THE Fishermen’s Club is struggling financially and will close if the members do not put their hands in their pockets, according to the club chairman.
Tony Laycock, who has been a club member for 30 years and the chairman for two, is calling on the 1,100 members at the Fishermen’s, in Royal Parade, to help save the well-established club.
Tony, a 75-year-old who has already put £18,000 of his own money in to try and save the club, told the Herald, “The problem is we have no money.
“Bar takings are down and membership is down and when people do come on a Saturday night for the entertainment they are just not spending.
“I do understand people haven’t got the money these days but the reality is we haven’t got enough money to keep the club going.”
The Club committee has already held a meeting with members and asked them for an extra £50 but only 25 out of the 400 that attended were willing to stump up the extra cash.
The club is now on the verge of closure - leaving three full-time and six part-time members of staff without jobs.
A ‘crunch meeting’ for committee members was being held as the Herald went to press on Thursday afternoon (July 7) to decide the future of the club. The outcome is expected to be announced at a members’ meeting next week.
The Fishermen’s, which has been running since 1934, was once one of the most popular and thriving social clubs in Eastbourne but membership dropped from 2,000 last year to 1,100. The club’s restaurant has also been shut for some time.
If it is not saved, another empty building may join Treasure Island, which closed down earlier this year, at the eastern end of the seafront.
The Fishermen’s Club is still trading at the moment and Tony says it has managed to keep up payments with the brewery so the bar is still stocked. However, he says it will struggle to pay its outstanding bills.
Tony said, “It is very sad and I am making myself ill over it.
“I put in my own money to try and keep it going over the past two years but I stopped in April because I couldn’t afford it any more.
“I put the money in because I wanted to keep the club running.
“The members also want to club to continue but if they don’t come forward and support it, they won’t have a club.”