Call to community to save threatened club

Belford Community Centre
Belford Community Centre

Villagers are being called on to rally round an under-threat north Northumberland community club, which can only continue in its current guise for a few more months.

A public meeting took place on Monday as part of efforts being made to find a way forward for Belford Community Club, which is in danger of closing.

With a lounge, bar and games area downstairs and a very large function room, lounge and kitchen upstairs, the community club has for many years until recently thrived.

There were regular dances, bingo nights and keep-fit classes, among other activities, and it is used as a venue for weddings, birthdays, children’s parties and meetings.

The hall, run as a club, can only continue in its current form for another few months then it will be forced to close.

At the meeting, ideas for various community uses were put forward, all of which would take time to implement and are in part dependent on funding being forthcoming.

A local business owner has come forward with an offer to take over from the present club committee and run the building as a commercial venture and it was felt that there may be others who would consider this.

If you have any ideas or business proposals, contact the chairman of trustees, Stuart Reay, on 01668 213288 or 07720 259947.

The hall, which was originally a church, is the second largest building in the village and has an interesting history.

It was converted to the Belford War Memorial Hall after the First World War and for many years housed the local cinema. A van would arrive three times a week with a new film and there were two showings most days, with three on a Saturday.

By the 1970s, the building was in a bad state of repair and renovations were required, but there was no money.

A group of villagers, headed by the late Jimmy Williamson, got together and decided to resolve the situation.

A community social club was formed with people purchasing life memberships to raise capital.

Johnson’s the builders did some of the building work, but many people worked for nothing to support the renovation .