Friday, August 5 2022

The pressure to have a good time on New Year’s Eve is a little too intense for some, so many people choose to go out and celebrate New Year’s Day instead.

December 31st is a bit like a lover’s night out – people who don’t usually go out for a drink let loose, which often means queues at the bar and usually very busy venues.

So some opt for a few drinks and a takeaway on New Year’s Eve, possibly outside Jools Holland’s Hootenanny, opting to go out for a drink on New Year’s Day instead.

Read more: Covid rates latest for Coventry and Warwickshire after record Christmas cases

Social and work men’s clubs often take advantage of one of the busiest days of the year on January 1, and after hospitality venues were closed throughout last Christmas, this year will be a good one. for clubs to try and recoup some lost revenue – provided more restrictions don’t come into place in the meantime.

So if you’re looking for things to do on a New Year’s Day, when hobbyists nurse their only hangover of the year, look no further.

Many Coventry social clubs sprung up in the 1950s and 1960s in response to the rapid increase in Coventry’s workforce through the city’s industry.

As workers from all over the British and Commonwealth Isles come to work in Coventry, the city has grown, houses have been built, the population has grown and with it a need for things to do during downtime .

So many Coventry clubs were started by working people who wanted a place to go with families without breaking the bank – and with that certain traditions.

Willenhall Social Club

The Willenhall Social Club is one such place, and it was started by Scottish and Irish migrants who came to work in Coventry. One tradition bought from Willenhall by the Scots, in particular, was the love of a drink on New Year’s Day.

In Scotland, we observe the Hogmanay, the end-of-year celebration with festivities, songs and dances… and drinking.

It’s so ingrained in Scottish culture, the second day of January is also a bank holiday which allows the Scots an extra day to recuperate – this tradition of drinking on New Year’s Day came to Coventry with the Scots, and the Willenhall Club is well known throughout the city for its January 1st celebrations.

The community spirit of the club, and the area in general, was so strong that for decades club members were allowed to bring their own spirit to the club on New Years Day to allow everyone to come together and socialize.

Eventually people started taking advantage of it and the lines of what you were allowed to take were blurred.

After being allowed a bottle of spirits, people started showing up with cans of beer or cider, sometimes near the till, and the rule was eventually scrapped several years ago.

This year, the club, on Robin Hood Road, opens from 11:30 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m. You will need to be a member or have tickets to enter on the day – for more information visit the club’s Facebook page.

Walsgrave Working Men's Club
Walsgrave Working Men’s Club

But what else is on offer on New Year’s Day at Cov?

Sticking with the Scottish theme, if you really want a taste of Hogmanay, the Walsgrave Working Men’s Club on Narberth Way offers bagpipes on New Year’s Day. The club opens at 11am and will also have a disco.

Meanwhile, the Radford Social Club hosts bingo and a singer. Mark James will take the stage around 8:30 p.m. It can get busy due to bingo, and attendees are advised to arrive around 7:00-7:30 p.m. No ticket is required, although this is for members and associates only.

The Parkstone Working Men’s Club on Foleshill Road is open as usual, but due to Coventry City’s home game against Luton Town it is likely to be busy, so get there early!

The Bird in Hand on Aldermans Green Road is once again hosting its annual Hair of the Dog nightclub, for those feeling a bit squeamish. Expect great music and karaoke from the locals.

The Wyken Working Men’s Club on Ansty Road has something for everyone – a family nightclub on New Year’s Day. Doors open at 12 p.m. and the nightclub operates from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., coinciding with the last orders. There will also be bingo starting at 1 p.m.

The Greyhound Inn at Sutton Stop will welcome guests for a dog hair breakfast, complete with Bloody Mary, from 11am. New Year’s Day is always a good vibe at Greyhound, with a few regulars using the day to celebrate their birthdays, resulting in caroling and general merriment.

Happy new year!

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