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Club Members Given One-Month Reprieve

Tuesday February 4 2014

We Are Barnsley We Are Barnsley

MEMBERS of one of the town's oldest clubs have been given one month to prove they can make it profitable again and save it from closure.

The future of the Wharncliffe and Silkstone Club and Reading Room in Pilley was set to close on February 2, but has been granted a month-long extension in a last-ditch attempt to show it can make money.

Gemma Spendlove, 29, regularly attends the historic club. She said: "Members met to discuss its future and we're planning on raising as much as possible in the next month.

"Suggestions were made and we're all helping in any way we can."

Gemma and husband, Mark, have arranged an auction at the club on February 12 and plan to continue that every week if all goes to plan. 

"We understand that this isn't going to bring our club immediately out of debt, but it will give us the evidence we need to submit to the brewery to hopefully buy us more time," she added.

The club - although still with a 200-strong membership - has fallen on hard times in recent years. 

One of its longest-serving members, 85-year-old John Fergus Clegg, remembers when the club was packed with several hundred people in its heyday.

He said: "It's a terrible shame that the numbers have gone down and down. I'll be so sad if it closes."

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Reply Posted by Disappointed on Tuesday February 4 2014 at 15:47
Lets hope the club gets back on track. What it really needs is new faces and a new committee

Reply Posted by Pete on Tuesday February 4 2014 at 16:30
Same situation with Harborough hills club in town. That's having problems too

Reply Posted by Collet on Tuesday February 4 2014 at 16:49
That comment about new faces new committee etc,all the people that make these statements never come forward,it's not words that help its about getting involved.Pilley Club is a lovely Village Club ,if all the locals patronized it there would ent be a problem,by the way Mr Clegg I don't want to be in that club with 700 in,all the best to all that try to keep it a going concern,i promise to pay a visit en spend a parned or two, better bus service would also help

Reply Posted by ian sunderland on Tuesday February 4 2014 at 17:41
raising cash to pay one off bills doesn't work and is a waste of time. no point pouring money down a gaping hole. need to find ways to balance the books first of all. things like turning into a sports an social/community place then can apply for reductions on your bigger bills like gas electric water. change brewery to one with better prices if you can or apply for price reductions on the basis club going to close. run different type of events. open mic nights. etc. loads of things you can try.

if you don't already employ a decent account then get one!! its suprising how much money they can save for your business even with paying them!!!

system is set up to screw the average joe.

Reply Posted by sally on Wednesday February 5 2014 at 11:32
Its sad to here another club on the verge of closing. Locals use it or lose it. That seems to be the motto.

Reply Posted by Marilyn on Wednesday February 5 2014 at 22:49
Brill ideas by you all the only thing that wiil save our club is money over the bar.We are having an auction on Wednesday 12th February let's see how many turn up to that . We are also trying to organise more events in the next couple of weeks but with no money to pay people to come and put these events on its hard work . As for the comment about Mr Clegg , no one is expecting 700 in the club just yourself and maybe 50 more would do instead of the regular dozen that use the club every week and attend every event that the club put on . So please use the club on a regular basis and any positive ideas would be grateful not the negative that people are so willing to give .

Reply Posted by Ian Sunderland on Thursday February 6 2014 at 17:46
Talking from a business point of view first of all you need to put a business plan together of how the club will balance its books and eventually start being profitable in the long run (form a crisis committee from reputable local businessmen if you have any to (brainstorm).

They will be more interested in seeing a long term future for the club, hopefully this will buy you more time to set plans in motion. simply holding a few parties this month and telling people to use it or lose it wont work. you need to give members a reason to come and use the club at the end of the day.

whatever happens i wish you all look and i hope you find a way to keep it open!

Reply Posted by Marilyn on Thursday February 6 2014 at 23:00
Thank you Ian for the advice and good wishes they are much appreciated

Reply Posted by soph on Friday February 7 2014 at 19:42
Local club for local people... no idea why people seem surprised when people that have been attending for years treat newbies like s

Reply Posted by awellwisher on Friday February 7 2014 at 20:52
Lots of things you could try - as someone else said, you need to make it more accessible to the whole community: mother and toddler groups, lunch club, afternoon activities for pensioners, youth club, sports teams, slimming groups, book clubs, craft clubs. speak to other community groups that have taken on failing village clubs to get some ideas. not sure but think if you did the community thing then there are grants you can apply for. wish you all the luck in the world.

Reply Posted by The chosen one on Friday February 7 2014 at 22:22
They need to ask for advice from other clubs in the area. Why don't they ask for advice from Hoyland Common club, or Hoyland Belmont club, or Birdwell Venue club. The last 2 are heaving when they have turns on. Why doesn't the Wharncliffe expand and have village community meetings, group fitness classes (which a lot of WMC are doing at the moment) and other regular events that draw all aspects of the community together, not necessarily at the same time but consistently throughout the week. It would be a crying shame of this went, Pilley/Tankersley will be left with no social point bar the Cock Inn at Pilley Lane/Birdwell or Hoyland Common.

Reply Posted by Tom on Sunday February 9 2014 at 17:34
Use it or lose some say. Pretty soon all the pubs and clubs will be gone.

As a youngish person in the borough I'm unlikely to use the club, I used to frequent pub and clubs, leisure centres etc. quite often.

But now I don't.

Wages have barely changed in 10 years, they are up a little bit nominally, but down massively in real terms.

10 years ago you could get a job as a cleaner easily for 5 pound plus per hour, a pint was a pound, rent on a property was forty pound. Gas, leccy, food all much cheaper.

As the cost of housing has risen in real terms and other essentials such as food, electric and gas, I've had to cut back. They have all roughly doubled, some tripled whilst wages are up just by a fifth.

Initially for me, luxuries such as heating, good quality food and leisure trips were sacrificed as wages fell, then the beer and social interaction you get from going to the pub.

Gone are the days of 2003 when I could visit the pub everyday, once a month now if I am lucky, and only for one or two instead of five or six per day.

If it weren't for homebrew I'd have stopped drinking long ago.

In 1971 a fork lift truck driver earned the equivalent of 7 pints per hour and spent far less of a proportion of his income on housing (about a fifth). Today, the same worker would spend roughly half his income on housing and earn 2-3 pints per hour.

Workers earn more in China when wages are measured in beers per hour. And they spend less of their income on essentials like housing.

Beer drinking and socialising in pubs was once the domain of the working class, these people can no longer afford to do this. Many of them don't even work, as there aren't the jobs for them. And those that do work are often working part time with government top ups.

There are plenty of regressive taxes that affect those on the lowest income the most. An example is alcohol duty. With young working people in their twenties now being the poorest demographic, there doesn't seem to be much of a future for pubs and clubs, etc.

People in this country might earn double the wages of people in other countries, but when living costs are triple, it doesn't make you better off.

ipso Regulated