Farnworth and District Veterans Club to close

Bill Collison, left, and Bill Raynor are unhappy that Farnworth Veterans Club has been sold

The club in Brackley Street has seen a downturn in revenue

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

FARNWORTH and District Veterans Club will close this weekend — after 100 years in existence.

It has been revealed that the club in Brackley Street was sold to property developer Paul Riley last year for £75,000 as part of a rescue package to keep it open.

But a fall in revenue and the cost of overheads means it has now reached the end of the line.

Two meetings were held, one of which took place last Sunday, attracting between 100 and 200 members.

At Sunday’s meeting a vote was cast, in which the majority of the club’s members voted for its closure.

Francis Wood, aged 72, the club’s secretary and one of the committee members, was one of those who attended.

Mr Wood, who has served as secretary for 10 years and was chairman for 30 years, said he fully sympathised with those who were unhappy to see it go.

He added: “It’s a very sad day for us all. Some people are in tears. I’ve been a member of this club for 60-odd years and it’s very disappointing.

“As committee members, we couldn’t do anything about it. Sales have gone down over the last 12 months and we have had to sell this place to keep going.

"I can understand if people are despondent, because I am too.”

In addition to buying the club, Mr Riley has offered a reduction in rent for the next five years for any future tenant.

Bill Collison, aged 67, has been involved with the club since childhood and is upset to see the end of an era.

Mr Collison also claimed he and other members were unhappy about the way the situation had been handled.

He added: “The mood in the camp is very dismal. As members, we feel as though we’ve been kept in the dark about it.

“They say there’s no money to keep the club going and that people aren’t going. But I’m there four or five times a week and there’s always people in there.”

Bill Raynor, aged 61, who has been a member of the club for 45 years, said: “This is disgraceful, absolutely terrible.

"I don’t know how they can justify selling the place for £70,000 — it was the centre point of Farnworth for many years.

“We don’t know what the future holds for us now.”

  • The club was set up during the First World War for ex-servicemen. Over the years, it has also been used for wedding receptions and funeral wakes.

Comments (11)

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4:49pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Donkey Stone says...

Finally ASDA get their sticky paws on it and a wealthy man gets to make a few quid, shame.
Finally ASDA get their sticky paws on it and a wealthy man gets to make a few quid, shame. Donkey Stone
  • Score: 2

8:24pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Annelime says...

ASDA has got NOTHING to do with this! Maybe you need to get your facts straight before commenting! And who is the wealthy man you are referring to? It's people like you running their mouths off that cause upset!
ASDA has got NOTHING to do with this! Maybe you need to get your facts straight before commenting! And who is the wealthy man you are referring to? It's people like you running their mouths off that cause upset! Annelime
  • Score: 1

9:28pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Donkey Stone says...

Annelime wrote:
ASDA has got NOTHING to do with this! Maybe you need to get your facts straight before commenting! And who is the wealthy man you are referring to? It's people like you running their mouths off that cause upset!
Let's wait and see.
[quote][p][bold]Annelime[/bold] wrote: ASDA has got NOTHING to do with this! Maybe you need to get your facts straight before commenting! And who is the wealthy man you are referring to? It's people like you running their mouths off that cause upset![/p][/quote]Let's wait and see. Donkey Stone
  • Score: -1

8:40am Fri 10 Jan 14

Jim271 says...

All pubs and clubs are closing look at Halliwell Road.
Used to be 14 pubs now theres 5 left.
All pubs and clubs are closing look at Halliwell Road. Used to be 14 pubs now theres 5 left. Jim271
  • Score: -1

12:35pm Fri 10 Jan 14

EBY123 says...

Maybe if it had moved with the times like other pubs in the area instead of just catering to the "Racing" viewers, this may not have been the outcome. There is enough room in the place to offer something for most customers and i dare say food service could have been looked into to bring in more revenue.
As with any business at the moment, times are tough and if nothing is done to bring in new customers, a business will close!
Maybe if it had moved with the times like other pubs in the area instead of just catering to the "Racing" viewers, this may not have been the outcome. There is enough room in the place to offer something for most customers and i dare say food service could have been looked into to bring in more revenue. As with any business at the moment, times are tough and if nothing is done to bring in new customers, a business will close! EBY123
  • Score: 4

12:46pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Annelime says...

Considering those involved in the running of the club are over 70 how are they supposed to move with the times? People are all putting their two cents in now, where were you two years a go? Maybe if more of the members helped then the rumours from those non members wouldn't have spread that far!!!
Considering those involved in the running of the club are over 70 how are they supposed to move with the times? People are all putting their two cents in now, where were you two years a go? Maybe if more of the members helped then the rumours from those non members wouldn't have spread that far!!! Annelime
  • Score: 0

1:12pm Fri 10 Jan 14

EBY123 says...

Annelime wrote:
Considering those involved in the running of the club are over 70 how are they supposed to move with the times? People are all putting their two cents in now, where were you two years a go? Maybe if more of the members helped then the rumours from those non members wouldn't have spread that far!!!
I was a member at the time when the first discussion about the business losing money came about. As i was not "over 70" my opinion and that of many others not "over 70" were ignored. I have lived in Farnworth all my life, My Dad and 2 Generations before him have used the club, so this was the last thing i wanted to see. At the time, as long as the patrons got to watch the racing they were happy. I was there!
[quote][p][bold]Annelime[/bold] wrote: Considering those involved in the running of the club are over 70 how are they supposed to move with the times? People are all putting their two cents in now, where were you two years a go? Maybe if more of the members helped then the rumours from those non members wouldn't have spread that far!!![/p][/quote]I was a member at the time when the first discussion about the business losing money came about. As i was not "over 70" my opinion and that of many others not "over 70" were ignored. I have lived in Farnworth all my life, My Dad and 2 Generations before him have used the club, so this was the last thing i wanted to see. At the time, as long as the patrons got to watch the racing they were happy. I was there! EBY123
  • Score: 2

3:20pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Annelime says...

Yes I agree the racing brought in people, but only a handful! But not enough to see profit! So if your that concerned and that upset over the loss of the club why didn't you keep up your membership and help with the club? Maybe that's why it's closing because people have lost interest and are only piping up now because there's a story!
Yes I agree the racing brought in people, but only a handful! But not enough to see profit! So if your that concerned and that upset over the loss of the club why didn't you keep up your membership and help with the club? Maybe that's why it's closing because people have lost interest and are only piping up now because there's a story! Annelime
  • Score: 0

6:31pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Donkey Stone says...

Annelime wrote:
Yes I agree the racing brought in people, but only a handful! But not enough to see profit! So if your that concerned and that upset over the loss of the club why didn't you keep up your membership and help with the club? Maybe that's why it's closing because people have lost interest and are only piping up now because there's a story!
You do not have the divine right to someones patronage, you have to earn it. The Brit was struggling a couple of years ago, but every time I go in these days it is busy. It is busier because it is better than it was before.
[quote][p][bold]Annelime[/bold] wrote: Yes I agree the racing brought in people, but only a handful! But not enough to see profit! So if your that concerned and that upset over the loss of the club why didn't you keep up your membership and help with the club? Maybe that's why it's closing because people have lost interest and are only piping up now because there's a story![/p][/quote]You do not have the divine right to someones patronage, you have to earn it. The Brit was struggling a couple of years ago, but every time I go in these days it is busy. It is busier because it is better than it was before. Donkey Stone
  • Score: 4

8:37am Sat 11 Jan 14

Donkey Stone says...

Mr Wood aged 72 has been a member for sixty odd years? How old was he when he joined 5?
Mr Wood aged 72 has been a member for sixty odd years? How old was he when he joined 5? Donkey Stone
  • Score: 2

11:47am Tue 28 Jan 14

duffbikes says...

Sad to hear of the clubs closing, my father was a member and I remember the free trips to Southport as a kid and free tickets for the Peter Pan funfair with a meal as well, happy days.
Sad to hear of the clubs closing, my father was a member and I remember the free trips to Southport as a kid and free tickets for the Peter Pan funfair with a meal as well, happy days. duffbikes
  • Score: 0

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