Club facing bleak future
MEMBERS of a struggling workingmen's club are being warned: 'use it or lose it'.
Norton Workingmen's Club used to welcome more than 100 visitors to its weekly events.
But the Knypersley Road building now sees just a handful of regular customers through its doors.
Staff at the club admit they are worried the building may suffer the same fate as the recently-closed Norton and Ball Green Community Hall.
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They are now urging visitors to make the most of the building before they lose it.
Committee president Tracy Chell said: "Business has dropped off. It has gone very quiet.
"Once the community hall closed, we thought we would see more people coming and going, but we haven't.
"I think a lot of people don't really know we are here or what we do."
The club has a large games room, lays on weekly bingo sessions, quiz nights and outdoor and indoor bowls sessions.
It also hosts a range of theme nights, including a ladies' darts night, a Take That tribute, a soul and Motown evening and a hog roast. It can cater for wedding parties and funerals, and has a large function room.
Forty seven-year-old Tracy, from Knypersley Road, Norton, doubles up as the bingo caller.
She said: "The community hall has closed now and I am worried that the club could go the same way.
"The last thing I want is to see it closed because there will be nothing left here."
Norton and Ball Green Community Hall officially closed on New Year's Eve as part of Stoke-on-Trent City Council's cutbacks.
Tracy added: "I have been president for about a year. My husband is the secretary and my dad works on the door, so we put a lot of work into it.
"I have been a regular at the club since I was young and I would hate to see it go. But people need to come and make the most of it because if they don't use it, we will lose it."
Members want to introduce a number of charity events and a darts room to enable them to hold competitions.
Fifty six-year-old Bill Bible, from Norton, is a regular at the venue and wants to encourage people to go along.
He said: "It is a great club with a friendly atmosphere. It is cross-generational and has something for everyone."
Taxi driver John Nicholls, aged 55, also from Norton, added: "I come to the bingo sessions on a Sunday and enjoy the regular quiz nights. It is a great place for the community."