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Tears as axe falls on Eastwood’s historic Victory Club — after 89 years

Members of Victory Club are unhappy with it's inevitable closure. l-r is Richard Williams (oldest member), Pat Rowland committee member, Paul Brooks Chairman, Karen Jenkins and Pauline Dunstan.

Members of Victory Club are unhappy with it's inevitable closure. l-r is Richard Williams (oldest member), Pat Rowland committee member, Paul Brooks Chairman, Karen Jenkins and Pauline Dunstan.

Devoted members of the Eastwood and District Victory Club are devastated by news it will close after 89 years.

The club went into receivership 18 months ago but has now been sold by owner Greene King to a developer and will close next Wednesday (July 9).

This all comes after a long campaign by members to save the club, which couldn’t turn a profit.

Richard Williams, 96, the club’s oldest member, said that he was incredibly sad to be losing the venue where he has played bingo every Friday night for more than 50 years.

The retired miner, of Larkfield Road, Nuthall told the Advertiser: “It’s a friendly place and I have seen some very good entertainment there such as local singer Dave Betton.

“At Christmas time we used to have to queue up outside to get a seat!

“It has always been the main social event of the week and I always looked forward to Fridays. I’m bingo mad.”

Richard is a widower after his wife of 67 years died in 2008. He will now be playing bingo in Greasley but is concerned for some members for whom their visit to the Victory Club is is their only weekly social event.

“If they don’t go anywhere else then they risk getting lonely.”

Club committee member Tony Rowland, who led the campaign to save the club, said that the closure would leave its members with nowhere to go.

“Once it is shut the families will have nowhere to take the children any more.”

“It is the last sort of link to going out for older members and once it is shut they could get quite lonely.”

Several jobs have been lost in recent months and the committee is unhappy that the pub has been sold despite a a bid from club member Mark Stones to invest in the venue.

A Greene King spokesman said: “The Victory Club has been in receivership for some time as a result of significant financial failures.

“The receiver has worked hard with the club to introduce controls and good business practices to the club and the doors of the club have remained open at the expense of and the risk to Greene King.

“Unfortunately, it is not possible to fund these losses indefinitely, and the club has now been sold to meet the debts and will cease to trade shortly.”

The club was given to the Navy and the people of Eastwood in 1925 by Major Barber.

 

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