedy with his bottle of Benedictine 1868 Gold Medal Limited Edition to mark his 40 years of service at Burnley Miners Club.
Alan Kennedy with his bottle of Benedictine 1868 Gold Medal Limited Edition to mark his 40 years of service at Burnley Miners Club.

Alan Kennedy has been at the Burnley Miners’ Working Men’s Club for so long that he is pretty much part of the furniture now.

From pouring pints to selling tickets, there isn’t a job that the 71-year-old hasn’t done at the club in the last 40 years.

I’ve cut my hours back recently because as I’ve got older I’ve slowed down a little, but I still feel I’ve got a lot to offer the club

Alan Kennedy

And although he has cut his hours back over the last few years he has no intention of calling time on his role at the club just yet.

“I’m still enjoying the job,” said Alan. “The role keeps me active.

“I’ve cut my hours back recently because as I’ve got older I’ve slowed down a little, but I still feel I’ve got a lot to offer the club.”

Alan, who is Burnley born and bred, became a member at the club in 1968 and became vice-president in the early 70s.

He did briefly leave his role on the committee before making the decision to rejoin in 1974.

“After I rejoined the committee the secretary at the time fell ill,” added Alan.

“At the time my full time job was a clerical role at the tax office, so they asked me to take over temporarily.

“But I’ve just ended up doing the job ever since.”

Although he likes to remain quite modest it’s fair to say that Alan has done a lot for the club during his time there.

Since taking over he has overseen two big expansions in 1989 and 1994, which saw the club buy several shops on Plumbe Street before building what is now known as the Benedictine Lounge and the function room.

At this point the club had a turnover of more than £1m. per year, so it was becoming clear that Alan could no longer continue in a part-time role, so he took early retirement from the tax office in 1994 to become full-time secretary.

“I was quite lucky,” said Alan. “At the time this place was becoming really busy the tax office was looking for volunteers for early retirement so I put my name forward.

“It was an easy decision because I’ve always enjoyed it here and always been made to feel at home here.”

Although the working men’s club scene isn’t as popular as it once was, Alan is confident that the club will be in a good position for years to come.

“The club is self-contained and debt free.

“I’m proud of that fact in the current climate, especially as we’ve seen so many good clubs fall over the years.

“It’s certainly a high point of my time here.

“It is, however, a constant battle to keep punters coming in through the door, but we’ve just got to make sure we keep on top of current trends now and in the future.”

As for now, Alan plans to celebrate with a bottle of Benedictine 1868 Gold Medal Limited Edition – the tipple the club is famous for –before getting back to running the club.