Burnley’s oldest social club – Fulledge Conservative Club – is to close after 140 years.
The working men’s club in Plumbe Street will call last orders for the final time on September 25th due to dwindling numbers.
It will be a sad day for the countless Burnley folk who have socialised there over the decades, not least current chairman Paul Coates whose association with the club goes back 50 years.
Mr Coates said: “I am very sad but we have been left with no choice but to close the club. It is down to a number of factors but chiefly that our membership has dwindled over the years.
“Ten years ago we had 400 members, we now just have around 50. A lot of our members were elderly and have died while some have just not renewed. We just can’t afford to keep going anymore.”
Mr Coates, whose parents Arthur and Joyce were stewards at the club in the 1960s, said a change in the drinking culture and the indoor smoking ban had had a negative impact on traditional working men’s clubs.
He added: “There has been a massive change in drinking habits in recent years. The 24 hour licensing laws were crazy – it has changed the culture in Burnley.
“The smoking ban was a good thing in principle, but that too has adversely affected us.”
The club is holding a farewell party this Saturday in the function room, with DJs playing music from all the decades from 8pm with free entry.