The idea started in 1937 with a man called Eric Gray. He was severely disabled and walked with crutches. He noticed there was a lack of social clubs and activities for himself and others like him so he wrote a letter to the Midland Daily Telegraph (now the Coventry Telegraph):
“Sir – As a cripple myself, and being in touch with a number of others similarly placed, a suggestion has been made that a club for crippled boys be formed.
The idea is to provide a place for social activity for such boys who, by reason of their physical disadvantages, cannot mix freely with other boys in such clubs as are at present open in the city.
I should be grateful, therefore, if you would be good enough to permit me the space of this letter in your columns in the hope that it may be the means of bringing together those who might be interested in the idea. Will anyone who might be disposed towards helping launch such a scheme please write to me at…(inserts his address here)”
This was printed and soon enough he was contacted by two other disabled men. These were Harry Truslove and Len Tasker. After much hard work and help from other parties they formed “The Coventry Cripples Social Club” in 1938. Their main aims were to provide social, cultural and educational activities for the disabled citizens of Coventry.
However, in 1939 the Second World War started and meetings were less regular and the threat of bombing was ever present. Nevertheless, the meetings continued even though some members did die in bombings and some equipment was destroyed.
After a while they managed to acquire a damaged building belonging to Mr. Gray. They purchased equipment and repaired the building and at this time had more than 40 members attending. Thus, the first club dedicated to the social welfare of disabled people in Coventry was formed.
The club wanted to find freehold premises that they could call their own and were introduced to a man called Mr. Herbet Haddock who owned 16 Avon Street (the current address of the club). He was selling his house and half-acre of land because he was moving into a residential home due to his worsening disability. After hearing the clubs need he offered his property for a nominal price and the club eagerly accepted. The Enterprise Club moved into 16 Avon Street in the early 1960’s and in 1964 they gained planning permission to extend at the rear of the house. They also managed to be awarded a grant which allowed them to pay for it.
This was built in 1965 for £15,000 and was opened in 1966. Your support is vital to the continued existence of The Enterprise Club, your donation will make a difference. Thank you to everyone for your supposrt that from us all at The Enterprise Club.