Chorley Computer Club was founded in the early l980s 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 program resulted in 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 latest 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 oriented club. Games playing is still very popular at the club, particularly with the junior members who play against each other on the club's local area network.
The club began to look at the community, in particular its disabled
members, and tried to find ways of improving the quality of life for
people who had difficulty in helping themselves. By summer of the following
year the Chorley Computer Club Computing for the Disabled Fund was initiated
by three members of the club committee.
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