Land Clubs

The subject of Kidderminster’s Land Clubs particularly appealed to me because references to them suggested that their purpose was to enable working men to become home owners. The land societies flourished in the 19th century at a time when government took no responsibility for housing needs – sounds familiar doesn’t it?

Land clubs have made a substantial contribution to the growth of Kidderminster’s nineteenth-century streets. They were responsible for creating at least twenty-one new streets and extending four others.

Yet these societies have been little studied. To the extent that they are mentioned at all, there is an undue preoccupation with a short period from the late 1840s, when politicians saw what were known as “freehold land societies” as a means of enabling working men to qualify for the vote. In fact there is a long history of land clubs as a vehicle for the creation of building plots.

Members were not generally established entrepreneurs, but were mostly a mix of skilled workers, craftsmen and small independent traders such as publicans. In Kidderminster the history of land clubs runs from the 1820s into the 1880s, with the heyday being in the 1870s.

If you want to read the full article click here on Kidderminster’s Land Clubs

If you know anything about land clubs in your town, please contact Nigel Gilbert.