Bede Club looks to the future
The Bede Street club is undergoing redecoration and modernisation, after being rescued from the brink of administration. And now with new leadership, an injection of cash, and a good deal of hard work, the club is looking to turn the venue around towards a bright new future.
In August 2018, a vote was held to decide the club’s fate after dwindling patronage and falling receipts. But complaints were voiced from many members that they had not had ballot papers, and there was concern that unused votes had been cast in favour of closure.
After the vote, many members voiced their discontent with the result, and a solicitor was hired, who successfully challenged the decision.
New committee member George Nelson told The Ambler: “We hired a solicitor who said he didn’t think the process had been legal and we decided to challenge it. The liquidators then admitted the process for voting had been illegal.”
In December, another ballot was held. This time the overwhelming decision was to keep the club open.
“But by then the liquidators had removed everything they could, furniture, TVs, the bar, anything they thought they could sell. We had to hire vans to go and fetch all the stuff back,” said George.
“They changed the insurance, the VAT, even disconnected the alarms. It’s a right mess-up, but we’re nearly at the end, and we’ve made an offer to the liquidators to get all our legal papers and documents back.
“We re-opened for trading on 14 December and it’s gone very well. We’ve been doing up the concert room and we’ll be starting downstairs next week. We’ve done the first stage, of getting the club back for members. Next we’ll be promoting it to get as many people through the doors as possible.
“The club’s been here through two world wars and the depression. It would be such a shame if it got knocked down.”