Navy club in plea for members

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A Leyland Navy club has issued an urgent rallying call to the community over fears it may ‘sink’.

The Royal Navy Association Club, on Towngate, has been part of the community for over 40 years.

But falling membership numbers, hiking costs and social changes mean its days might be numbered.

Jim Halliday, club secretary, has urged the community to get behind the club to secure its future.

The 76-year-old said: “We need people in Leyland to know about us and know that we are well worth visiting.

“We are a popular venue for entertainment and we just need more people to come and join us.”

The club, which started in 1972, is tied to the Royal Navy Association, meaning the £10-a-year membership fee goes straight to headquarters in London. This means the club has to rely solely on takings proceeds from the club.

Jim said: “We could obviously do with more membership coming in to make sure we survive.

“We do have entertainment on a Saturday night that always does quite well but we can’t just rely on one night per week to keep us going.

“We are not getting the younger people in and that’s certainly one of our problems. And the cost of everything these days is also a big problem.

“It really is a shame because these clubs really provide a service in the community.

“Last year we held a big charity night for Help for Heroes and we raised a lot of money considering.”

Tragedy struck the club in 2004 when a fire meant they had to completely refurbish.

But Jim, who served in the Falklands, says it now looks better than ever.

He said: “It is a beautiful club. It’s not very big, but it looks lovely.

“We have a small stage that the entertainers love and they always ask when they can come back.

“When you look around and see people enjoying themselves it’s hard to think where they would be without it.”

Jim added: “It is a bit of a fight but it is worth it.”

For more information about the club and to enquire about joining, call 01772 422212.