Award-winning club closes its doors

AN AWARD-WINNING social club has been forced to close because of falling trade.

When Batley Carr Social Club was named music club of the year at the national Club Awards in 2006, it had 1,251 members and four nights of live music and acts every week.

But like many social clubs and working men’s clubs in the area, it had been hit hard by the smoking ban, the recession and changing drinking habits.

Social committee member Barry Tinker said: “It’s the same with a lot of clubs and pubs I think. It’s the way of the world now.”

The Reporter understands that an extraordinary general meeting was called last month to talk about the club’s finances and future.

It was agreed then that the club would be put up for sale, and the committee was surprised to find a buyer within a matter of weeks.

Mr Tinker said he believed the venue in David Lane, off Mill Road, had been bought by a local Muslim association.

He said: “I don’t think they expected it all to be so quick.”

Like regulars at the club’s popular jazz night, Mr Tinker only learned that July 3 would be the last time the event was held at Batley Carr when he arrived for the evening.

He said: “It’s a very popular night enjoyed by many people from as far a field as Harrogate, Wakefield and Bradford – all over the place.

“We usually get between 80 and 100 people in, but that’s not enough to support the club alone.

“It’s a big club and it needs people there all through the weekend and for other activities.”

Founded at Batley Carr Social Club in 2006, the fortnightly evening celebrates jazz and swing music of the 1940s and 1950s and features a live band led by Eddie Martell.

As well as boosting the club’s finances, the jazz night played a big part in the social club winning its national award with judges praising the range of live musical entertainment on offer.

From Tuesday, the night will be held at Millbridge Working Men’s Club in Liversedge, 8.30pm-11pm.

The first show at the new venue will see Jon Taylor perform a guest tenor sax slot with Mr Martell and the Ronnie Bottomley Quartet.

Turn to The Guide for more pub and club event listings.