Eastborough WMC plans event to revive club’s fortunes in its 102nd year

TOO QUIET: Eastborough Working Mens Club trustee Joan Brier and club secretary Malcolm Ashton. (D520B225)
TOO QUIET: Eastborough Working Mens Club trustee Joan Brier and club secretary Malcolm Ashton. (D520B225)

A WORKING men’s club in the heart of Dewsbury is calling out for a new generation of punters after falling on hard times.

Eastborough WMC in Battye Street will hold a special fundraising event next weekend to help revive the club’s fortunes after seeing a significant fall in the number of patrons.

The club is currently in its 102nd year, but club secretary Malcolm Ashton said that things had become increasingly difficult recently.

He said: “We are on a slippery slope with the way things have gone in the past six months.

“Supermarket beer is really causing us problems – they are practically giving beer away – when they are selling crates which work out at 50p a can, we just can’t compete. I think it’s about time the government came in and raised the minimum price of alcohol.

“We have 511 members, but only about a fifth of members still come down regularly – it’s those sleeping members we need to get back down here. Young people these days don’t seem to be very ‘club-minded’ either, we want to attract a new generation through our doors.”

One of the club’s trustees, Joan Brier, said: “Supermarket beer prices are a problem for us, but we have also seen a drop in numbers of people coming in since the smoking ban came in.

“People generally don’t want to stand outside in the cold while they’re smoking.”

The event next week will include bingo, a raffle, tombola and a cake stall, and will performances from singers Cathy Waline and Jessie Garron.

Veronica Wilson, a former barmaid at the club and one of the organisers of the event, said: “Every year at the club, we host a number of charity events, so we thought it was about time we had one to help the club.

“We want to raise more than £1,000 for the club, so we are hoping that people will come in from other areas and show their support - we will be grateful for any donations people want to give.”

The event, which is free to enter, will take place at the Eastborough Working Men’s Club on Sunday 1 July at 7.30pm.