Chorley Computer Club was founded in the early 1980s when, thanks to the inventive genius of Sir Clive Sinclair many everyday people first found it possible to own a computer of their own.
Many small firms entered this highly competitive market turning names like Acorn, Oric, Spectrum, Texas, BBC, Lynx, Vic 20 and Dragon (to name a few) into household names. In their hurry to enter the market most of these firms failed to pay as much attention as they should to the supporting documentation they supplied with their machines. Many a new computer owner was reduced to tears (or worse) due to the frustration of following the instruction manual verbatim only to find that any attempt to run the programme resulted I an error message.
A group of half a dozen people with just these sorts of problems found themselves drawn together in the Townley Arms, in Chorley, Lancashire. They brought their Commodore PETs to a weekly gathering at the pub, exchanged hints and helped each other with their problems.
Chorley Computer Club was born. By the autumn of 1982 the number of members of the club had grown so much that a larger venue had to be found and they moved to a nearby school. The following year the membership rapidly grew to 100 members and more moves were necessary as more and more people needing help found out about the club and enrolled. To aid these people Chorley Computer Club ran courses to teach people the first steps in computer programming. During this period of rapid growth more high capacity computers entered the marketplace. The bigger machines were capable of bigger and better duties. Chorley Computer Club was called on more and more to show people how to load the software onto their computers, in particular games which were proving difficult to run as they needed most of the available memory. Membership by this time had grown to a staggering 250 and membership had to be closed. It was also at this time that Chorley Computer Club turned its attention to helping schools and charity organisations solve their computer problems. In the Autumn of 1986 Chorley Computer Club made the move to St Bedes Social Centre at Clayton-Le-Woods. This move signalled not only a change in fortunes for the club but also a change in direction.
The numerous games machines were no longer popular and most of the members were updating to PCs, resulting in a mainly PC orientated club.
In 2013 the Club were advised that St Bedes Social Centre was to close and a new venue would need to be found. In August 2013 the Club moved to a new venue, St. George’s Institute, Trinity Road, Chorley, where its current membership of around 50 continues to meet to this day.
Updated October 2016
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