Club at the crossroads

NINE months after it was forced to shut its doors, a Brighouse social club remains closed and in darkness – with no immediate prospect of re-opening.

Efforts to get Blakeborough’s Social and Sports Club back in business have stalled after months of wrangling and the building in Bradford Road is without an electricity supply and cannot be used.

There are fears that the condition of the building will deteriorate over the winter months while a lengthy civil court action to determine the future of the club drags on.

Members of Blakeborough’s Social and Sports Club and Blake’s Albion Bowling Club in Halifax Road have been at loggerheards for almost three years about the best way to secure the future of both organisations.

The committee at Blakeborough’s Social Club has twice been cleared of wrong-doing after Calderdale police were asked to investigate allegations of fraud and theft.

The initial police investigation came after members of Blake’s Albion club made allegations against the committee at the main club in Bradford Road. After a year-long investigation Calderdale CID found there was no evidence to support

complaints of criminal activity though they did cast doubts on the way the club was run.

But members of Blake’s Albion club were unhappy with the findings and, led by committee member Andy Speechley, asked the police to conduct a thorough review of the first investigation. Andy Taylor, committee member at Blakeborough’s Social club, said: “We have now heard from our solicitor that the second investigation found no evidence of wrong-doing.

“We agree the club could have been run better but that is not the same as criminal activity.

“All this is very frustrating for the club. We are worried that the building is falling into disrepair.

“Our hands are tied because, while the court case is hanging over us, our assets are tied up and we are not generating

income or providing a service to our 650 members. We want to take the club forward but at the moment our hands are tied.

“We go back to court on November 18 but all these delays and adjournments are not helping us or the club.”