Last orders served at Conservative Club

The former Glossop Conservative Club, on Norfolk Street, which shut on Tuesday.
The former Glossop Conservative Club, on Norfolk Street, which shut on Tuesday.
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Time was called at a Glossop landmark on Tuesday, as the Conservative Club closed down, more than 100 years after it opened.

The future of the grade II building, on Norfolk Street, is currently unknown, following the shock announcement last month that the club would be shutting, four years after celebrating its centenary.

The three-storey property, which is owned by the Association of Conservative Clubs is now up for sale, as the business was deemed unprofitable.

The future of the nine members of staff, who held a closing party at the club on Saturday, also remains uncertain as they are redundant until a new venue is found.

Paul Atherton, who has worked as the steward for four years, pulled his last pint at the club at 11pm on Tuesday, closing the doors on his livelihood at midnight.

He said one reason for the move was the building was too big to sustain, saying: “We’ve got over 500 members but only the same 40 or 50 come in every week. If we find new premises, we’ll reopen.”

He added:“It’s not very good. I’m going on the dole. I’m 52 and it’ll be the first time I’ll be without a job. Some of the staff have been there about ten years. There’s nine of us. The customers are very sorry it’s closing too but there’s nothing we can do.”

Tory borough Cllr John Haken, who represents Simmondley, said: “It’s a great shame that the club’s closed. Like all clubs, decline in membership is a problem. It isn’t associated to the party; it’s a separate social club, like the Labour club.

“We draw support from there though, and they drum up support, so it’s shame. It’s a landmark building. I believe the Conservative Club are looking for another venue, one with easier access and a single storey.

“I’m not sure what will happen to the building. It was given to Samuel Hill-Wood, former High Peak MP, to become a Conservative Club.”

But, not only the Conservatives are feeling the impact of the closure, as several organisations used the hall, including the Glossop and District Table Tennis League.

Lilian Peace, secretary of the league, said: “We played four teams out of there and we’re searching for a new venue. We found out mid-July, so had two to three weeks’ notice. The season starts on September 11.

“It’s quite a disappointment because it’s very, very difficult to find venues to play in because of the cost. We were in the process of printing our handbooks, and we’ve had to put that on hold too.”