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holbeck: oldest working men’s club in country needs you!

holbeck: oldest working men’s club in country needs you!


Threatened: Holbeck Working Men's Club. Photo by Betty Longbottom, licensed for reuse under Wikipedia Creative Commons

The country’s oldest working men’s club is facing a serious threat of closure – and campaigners fighting to keep it open are hosting an event to drum up more support.

Established in 1877, Holbeck WMC in south Leeds has been hit by the economic downturn, the smoking ban and a lack of support. Nearby flats which used to provide punters have also been pulled down.

Supporters of the club are organising a free family fun
day in order to promote the facilities, entice new members and give
it a boost in profits.

One supporter, Amanda Griffin, told The City Talking that the club needed a ‘massive turnaround’. She said:

"They are in a catch-22
whereby they can’t afford to offer entertainment to entice people in and
at the same time without having entertainment people won’t want to come
in.  The club has so much to offer, it has a large concert room that is
available to hire and downstairs lounge and snooker room. It’s got a nice atmosphere and feel – I’ve been going there since I was a little girl."

The issues facing Holbeck WMC come on the back of the recent closures of at least four traditional pubs in the old
Holbeck area. It’s understood volunteers are currently running the club after the steward left recently and are also working behind the bar for free.

The free family fun day starts at 12pm on Saturday 1st June, running until 11pm. Events include a barbecue, inflatables, hook-a-duck, face painting, stalls, bingo, darts and snooker tournaments. The evening’s entertainment runs from 7pm onward and includes a disco, karaoke and prize bingo.

Amanda says anyone who can offer any business or marketing advice is welcome to get in touch.

Holbeck Working Men’s Club is on Jenkinson Lawn, Holbeck, Leeds, LS11 9QX. For future events, up to date info or discussions follow the club on Twitter @holbeckwmc or email Check out The Friends of Holbeck Working Men’s Club blog for more.

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