Bid to save Carronshore club from closure

Yvonne McCreadie, secretary of Carronshore Social Club ,centre, with staff and members of the club/  Picture: Scott Louden
Yvonne McCreadie, secretary of Carronshore Social Club ,centre, with staff and members of the club/ Picture: Scott Louden

Cash-strapped Carronshore Social Club is staging an eleventh hour attempt to stay open – despite an earlier vote to close it down for good.

The Club needs to meet what’s said to be a total debt, historic and current, of around £30,000.

And the 500-capacity resource in Bothkennar Road held a crisis vote last week to decide whether it’s possible to stage a fight-back.

But it’s understood that while the result was a “no” very few of those who could have voted were present – and meanwhile new ideas have been broached which could make a difference.

Club secretary Yvonne McCreadie said: “We are determined to try everything, and we have not shut down at all.

“Someone had been telling everyone we were really closed. We risked losing a 200-capacity function booked in for just after Christmas – and annoying a lot of people.”

She added: “It will be a great function, like so many others, but we’ve got 384 members on our books, and I’m appealing to them through the Falkirk Herald, please start using our club and help us prove it has a future.

“We’re not giving up without a fight, but of course we need the support of the local community – even if it’s just people buying a fundraising raffle ticket.

“Everyone who attends a fundraiser will be making a difference.”

The club was originally a miners’ welfare social 
facility dating back to 1926, and for many decades 
attracted huge numbers at weekends.

But more recently, says Yvonne, a combination of circumstances have seen the number of users plummet.

“A lot of people still think we were had closed, but that’s not true – we’re open now, and we’re staying open until we find whether there are ways we can tackle our present difficulties.

“We have slimming, dance, exercise and a friendship club meeting at the club, but we need a lot more people here, particularly at weekends, if we’re to survive.”

She points to good facilities and the capacity to host large events – with seating space for more than 220, or more than double that standing – as reasons why closure would be a loss to the local community.

Facebook entries show pictures from functions which were popular and well attended.

But the club has struggled to cope with numerous challenges in recent times, and in particular the much tighter regime on drinks licensing brought in under the revised Licensing (Scotland) Act.

It put registered social clubs on much the same basis as regular clubs, but forced club committees across the country to address a welter of complex new rules they hadn’t had to deal with before.

Meanwhile the new driving restrictions on drinking have devastated many social clubs and pubs, say trade associaions.

Local councillor Craig Martin said: “Sadly social clubs are facing difficulties that didn’t exist in previous years – and certainly the licensing laws have had a major effect on them.””