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Crime Author Seeks Comeback for Social & Bingo Clubs

  • 02 Feb 13
  • Written by Deena Chance

altA Scottish crime author has spoken out about his wishes to bring back social clubs to the community. Steve Christie, who released his first novel, Good Deed, a few months ago, is concerned that many working men’s clubs are fighting to stay afloat in the current financial climate, and says that many are being forced to shut down due to lack of local interest. The writer says that he used to be a regular in his local social clubs, which originally started life with men-only policies, but went on to become welcoming places for families to go.

The President of the Fenmore Sports and Social Club in Moredun, Scotland, says that they’ve done “everything possible” to attract more visitors – particularly new members. Ms. Gibbs added that the Monday night bingo session is their busiest time of the week, and that contrary to what many might believe, more men than women turn up to play. Having held the role of President for the last two years, Ms. Gibbs’ club has been trying their best to organise popular events that will pull the punters in. They’ve even tried putting on Ladies’ Nights and free cabaret shows on Saturdays to try and attract more interest, and have recently enlisted the help of author, Steve. Mr. Christie decided to use the social club to carry out his latest book signings, in the hope that the locals will return, along with “the original club culture.”

It’s not just Scottish clubs that are suffering either. Over in London, the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club was experiencing similar problems with lack of turnout, until they decided to take more radical approach. Just some of the creative events they’ve been hosting include an animation night, a hot-dog eating contest at midnight, and a pop-up tattoo parlour, which have gone down a treat with the local community.

The latest figures show that there are now less than half the clubs in existence than there were in the 1970s, and those responsible for their futures are concerned that if things don’t get back on track, they will continue to decline in the same way that pubs are.

Have you ever, or do you still, spend time in your local social club? If yes, have you noticed a drop in numbers, and what do you think can be done to make it busier? If you’ve never attended one, what are your reasons for staying away? Perhaps you think they’re only for men, or that they’re outdated, in which case what sort of events (bingo, perhaps?) and offers would entice you to try going to one?

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