Nostalgia: Rule book torn up to help Wakefield club survive

Belle Vue Working Men's Club allowed women members for the first time in 30 years in a desperate bid to avert closure. 1991
Belle Vue Working Men's Club allowed women members for the first time in 30 years in a desperate bid to avert closure. 1991
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Committee members, fighting to save Belle Vue WMC, had also issued an urgent plea for support from the local community.

Amid warnings that more people must use the club if it was to survive, the club had ripped up the rule book to allow women members.

The appeal for support came as part of a desperate attempt to stem a financial crisis which had put the club more than £10,000 into the red.

The club’s assistant secretary Mr Thomas Little said the problems arose after the discovery earlier that year that because of the poor administration the club had paid no tax, VAT or national insurance for more than two years.

And it was found the club owed money to the Co-op bank, a number of suppliers and brewers John Smiths.

Mr Little said: “The previous administration had no monetary control. We need £10,000 immediately and we are trying to borrow from the bank,”

With a new committee, the Belle Vue club was being radically re-structured. Volunteers were drafted in to help run the bar and clean, and weekend opening hours were extended.

Mr Little said “This is the only working men’s club in the area. If people use it, with a lot of luck we should pull through.”