‘Mr Dobcross Band Club’ John Holden retires after 39 years

STALWART steward John Holden has retired after almost four decades in the post at Dobcross Band Club.

John first took on the position at the village club on Platt Lane in 1984 and since then has cast an expert eye over the running and general housekeeping of the bar and facilities.

Numerous accolades have come their way, including most recently ‘Club of the Year’ in the annual Rochdale, Oldham and Bury Campaign for Real Ale competition (CAMRA).

In recognition of his dedication and hard work, the band club renamed its refurbished bar area ‘The John Holden Lounge’ in his honour in 2021.

John, who spent about 50-60 hours a week working at the club, is still lending a hand while a steward is found to step into his shoes.

John Holden

But he confirmed he won’t be disappearing completely when that happens.

“I just felt it was the right time for me to go,” admitted John, who helps on matchdays at Mossley AFC’s Seel Park and also watches Huddersfield Town when he can.

“I could have retired last year but I decided to keep going for a bit longer. But now I want some time for myself.

“It can be unsociable hours working in the evenings and weekends. I like my football and brass bands and I’d been begging staff to work weekends and cover for me so I could go to the football.

“But I play bowls at the club and for the band so I will still be coming into the place. I’m not going away!”

The opening of the John Holden lounge at Dobcross band club in 2021

Reflecting on his many years there, he added: “There have been a lot of challenges and some really hard times for the club, especially in the 80s.

“But the managing committee has worked hard and revived it and it is thriving now.

“During Covid I was worried about the club opening again but we managed because we had the outside space we could use.

“Over the years we’ve welcomed brass bands from all parts of the world. I can still go to contests all over the country and people say, ‘look, it’s Mr Dobcross Band Club’!

“It is a really good time for the club now, and people are starting to use it much more, such as the monthly coffee shop, bowls, concerts and functions, so it’s really great for the community.”

There was a retirement celebration at the club in honour of John, who has been nominated for a long service steward award, with winners to be announced at a Gala Dinner in November.

The club said: “The service John has given has been truly remarkable.

“While everyone in the club knows this, it is fantastic that outside recognition of John’s abilities has come over the last few years in the CAMRA awards that he has been instrumental in achieving.

“Enjoy your retirement John – it is well deserved!”

  • Dobcross Band Club is looking for a new Club Steward.

39 hours per week plus regular overtime. Experience needed in managing a pub/bar or similar outlet in the hospitality sector is highly desirable but not essential.

Find out more and apply before the closing date of 6pm on Friday, September 1, 2023: https://www.dobcross.club/job-vacancies

One Reply to “‘Mr Dobcross Band Club’ John Holden retires after 39 years”

  1. I’ve known John for many years Top Man I was Steward at Mossley football Club who John surrports great Man and Friend

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