A surprise retirement party was thrown for a long serving member of a sports and social club.

Alf Hollis held the position of secretary at Dobbies Sports and Social Club for 30 years

Now, 89, has served the club for 30 years as its secretary, seeing it expand from a small club to one of the largest in the borough.

The committee at the club in Bradley Fold threw a surprise retirement party for him.

The Bolton News: The old Dobson and Barlow manufacturing plantThe old Dobson and Barlow manufacturing plant (Image: Newsquest)

Committee and club members gathered as president Harold Collinson gave a speech, in which he announced the main lounge would be renamed the ‘Hollis Lounge’ in Alf’s honour.

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Alf said: “This club has come a long way since I started. We had the concert room extended, then the snooker room – we’ve had five extensions in total.

“I’m very proud of it, yes. Someone said I am leaving it in a good position. The bar used to be a little hole in the wall.

“There used to be two snooker teams and a pool team on a Saturday night, we used to put down big pieces of plywood and they would sit on that.

The Bolton News: The club was named after Dobson and Barlow, a textile machinery worksThe club was named after Dobson and Barlow, a textile machinery works (Image: Newsquest)

“We have the best treasurer around, Cath Drury, she’s brilliant. She works her socks off, not only as treasurer but everything else she’s been helping with for the last 10 years.

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“I’m leaving with confidence, they’re a very good committee, all very dedicated.”

The Bolton News: President Harold Collinson gave a speech in Alf's honourPresident Harold Collinson gave a speech in Alf's honour (Image: Newsquest)

He added: “I couldn’t have done it but for my wife, she’s been my taxi driver but has also been a big part of the club.

“She has done the catering for around 20 years.”

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Barry Farnworth, a committee member at the club, said: “He’s looked after this place for over 30 years.

“It has gone from a literal shed to what it is now. One of the biggest sports and social clubs, and one of the biggest bowling clubs in Bolton.”

Dobbies Sports and Social Club got its name from the old Dobson and Barlow textile machinery works in Bradley Fold, known colloquially as Dobbies.