England's oldest working men's club set to close in Telford

The oldest working men's club in England will close at the end of this week after running out of money, it was announced today.

The Anstice Memorial Hall in Madeley is due to close
The Anstice Memorial Hall in Madeley is due to close

Efforts will now be made to return the Anstice Memorial Institute in Madeley to the community after its members voted overwhelmingly to liquidate the club.

The decision to close the doors this Friday was made at an extraordinary general meeting of members last night.

The private meeting was for full members only – which meant that only men could attend.

Women associate members were left to wait downstairs for news.

Outside, about 15 members of the Save the Anstice campaign held a peaceful demonstration as the members went in. The building is owned and run by a private members club.

But it has fallen foul of rules set up to ensure that both men and women benefit from any funding it is able to apply for. Because it does not offer equal rights for both sexes, the club does not meet the criteria to apply for grants to maintain the Grade II listed building.

A newly-formed five-man committee will now oversee the liquidation of the club and look to find ways of securing the future of the building.

Madeley councillor Kevin Guy, who is a member of the club, is on the liquidation committee and said he was felt positive that the building could be re-opened as a community venue.

He said: "The goal is to find someone to take over the building. It is definitely my wish that the building remains for use by the people of Madeley."

He said the meeting had seen "frank exchanges" between the members and the current committee before 82 per cent of those there voted in favour of winding the club up in its present form.

Councillor Guy denied rumours circulated in the town that it had been sold to pub chain Wetherspoons.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News