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Historic club to close after more than a century

Robert Goodwill MP outside the Scarborough Conservative Club building on Huntriss Row which is to close. Picture by Andrew Higgins sn123309c 14/08/12

Robert Goodwill MP outside the Scarborough Conservative Club building on Huntriss Row which is to close. Picture by Andrew Higgins sn123309c 14/08/12

Scarborough Conservative Club will close its doors for the final time after members decided it was no longer financially viable to stay open.

In recent years the Huntriss Row social club has struggled to keep going and has gradually eaten into its cash reserves to cover unforeseen expenses.

Club chairman Fred Gosling, who recently took on the role, said it was a “sad day”. He added: “After the AGM, on August 10, it was decided through a vote that club can’t continue in the state that it’s in.”

He said that the current financial climate had made matters worse and no closure timetable was yet in place. He said: “At this stage I am waiting for further advice.”

Mr Gosling said that membership had also dwindled over the years – from around 1,200 down to the current level of around 500 members.

A foundation stone for the Scarborough Constitutional Club in January 1888 – the law of the day prevented the naming of any premises a Conservative Club – and it was completed within a year.

The Scarborough Constitutional Club Co Ltd was originally formed to supervise the building of the club and it is still the landlord – the Conservative Club being the current major tenant.

Scarborough’s MP Robert Goodwill, who rents office space in the building, recently resigned as club president because he was concerned over the state of the finances.

He said: “The club has been going downhill for the past few years. I can remember when I was first invited to join there was £60,000 in the reserves and every year that went down. It’s a sign of the times.”

Mr Goodwill said the fact that the club could not provide food for members and the smoking ban could be factors which had contributed to the present situation. “The committee have tried a number of things but they didn’t try food because they haven’t got the cooking facilities,” he said.

He added that the building still had potential and the landlord could market it for future redevelopment.

 

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