Rileys cafe

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Rileys cafe

The history of BBGC, Burnley’s oldest youth organisation

BBGC has previously gone by the names of Burnley Lads’ Club and Burnley Boys’ Club. With its amalgamation with Burnley’s Police Cadets, it became Burnley Boys and Girls Club. As it stands today, in fact, 51% of the club’s membership consists of female members.

Proudly founded in 1898

The club founder, Henry Riley of Briercliffe Burnley, got several young lads together in early 1898 to give them a focus and a purpose. These lads, more often than not, were up to no good and needed a little guidance.

The organisation very quickly grew, and in fact by the time the Great War broke out in 1914, the club had six hundred members, who all registered to fight for king and country.

We know that 125 young members stood by then Captain Riley’s side on the first day at the Battle of the Somme. All 125 plus Riley himself fell and were never to return to Burnley.

Remembering their sacrifice

We commemorate the fallen with our First and Second World War memorial and roll of honours, which can be found in the entrance to the youth club.

These are accompanied by our tree sculpture, “The Last Soldier Standing”, which stands in our memorial garden at the rear of Riley’s Cafe.

Please feel free to have a look at all our memorials commemorating those who fell, as we are incredibly proud of them and only too happy to share.