Move over Warehouse Project… Greater Manchester’s ‘best club’ has been named, and it’s in Oldham

What it lacks in beats and breaks, it makes up for in bowls and bitter

By Ben Arnold | Last updated 1 September 2023

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(Credit: Dobcross Social Club/CAMRA)

The ‘best club’ in Greater Manchester has been named. And it’s not the Warehouse Project. Nor is it Joshua Brooks, Hidden or the White Hotel.

Unlike the above, the best club in the region has got a bowling green, brass bands and a function room for weddings, birthdays and anniversaries.

CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, has just unveiled the regional winners of its annual ‘prestigious Club of the Year competition’ for 2023, and the Greater Manchester selection is the Dobcross Band Social Club.

The social club has been singled out for praise for hosting ‘several brass bands’, including the Dobcross Silver Band, the Dobcross Youth Band and the Brass Monkeys, and has ‘a well-equipped games room with a full-size snooker table’.

Built in 1967 – though the club itself was established over 100 years ago – the single-story building also boasts superb views of the nearby hills from its own bowling green, and has been a repeat winner and runner-up in the annual club awards in past years.

Phil Gregg, National Coordinator for the Club of the Year competition says: “I am delighted to be able to announce the top clubs in the UK. This competition aims to highlight the very best examples of what a social club can be. 

“These amazing venues are a vital part of communities across the UK, promoting social well-being in their local areas and providing an important hub for local residents. 

“All pubs and clubs have faced many challenges since the pandemic, with the cost-of-living crisis, soaring business rates and energy costs. These shining examples are a real testament to their determination, professionalism and support for their communities.” 

The overall winner of the Best Club award, which is run in conjunction with Club Mirror magazine, will be revealed in early 2024.