Update 05 May 2015: Reports of demise were premature with the Ferndale WMC thriving as a regular music venue. Well done, you lot!
Update 24 March 2013: R.I.P. http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/10309227.Ferndale_Working_Men’s_Club_doomed_to_closure/
Update 01 August 2012: The Ferndale Club appears to be in financial trouble…but as we are looking to move house soon, the house they plan to rent out really grabs my attention: http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/local/9847862.A_third_club_in_closure_threat/
At the Ferndale Working Men’s Club I asked, “how do you become a member?” and was informed that it required me to put my name and address on a piece of paper and put it in an envelope with £8. Fantastic…in Bicester it was dead-men’s boots (you essentially had to inherit a place from a relative or other benefactor). In Swindon, though, you can just about throw a bottle from the door of one WMC and hit another one so I reckon the membership committees are a little less picky.
It seemed a nice crowd inside and the building interior was less spartan than the exterior might lead one to believe. I have already spotted a pigeon club and would reckon there are plenty of other participatory activities (besides the drinking, at a slightly subsidized price). The American Legion, the Carpenters’ Union Hall in Atlanta and the Dundee Mills Employee facilities (lake and clubhouse)–none of which I am a member of anymore–and the Oxford University Club are the only other organisations I’ve ever been a civilian member of that have a fixed building or buildings for the members to congregate. I am so pleased.