GALLERY: Inside abandoned Doncaster club that was favourite of Hollywood star Ollie Reed
It once welcomed some of Britain’s biggest stars – and could count Hollywood hellraiser Oliver Reed among its clientele.
In its heyday, the Clay Lane Club was a popular entertainment spot, with people coming from far and wide to socialise, drink and enjoy evenings of comedy, music and dancing.
But following its closure more than a decade ago, it has been hit by a string of devastating fires and now lies in ruins, abandoned, dilapidated and a ruined crumbling shell.
Incredibly, a full size snooker table – although now wrecked and unplayable – still lies within the wreckage of the Shackleton Road club.
Recently, urban explorer Lost Places Forgotten Faces went inside the building to capture how it sadly looks today for his Facebook page HERE
The club dates back to the late 1940s and at its height, had around 1400 total members. It later became the Explorer but shut in 2007.
However, its most famous visitor was acting legend Oliver Reed.
Locals can still recall the visits the boozy actor to the Shackleton Road club at the height of his hellraising fame when he was never too far away from trouble and the headlines.
Here’s a report from December 1990:
“Hell-raiser Olllie Reed was boozing with the lads in one of his favourite haunts last night - a humble South Yorkshire club.
“Infamous Ollie sported his old rugby shirt and a Santa hat as one of the guests at the relaunch of Clay Lane Social Working Men’s Club, Doncaster. “Regulars are used to their colourful drinking mate, for Ollie is an honorary member and often drops in when he is in South Yorkshire.
“He is a pal of comedian David Copperfield, star of TV’s Three of Kind, whose parents live nearby.
“Ollie joined guests including the Stones bitter advert actor Tony Barton for the session, which follows £170,000 worth of refurbishments at the club. “There was no ‘them and us’ atmosphere from sociable Ollie, who joined regulars for a pint and a chat.
“Some of the members recalled another visit three years ago, when the former wild man of Hollywood had a close shave.
“Members had joked that he looked like a tramp and held him down on the pool table, pulled out razors and gave him an impromptu shave.
“But taking the whole thing in good heart, the scruffy star threw £50 on the bar and told the barman to buy ‘all the northen working class pigs beer all round.’
Last night, with the familiar stubble on his chubby cheeks, the star of numerous films was in good heart, laughing and joking with regulars and builders.
“Ollie’s just that sort of bloke and he’s had a smashing night, just chatting and having a drink with everyone,” said vice president John Taylor.
“It’s been one of our great nights and we’re delighted everything has gone so well.”
“Ollie was more than satisfied with a night well spent.
“Other guests at the official opening of the 1,400 member club included brewery and building officials.”
Photos: Lost Places Forgotten Faces