Salford Lads Club has released 30 unique masks which will be auctioned online to raise money lost due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The fundraiser, ‘Mask Me, Mask Me, Mask Me’ (a pun on The Smith’s 1987 single ‘Ask’), is a virtual bid for one of 30 unique masks created by local artist, Holly Ramsay.
It has so far been unable to access national emergency funds following its temporary closure due to Covid- 19 restrictions. This, paired with its loss in the tourism trade, has cost the venue more than £60,000 since March.
All 30 of the masks have been displayed on a ceramic bust of The Smith’s frontman Morrissey.
Each mask has been produced using recycled samples of The Smiths memorabilia shirts made by the club throughout the past 18 years.
— Salford Lads' Club (@salfordladsclub) November 28, 2020
Each of the highest bidders will receive their prize in the post, on the week beginning the 14th December. They will also receive a ‘Mask Me’ postcard, designed by Amber McCormack.
Leslie Holmes, Project Manager at the club, said: “We’re not a very conventional place. We have a lot of music fans because of The Smiths and we’ve been doing T-Shirts for 18 years.
“We’ve done all these T-Shirts for a very long time and we thought it would be quite nice to recycle these in some way.”
Holmes explained how the charity usually relies extensively on events such as weddings and gigs as well as the building’s musical links to Manchester.
The club attracts worldwide attention, and it is this tourism that acts as its crucial income.
“Visitors are our life-blood really. We’re originally a lads club, the last one of its kind in England and because of its age, it takes a lot of upkeep.
“It gives you an idea of how much it takes to run this place.”
Holmes reflected on the fact that, due to the current climate, there is far from a shortage of masks, however, he hopes that fans see the masks as a donation to charity and a once in a lifetime item.
“It’s the idea of supporting a famous charity and using the image of Morrissey – those are the key bits of the promotion.
“It will be a really good thing to look back on.”
Holmes hopes the masks will be a bidding success and that fans worldwide can do their bit to help support this Salford landmark.
Salford Lads Club hopes to raise money to help maintain the Edwardian building, which opened for the first time in 1903. The fundraiser will also help to support the future of their sport activities and projects once the club can re-open once restrictions have been lifted.
For more information on the fundraiser go to the website.
Or to place a bid for a mask, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and include the number of the mask and the amount you would like to offer.
Holly Ramsay, owner of ‘The Neighbourhood Threat’ made the masks at her studio in Islington Mill.
The minimum bid is £20. Bidding closes on the 9th December at 22:00.