Social club will stay open this year

PUBLISHED: 15:43 13 March 2008 | UPDATED: 21:24 31 May 2010

A NEW committee has vowed to work tirelessly to save a club that has been in the town for over a century. At their busiest annual meeting in recent years, the cash-strapped Saffron Walden Conservative Club elected a new committee with the aim of prevent

A NEW committee has vowed to "work tirelessly" to save a club that has been in the town for over a century.

At their busiest annual meeting in recent years, the cash-strapped Saffron Walden Conservative Club elected a new committee with the aim of preventing their 120-year history coming to an end.

The Friday meeting saw the election of town and district councillor Keith Eden to chairman of the club based on Museum Street, Saffron Walden.

The new leadership has the "experience in business and a broad range of skills that will be essential to save the club", said the new chairman. "We are determined, qualified and dedicated to succeed."

Other appointments included town councillors David Watson to vice chairman, and Bob Eastham to treasurer. Town and district Cllr David-James Sadler was appointed to club secretary.

Mr Watson said: "I think the realisation about the poor state of the club's finances was a real wake-up call for many members.

"More than 100 people turned up to the annual meeting and we had 25 people stand for election to the committee, which is far more than previous years.

"We now have a full committee of nine members and four officers with a vision to take this club forward.

"The last committee was down to three members."

In February, ex-chairman Roy Withers said the club would close in April because it was not making enough money to meet the overheads.

But this week the new vice chairman told the Reporter the club would certainly be open for

the rest of the year and he was confident they could get the finances back on track.

"We wouldn't have taken on this responsibility if we didn't think the club had a future," said Mr Watson.

"We have people with the skills to bring this club up to the standard it used to be.

"Our chairman is a fund-raiser and successful businessman."

The short-term aim of the new leadership is to increase the club's membership and start putting on events that people want to go to.

The full committee will meet in the next couple of weeks to examine the finances and put together an action plan.

Mr Watson said: "It would be a tragedy to this town if the club closed.

"It is, I believe, the oldest Conservative Club in the country and we have great facilities.

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