Club saved by its members faces new threat from police

Happier times: Members celebrate taking over the Fishwick club in May last year
Happier times: Members celebrate taking over the Fishwick club in May last year
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Old Fishwick Ramblers fighting to stay open after complaints from residents

A popular social club, saved by its members from the brink of closure last year, is under threat again after police objected to its licence.

Owners of The Club Ramblers, previously Fishwick Ramblers Working Men’s Club in Mornington Road, Preston, will be battling to stay in business when they appear before councillors next week. The private members club has applied for a premises licence to continue serving alcohol and putting on entertainment.

But, after complaints from residents about the behaviour of drinkers and noise problems in the neighbourhood, the police have raised objections to the city council’s licensing sub-committee. In a letter to the sub-committee, Sgt John Lovick revealed Lancashire Constabulary were objecting to the club’s licence application “on the grounds of crime and disorder and public nuisance.”

And he said there were insufficient measures in place for the police to make a decision on whether the club could trade safely. A report from the council’s environmental health department to next Thursday’s meeting says the authority was informed in October last year that the club had changed its name and amended its rules.

The report adds that in November the police applied for a review of the club premises certificate on the grounds of crime, disorder, public nuisance and a failure to operate the CCTV surveillance system as required.

The club had subsequently promised to operate the CCTV properly, restrict drinking-up time to 30 minutes, keep music at an acceptable level and urge drinkers to leave the club quietly.

The Ramblers was taken over by members Sandy Smith and Tracy Bamber last May because it was struggling financially.

“They were losing money hand over fist,” said Sandy at the official re-opening. “Being members we put it to the committee that we that we would take it on and we have bought them out. It is a family club and we are trying to keep the traditions going.”

The old Fishwick Ramblers WMC was named after a football team in Preston which appeared in the FA Cup back in 1884.