Bradford Stories: The 1 in 12 Club
Highlights of Bradford culture, nominated by Hidden Bradford
The 1in12 Club in central Bradford is a member owned and run Social Centre that was founded in 1981. It is a successful example of a community-led entertainment and cultural venue that has stood the test of time for over 30 years. It has achieved worldwide fame, not least for the quality of musicians that have performed and recorded there, and as a model for a community-led social centre has been replicated in other cities around the UK.
In this post Jules, a member of the club who also volunteers her time there regularly, introduces us to The 1in12 Club and why community ownership works for them. The kind of structure in which The 1in12 Club operates differs from Bradford One in some respects, but the principal of the community taking a direct stake and ownership of the building and a guiding role in the direction of the project is the same as we are advocating for the redevelopment of the former Odeon site:
The 1in12 Club is not just a building or a social group, it is also an idea. An idea that a successful enterprise does not have to have a top-down, hierarchical structure in order to function.
The building which currently houses the 1in12 Club is fully owned and managed by its’ members. This is achieved non-hierarchically by dividing the necessary responsibilities of running a social centre, library, recording studio, cafe and bar amongst collectives that are responsible for each aspect. The collectives hold regular scheduled meetings to discuss ideas for the future as well as thrash out problems that occur. All agreements are reached through consensus after thorough discussion where everybody has a chance to have their say and nobody feels that their ideas or contributions are worth nothing.
More often than not this means that meetings become social events where individual members have the opportunity to engage with people that they may not have ever had the chance to come into contact with before. As passions for different hobbies are shared, these often evolve over the years into new social collectives within the club such as a group of climbers that meet up fairly regularly and socialise outside of the building itself, or the recently formed Sound Club where years of sound engineering knowledge are skill-shared with eager members.
In the past the club functioned a bit like #BDNoMates [a social initiative on the Hidden Bradford website] before the days of Twitter, where being part of the 1in12 Club is a great way to meet new people, learn new things and immerse yourself in a place where your contributions make a world of difference.
Follow Jules on Twitter for more tales from the ‘Clubface’