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‘Open to all’ Darwen Catholic Club in name change
3:05pm Thursday 19th September 2013 in Darwen
A HISTORICAL social club is being renamed in a bid to revive its fortunes – and attract non-religious members.
Darwen Catholic Club, which opened in Wellington Fold in the 1920s, is changing its name to the Wellington Bar to resolve long-standing confusion on who can join.
Club secretary Steve Taylor said that, despite being open to everyone, he believed the name could have caused a drop of up to 50% in potential profits over the past 20 years as many original Catholic members died and were not replaced.
The club, a co-operative organisation, has 150 members who become owners after paying an annual £15 fee for nine years.
The committee decided to push ahead with rebranding at a meeting six months ago to encourage a wider range of people to use the facilities and join the club, especially the younger generation.
It will be renamed at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday by member and town council mayor Eileen Entwistle.
Mr Taylor said: “It will get rid of the stigma about it being for Catholics only, which is simply not true.
“A lot of people don’t come in because of the name or ask us if they are allowed to have a drink here which, I think, over the last 20 years has affected profits.”
Committee member and Sunnyhurst ward councillor Dave Smith said: “We welcome everyone who wants to join and hope that by having the name change it will encourage more people, especially younger ones, to take advantage of our facilities such as the snooker tables. The club is a hidden gem.”
For more information about the club, call 01254 760856.
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