One of Preston’s oldest working men’s clubs is on the brink of closure after more than 80 years - in a dispute over noise.
Owners of The Club Ramblers, formerly Fishwick Ramblers, will hold an emergency meeting in the next few days to decide whether to appeal against a city council decision to revoke their licence.
Sandy Smith said:“It is a huge blow for our 200 members and the local community. We feel we’ve been treated unjustly because to our knowledge only one neighbour has complained.
“We have 21 days to lodge an appeal. But, even if we do, we don’t hold out a lot of hope. It looks like we are going to have to shut down, which is extremely sad.”
Preston’s licensing sub-committee refused the club a premises licence this week after opposition from the police. Members heard Lancashire Constabulary objected on the grounds of “crime and disorder and public nuisance.”
The sub-committee was told that the club, which was taken over by its members only last year because it was struggling financially, had upset neighbours with late night noise.
Mr Smith, who led the members’ takeover last May with long-serving member Tracy Bamber, said: “It has hit everyone hard, but particularly Tracy who has been here for something like 35 years.
“When we took the club over last year we were excited about the future. And we have been doing well. So it’s a crying shame that a club which has been here at the heart of this community for so long should be forced out of business, largely due to the complaints of just one household.
“We haven’t given up yet. But we need to sit down and discuss what to do next. If we appeal I wouldn’t be too confident of winning.”