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Thursday, 27 November 2014

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Sad day as bulldozers move in to demolish Silloth social club

It was the end of an era as bulldozers moved in to begin the demolition of a popular social club.

Silloth social club photo
The club officially closed on May 31

The demolition of Silloth Social Club, which is now surrounded by a metal fence, is understood to be in preparation for the construction of three new terraced houses on the site.

An Allerdale Council officer’s statement, included as part of planning proposals for the site, argued that the loss of the building would “enhance” the appearance of the conservation area.

But guitarist Jimmy Slater, who has performed in the club for five decades, was devastated by the news.

Mr Slater, who plays with Cumbrian band Rue & The Rockets, said: “That’s a bit of a shock because we just played there last month.

“I’m really sorry to hear it and there’s a lot of clubs closing down with the way things are going. That’s the only club in Silloth for people to go and have a night out. There was no sense of that happening and usually when things are happening you hear about it.

“I’m surprised that the people of Silloth have let it happen.”

The club closed temporarily on March 6 and an extraordinary general meeting was held on May 11. Following the meeting a message was posted on the club’s Facebook page which stated: “Following tonight’s EGM the club will be closing on May 31. It has been a hard decision but the right one in many members’ eyes.”

Mr Slater said the loss of the club would leave a huge hole in the community.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen in Silloth now. That club was the ideal size,” he added.

“We go all over the place and that’s one of the venues that you looked forward to going to.”

Silloth deputy mayor Stuart Graham said: “It’s very sad to see the social club go and it’s a sign of the times.

“The pub industry has suffered over the last few years.

“The good news for residents is that we are not going to have a vacant vandalised property which is a risk to the community.”

Residents have taken to Facebook to make clear their displeasure at the demolition. One wrote: “Sad, there will be nothing left of Silloth shortly.”

The club had been a fixture of the town for many years, hosting musical and charity events.

In late 2012 a gig was held there to raise money for the Solway Plain Against Nuclear Dump group, who were campaigning against the possibility of nuclear waste being buried in the Solway Plain.

No-one at the club was available for comment.

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