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Which haunted Ipswich club is celebrating its 100th birthday with spirits?

PUBLISHED: 19:00 04 January 2020

The Ipswich Social Club will celebrate its 100th anniversiary on Saturday January 4. Picture: HOLLY HUME

The Ipswich Social Club will celebrate its 100th anniversiary on Saturday January 4. Picture: HOLLY HUME

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Haunted and steeped in history - tonight's birthday bash celebrates the 100th anniversary of Ipswich Social Club.

Kim Mortimer is the bar manager at the Ipswich Social Club and Barry Fulcher is the secretary. Picture: HOLLY HUMEKim Mortimer is the bar manager at the Ipswich Social Club and Barry Fulcher is the secretary. Picture: HOLLY HUME

The club, in Silent Street Ipswich, hosted its 100th anniversary bash on Saturday January 4 to celebrate a community which has stuck together through thick and thin - some of its members have been coming for 47 years.

It began life in 1920 as the Ipswich Working Men's Club.

Club secretary Barry Fulcher, is 78-years-old and has been working at the club for so long he has become the very heart of it - even living in the upstairs rooms.

"It started all those years ago when men wanted to get out and meet one another but they didn't have anywhere to go, they had no place of their own you see," he said.

Barry Fulcher is the secretary of the Ipswich Social Club and lives above the bar. Picture: HOLLY HUMEBarry Fulcher is the secretary of the Ipswich Social Club and lives above the bar. Picture: HOLLY HUME

"There's a lot of history in these walls and there's still much of the same building that was here 100 years ago.

"You can see where the walls lean and how much lower the window sills are - people were shorter in those days of course."

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In the days before the club occupied the Silent Street premises the building was used as a mortuary and many of the members believe spirits haunt the place to this day.

The Ipswich Social Club will celebrate its 100th anniversiary on Saturday January 4. Picture: HOLLY HUMEThe Ipswich Social Club will celebrate its 100th anniversiary on Saturday January 4. Picture: HOLLY HUME

Bar manager Kim Mortimer has been coming to the club for more than 20 years and said: "There's quite often one which sits in the hall where the graves were, and numerous people have said they've seen a person in the hall sat down with their arms folded.

"I quite often hear them, when I get here early in the mornings to clean you hear noises up stairs."

Mrs Mortimer said barrels have also been heard being knocked around in the cellar.

When the club was established it was for working men who often brought their partners with them, however women weren't allowed to go up to the bar for many years.

The Ipswich Social Club has a large premises after expanding in 1987. Picture: HOLLY HUMEThe Ipswich Social Club has a large premises after expanding in 1987. Picture: HOLLY HUME

Traditional games such as darts, pool and bingo are still played every day, as well as older members playing crib - a card game involving a board and pegs.

"It's the family thing that brings people here," Mrs Mortimer added.

The club holds Easter, Halloween and Christmas parties as well as live music each week.

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