Norfolks oldest Railway Institute in danger of closing

The Melton Constable Country Club. Picture: Adrian Loynes

The Melton Constable Country Club. Picture: Adrian Loynes - Credit: Archant

What is believed to be one of the very last Railway Institutes in the UK still being used for its original purpose is in danger of closure.

The Railway Institute in Melton Constable was built in 1896 by the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway for its railwaymen.

The railway works closed down in the 1960s when a group of villagers organised the purchase of the building forming the Melton Constable Country Club which since has been a bar and hall for the community.

But now it is at risk of closing after a fall in business.

Club chairman Adrian Loynes said 'The club is managed by a committee of volunteers, but unless the local community takes a greater interest in the building and its facilities it is difficult to see how we can survive for much longer.

During its heyday in the 1960s and 1970s the building was modernised and extended, but with the rising maintenance costs associated with a Victorian building, and the lack of business the club may have to close.

The club is looking at options to secure its future, including offering studio spaces for local artists within the historic building and a periodic community café.

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On October 28 the nine piece Mynx Soul Band are playing a benefit concert at the institute with proceeds going towards a survival fund, tickets are available at £8 or £10 on the door. Go to www.meltonclub.org for more information.

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