Cley club’s last-ditch bid for support

Supporters of a north Norfolk village social club are mounting a last-ditch bid for community support and warn that, without it, they will have to close.

Cley Social Club has been getting a lick of paint as part of a major relaunch starting this weekend, with a programme of attractions aimed at enticing families.

Attendance at events had gradually dropped away and the club had been forced to shut and bin stock over the Christmas period, according to treasurer Kerri Felgate.

Organisers faced a vicious circle where they could not afford to mount events because people did not support them, but when asked what would make them use the club, villagers said they wanted more events, she said.

Now the eight-strong committee has put together several events hoping to appeal to all sections of the community and warn that if that doesn't work, they will have to seriously consider folding at their annual meeting in April.

'There aren't many community facilities in Cley and we don't want to lose this one. We want people's support – we need them to show that they have confidence in us and want us to continue. We need people to say: 'Yes, you are doing the right thing',' said Miss Felgate.

Profits were ploughed into community events including a planned children's Easter party, which would include a bonnet competition and an egg hunt.

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The events are: Sunday, January 30, prize bingo, 7.30pm; February 18, clairvoyant Roger Colman, 7.30pm, tickets �3 in advance, �5 on door; February 25, ladies' night with beauty therapist, Ann Summers products and massage; March 4, relaunch membership recruitment evening with free glass of wine, nibbles and disco; March 18, The Dream Boys strippers 8pm, tickets �10.

Committee members are also hoping to attract more men by running a darts event in May for Macmillan Cancer Support, in memory of popular villager Kevin Cooke.

If successful, they hope to launch darts and pools teams.

Club membership has been halved to �3 this year, or �1.50 for juniors aged 14 to 16 years. Younger accompanied children can enter for free. The club is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 7pm to 11pm, and on Sundays from 7pm to 10.30pm.

Miss Felgate said attractions included cheap drink – with the most expensive beer at �2.90 a pint. 'We've got a nice big car park and a massive playing area at the back. In summer families can sit outside with a drink,' she added.

The club, which stands behind Cley Village Hall, is thought to have been launched in the 1980s but closed some time later.

It was reopened in about 1995 by Gail High, mother of its current chairman Sheri Harrod. It once employed a paid bar attendant but is now run completely by volunteers.