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behind the green door...

There are a few iconic places that pepper the history of British music - think of the Zebra crossing of Abbey Road - that draw in fans of the bands concerned and just the seeing an image of them is enough to spark recognition.

One of the ones that's close to us - literally and emotionally - is the Salford Lad's Club and the iconic street corner with the club's facade and doors that formed the backdrop for the famous Stephen Wright photo of the Smiths back in 1985.

Since then it's safe to say that this corner spot has become a global draw with Smith fans from across the world visiting it for a selfie with perhaps the most famous green doors in the world.

Despite us living not that far away we've never been. However, recently we put that right one Saturday morning when we made the short trip to pay a long-overdue visit.

Unbeknownst to us the club opens it's doors to visitors every Saturday 11.00am - 2.00pm (and Wednesdays), so after the obligatory outside photo we found ourselves in the wonderful company of Lesley Holmes the project manager as he opened up the doors and asked if we wanted to come in.

For the next hour or so he showed us round the wonderful venue dating back to 1903 and full of history, not just about its more recent connection with The Smiths, but back to it's roots as a Lad's club - a place where young boys (and now girls) could come from the local community to meet, play games and generally do things that many people say are all lacking in today's society.

It's a historical treasure trove, part of it up to date, part of it, such as the floor in the main hall, dating back 120 years to it's start.

We'll write a bit more about this some other time, but if you are a Smiths fan and pay the Lad's Club a visit for your photo replicating the famous 'shot' then why not go on a day when you can go behind the doors and soak in the atmosphere of the club itself.

Plus there's also the marvelous 'Smiths' room - curated by Lesley and a positive shrine showing people's continued love of the group that made this unassuming building a global icon and a building that is just as much part of the community it is in now as it was back in 1903.



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