A Brief History

Learn more about the story of our club through the years

In 1892 In Buckingham Palace Queen Victoria continued to reign over the world’s largest empire; in Number Ten Liverpool’s William Gladstone became Liberal Prime Minister for the fourth and final time; and in Liverpool itself a select group of local merchants, professionals and businessmen met in the ‘Sodhouseto pool resources to buy land on Park Vale Road and construct a pavilion. This was to become the Olympic, named after the re-emergent Olympic movement. These shareholders subsequently met in Brook Road’s Walton Institute to formally inaugurate the enterprise.

Despite expansion in 1907, the club remained the exclusive preserve of a fraternal few. Indeed, several Everton directors were members and team selection took place at the club. Bowling and snooker competitions were strictly ‘in house’.

The club survived the wars relatively unscathed, save for some minor damage inflicted by the Luftwaffe in World War Two, despite Blessed Sacrament church and the Windsor being severely damaged. The snooker room is thought to have been pressed into service as a makeshift cinema.

After the war the club widened its appeal to younger men and sought competition with similar – some now defunct – clubs. Major improvements included the building of the lounge, the installation of floodlights, the introduction of club ties and the infamous Royal Victoria weekends at Llanberis. Ladies were also admitted on special occasions. This was extended to weekend evenings in the eighties.

At this time, too, the club forged links with the neighbouring Blessed Sacrament school, with pupils being read to by members and the green being used for whole school photographs.

At the start of the new millennium the board met the challenge of adverse financial circumstances with ‘Operation Phoenix’, which admitted women as equals and relaxed the dress code.

Today’s Olympic continues to offer the core activities of bowling and snooker as well as ‘extras’ such as themed nights, card nights, a lottery syndicate and a shares club – to name but a few.

In an ever-changing world the club has remained a constant. However, although it tips its cap to the past, its values and the larger than life characters who graced its rooms, the modern Olympic strives to look forward, while retaining the best of its history.

In 2017 the club celebrates 125 years and we believe the ladies, gentlemen and juniors of the Olympic – our Olympic – can look forward with confidence to another 125 years – at least!

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