Century old social club shuts up shop

A social club that has served the people of Barrow Hill for almost a century has closed its doors.

Thursday, 25th May 2017, 6:25 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:35 pm
The Barrow Hill Memorial Club on Station Road.

The Barrow Hill Memorial Social Club announced earlier this month that they had been forced to cease trading due to the ‘current economic climate’ and ‘falling membership’.

They added the decision had been taken with ‘deep regret’ and that they would continue to consider ‘all possible options’.

Club secretary, Keith Handbury, said: “We just can’t afford to keep it going.

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“We were going to get charged rent by the charity that operates the Hall and we don’t make enough money to cover it.

“They are also saying we have to cover our own insurance and to pay for changes to the doors as well.

“The charity say they need some revenue coming in but it means people in the area will have nowhere to go.

“They can still hire a room at the Hall but that costs £9 an hour rather than £2 a year to be a member of the club.”

A former library, the building itself was gifted to the people of Barrow Hill by Charles Markham in the 1860s.

It was then turned into the Memorial Hall in 1924 in honour of the local men who died in the First World War.

In a statement released on Tuesday night, the Barrow Hill Memorial Club’s board of trustees said: “Trustees have sought the help of the Charity Commission in identifying any regulatory changes which could help them to move more quickly towards re-opening the building.

“The Charity Commission are currently reviewing the situation and we hope to be able to provide more information very soon.

“In the meantime, charity trustees have been meeting with those consultants, councillors, licensing officers, service providers and many others whose offers of advice, support and willingness to help have all been gladly accepted.”.