Club rewards Fred for 40 years work

Fred Chapman, centre, with his 40-year award and Henry Spring and Mel Smith with their 10-year awards
Fred Chapman, centre, with his 40-year award and Henry Spring and Mel Smith with their 10-year awards

A man who has spent 40 years running a town club has been rewarded for his hard work and dedication.

Frank Chapman, 80, of Cromwell Road, Rushden, received a medal and certificate from the Working Men’s Club and Institute Union in London. Sunday’s surprise presentation was at Rushden Athletic Club, which Mr Chapman’s family has been associated with for three generations.

His father William was a life member of the club and his son Lloyd Chapman now serves at its secretary.

Mr Chapman said: “It was a wonderful surprise and I was a bit taken aback.

“I’ve been involved with the club for more than 40 years and held several different offices and I’m still a serving committee member and trustee. Many working men’s clubs are struggling but, at the moment, ours is doing well. I’ve seen good times and times when we have struggled but we’ve always been a place where families can come and enjoy themselves.

“I’ve really enjoyed being involved with the club and providing something for Rushden residents and the community.”

Mr Chapman said that he was sad his wife Jean, who died in November, did not live to see his presentation.

He said: “She would have been so proud.”

The club in Newton Road, Rushden, was founded 116 years ago and has in the region of 500 members.

Mr Chapman’s son said: “I organised the presentation to thank my father for all his dedication to the club.”

At the presentation Henry Spring and Mel Smith received medals and certificates for 10 years service.