Middlesbrough social club proudly celebrates 125th anniversary - making it among oldest in country

The Dorman's is celebrating 125 years
-Credit: (Image: Teesside Live)


One of the oldest clubs in the country and one of the oldest businesses in Middlesbrough is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.

The Dorman's Club, or to give it its full name the Dorman Long United and Athletic club, was established at its site in Oxford Road in 1899 for the benefit of employees of the Dorman Long Iron and Steel Industries. A copy of the original deed of covenant is proudly displayed in the club.

It was left in trust by the third daughter of famed Teesside industrialist Arthur Dorman, and if the land is ever sold the deed of covenant states, the proceeds must go to named local charities.

The club is organising a number of events throughout the year, including family fun days, charity events, field festivals, sports events and plenty of other big shows as part of the celebrations.

And, on the anniversary, Monday, July 22, Middlesbrough Mayor Chris Cooke will unveil a commemorative plaque at a special event, bringing together members of the community and featuring bands including local singer-songwriter Jamie Tinkler.

Gordon Rowntree, secretary of the Dorman's Club said: "While the club was born out of the industrial steelworks on behalf of and for the benefit of its workers, and for many years provided them with sport and entertainment, the demise of the workingmen's/social clubs has meant we have had to adapt in order to survive this many years by becoming more community based and family orientated.

"The club's function and concert rooms are available free of charge, along with personnel to run raffles, prize draws, bingo etc, to any local charities and non-profit organisations for fund raising. The rooms are given for free, and we generally also donate £200 to the charity. Our Country & Western nights run by two of our longstanding members have raised over £300,000 for Holistic Cancer Care since they started around 27 years ago."

He said over the years the club has helped raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for other charities and good causes, and it supports adults with learning difficulties and the elderly, and sport is also a big part its fabric.

Gordon said: "We believe our strength and the reason for our longevity is that we are at the heart of the community along with having a passionate and committed team of staff and volunteers."

Tracey Dee the club's steward said: "I came here three years ago, and the club is a loving friendly massive family place. While we continue to provide the best entertainment possible, we have to remember that these days a club is more than just entertainment and we have adapted in numerous ways."

She said the club offers function rooms for special occasions and runs classed including zumba, yoga and line dancing.

Tracey added: "I work with the best team, and we are one big family here at the Dorman's. Roll on our 150th anniversary celebrations because the club is only going to get better and better."

You can find more about the Dorman's club history and events at the website www.dormansclub.co.uk.