Harrogate couple are first in world to have an official Smiths wedding at iconic Salford Lads Club in Manchester

A Harrogate couple have become officially the first people to book a Smiths wedding at iconic music venue Salford Lads Club in Manchester.

By Graham Chalmers
Wednesday, 21st October 2020, 9:45 am
Smiths and Morrissey superfans Joy Ainsley and Dean Baylin outside iconic venye Salford Lads Club where they are going to get married.
Smiths and Morrissey superfans Joy Ainsley and Dean Baylin outside iconic venye Salford Lads Club where they are going to get married.

Joy Ainsley and Dean Baylin, who are joint owners of Jenny's Tea Room in Montpellier Mews Antique Market in Harrogate, are the first couple to book the venue which has been fully registered and licensed to hold weddings, civil partnerships, civil services and vow renewals.

Both are huge Smiths and Morrissey superfans and have, in fact, at the last count seen Morrissey perform live 33 times.

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The couple got engaged last year at the club, which first opened in 1903 as a place of sports, arts and education for working class youngsters, and will get married there next May.

A beautiful Edwardian red brick construction on the corner of St Ignatius Walk and Salford’s real Coronation Street, in Ordsall, Salford, the 13,810 sq. foot listed building is listed as the best surviving example of a pre WW1 lads club in England.

The club shot to international fame with music fans in 1986 when a photograph of its iconic sign and redbrick frontage taken by Stephen Wright was used as the backdrop for the inner sleeve of The Smiths' classic album The Queen Is Dead.

Joy said: "We can't believe that we can now officially get married at Salford Lads Club. We're lifelong Smiths and Morrissey fans and have seen Morrissey 33 times.

"My fiancé Dean, popped the question outside the club last year and we have visited it numerous times, had tours, and been to the club attending other events.

"We've taken so many photos inside and outside the club, and we've recreated the album photo pose outside with friends, that it feels like a second home."

This will be the couple's second marriage; they already have four teenagers between them who are also huge Smiths and Morrissey fans.

Joy and Dean could not believe it when they found out they could get married inside the venue, the famous photograph of which is in the National Portrait Gallery in London.

And they are determined to make the most of the world famous site.

Joy said: “The wedding itself will be very much in a Smiths-vintage style and our bridesmaids will be wearing Doc Martens with their hair done in victory rolls and guests will receive Smiths and Salford Lads Club themed wedding favours to keep forever.

"We even have a Manchester band playing, The Lottery Winners, who have just been signed by Warner Records by the legendary A&R Seymour Stein, who also signed The Smiths and has dubbed them as the best thing he's heard since The Smiths."

The ground floor corridors and entrance of Salford Lads Club have the classic Edwardian red glazed brick seen in many of Manchester’s hospitality venues.

Inside the venue is huge and includes sports courts a concert hall and bandroom, an original billiards room, snooker and games rooms, a boxing gym.

The club’s Smiths room was set up in 2004 by artist Leslie Holmes, in response to the legion of fans from all over the world who made the pilgrimage to stand on the same spot as The Smiths under the famous club sign.

The building “should be a world heritage site” according to US TV presenter Roger Bennett in a recent film made by VisitBritain.

Since becoming fully registered and licensed to hold weddings, the nature of the venue means it can be tailored to couples’ requirements with organisers working with local suppliers including caterers, bar providers and venue dressers to create the full wedding experience.

As well as booking The Lottery Winners, who will be performing the classic Smiths song There Is A Light That Never Will Go Out at the wedding ceremony, Joy and Dean also plan to get matching Salford Lads Club logo tattoos after Christmas.

Weddings at Salford Lads Club are being managed and run by local leisure operator, Salford Community Leisure, a community benefit organisation, which hosts weddings at other unique venues in the city including Ordsall Hall and Salford Museum and Art Gallery.

The club volunteers team also provide tours for visitors every Saturday from 11am until 2pm including a shop stocking a range of Salford Lads Club merchandise, details on www.salfordladsclub.org.uk

For more information about weddings, email [email protected] and check out social media for updates via Instagram and Facebook.

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