KNUTSFORD’S once popular Conservative Club has closed its doors for good.
The club, based in the building at the junction of Manchester Road and Northwich Road, locked up for the final time on November 30 to signal an end of the era for the town.
In September the Guardian reported it was in financial trouble and that the committee had decided that the end was near.
It had once been a popular drinking spot for town residents and combined with being the home of various sports teams it was seen as a key part of Knutsford life.
The club is a separate organisation to MP George Osborne’s Tatton Conservative office which also operates from the same building and will not be affected in any way by the closure of the club.
Tony Ween, a member of the club, had been liaising with the building’s owner – Monckton Properties – in the run-up to the club closing after being asked to do so by club trustees.
He confirmed to the Guardian the club closed last Friday.
He said: “It is sad, but to be honest the number of people who used it didn’t make it viable, even though the snooker players and the bowlers went in. In the olden days these clubs were at the centre of the community and everyone went in the evening and had a drink.
“I suppose the recession hasn’t helped because people can’t afford to go and drink like they used to.”
Henry Brooks, owner of Monckton Properties, said the building’s future had yet to be decided.
He said: “For the moment we have got no definite plans, lots of ideas but no plans.
“We’ve allowed some short term usage for people who can come in and care for the building while we think about what to do. The bowling club has signed a 12-month rolling contract and we have also talked to a couple of other people as well.”
Brian Fisher, chairman of Knutsford Conservative Club, added: “With the economic climate, social drinking has gone down and we dipped too much into our reserves.
“It got to the stage where we were just keeping our heads above the water.
“It was put to members of the club and it was agreed while we were still able to pay our debts we would close the club and this was done very amicably.”
This year the club has run a host of teams in the local sporting leagues, including two bowling teams in the Knutsford Friday League, two in the Knutsford and District ladies bowling league, three teams in the Knutsford Bowling League, two teams in the Knutsford and District snooker league, a pool team plus a team in the Mobberley Dominoes League.