LEA HALL MINERS WELFARE CENTRE & SOCIAL CLUB
In 1935 the mine owner of Brereton Colliery, Mr. Cadman, handed over the grounds in Sandy Lane, which are 8.75 acres, to the coal miners of Brereton Colliery.
Brereton Colliery was a small coalmine on the fringe of Rugeley. It was one of a hundred coalmines in the Cannock Chase Area owned privately prior to nationalisation. The Pavilion was built in 1951 and used for club activities.
When Brereton Colliery closed in 1960 the grounds were passed on to the miners of Lea Hall Colliery.
Lea Hall Colliery was the first colliery to be built after nationalisation. It was sunk in 1954 and full production began in 1960.
Output at the colliery commenced in 1960 and each year after, 1 million tonnes plus of coal was mined. Approximately 80% of the output went direct by conveyor belt to the adjacent Rugeley Power Station.
At its peak 2,500 men were employed at the colliery, with some being bused in from 30 miles or more from areas where their local collieries had closed. The manpower was drawn from all over the country, but mainly Scotland and the Northeast.
Housing was needed for the miners and their families and as a result two housing estates were built, The Pear Tree Estate and The Springfield Estate
There was also a need for recreational facilities locally and due to pressure from the N.U.M. and Lea Hall Colliery Management, Lea Hall Colliery Miners Welfare Centre was conceived.
The Welfare Centre was built in 1966 at a cost of £100,000. It was officially opened on 22nd July 1967. The finance came from the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation (C.I.S.W.O.), who in turn were financed by a levy of 1 penny per ton of coal mined.
A subscription of 1 penny per week was paid to the Welfare Centre from each miner at Lea Hall Colliery. This was deducted directly from his pay packet.
The Welfare Centre was a huge success, with a 200 seat Concert Room attracting full houses to see artistes such as Bob Monkhouse, Warren Mitchell, Del Shannon, Ken Dodd, The Merseybeats, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Billy Fury, Mat Monroe, Lonnie Donegan, and Helen Shapiro.
The Welfare was extended in 1974. The stage in the Concert Room was moved to the far wall from the entrance and the capacity increased from 200 to 450. The Restaurant was constructed at the rear of the building.
Lea Hall Colliery closed in July 1990.