Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

I Thought There Was a Glimmer of Hope; Attempt to Keep Club Alive Was a Struggle

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

I Thought There Was a Glimmer of Hope; Attempt to Keep Club Alive Was a Struggle

Article excerpt

Byline: RUTH LAWSON

LAST orders has been called at one of Tyneside's biggest social clubs after it went into liquidation.

Westerhope and District Comrades Social Club, on the Newbiggin Hall Estate in Newcastle, went into voluntary liquidation in November last year after years trying to stay afloat.

But despite the best efforts of the newly-formed committee, the longstanding liabilities of the club saw them admit defeat as they were left owing around pounds 200,000.

Club secretary Peter Ruddick said the committee was fighting a losing battle after taking on so much debt when it took over in 2009.

The 49-year-old, of Lowbiggin, Newbiggin Hall Estate, said: "We picked up the running of the club with a lot of debt but we just couldn't catch up.

"It was inevitable really but we thought there was a glimmer of hope when we started."

Newcastle's RMT Accountants and Business Advisors has been appointed as administrators and given the task of winding the firm up.

"The club was built in 1964 and over the years it became known as one of largest and most successful throughout the North East. It In the last few years its fortunes suffered badly due to the lack of a full committee, which saw some members become disenchanted and leave.

went They say born buried Mr Ruddick, who only became secretary of the club in November 2009, said: "For a short while the club was virtually rudderless, nobody was in charge, undesirable people were coming to the club and there were complaints to the local police, which almost led to its licence being removed. In fact in the summer of 2009 it nearly shut."

Founding member Ray Cavanagh, 73, and a host of other well-respected regulars, including Peter, joined forces in July 2009 to make one last attempt to put the running of the club back in members' hands. …

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