Clitheroe’s Catholic social club is taking on a new lease of life after an investment of nearly £40,000 to bring it bang up to date.
St Michael and St John’s Social Club, in Lowergate, had spent about £100,000 several years ago on substantial improvements including new toilets, heating and disabled access.
But the decor and furnishings were starting to look tired, and better catering facilities were needed to attract functions that called for more than just a pie-and-peas supper.
Kevin Shepherd, who used to run a banqueting suite at Accrington, is the manager with Theresa Peel as his assistant, and both share an enthusiasm to make the club a community hub for the whole town.
“The club is a registered charity, but it obviously had to be run on more commercial basis,” said Kevin, a former planner at Castle Cement who became manager about a year ago.
“We’ve re-equipped the kitchen so we can now cater for up to 200 people, and the main hall has been completely redecorated to make it more attractive.
“We’ve taken out the old iron balustrade that tended to split the hall in two, and we’ve bought all new chairs in and 10-seater round tables for functions.
“We were really pleased and proud when the Mayor of Clitheroe picked our club to hold his civic dinner.”
Kevin and his team are keen to point out that the club is not just for Catholics and church members.
They changed the licence so anybody can come in for a drink, but club members have their own swipe cards to get club prices at the bar.
“A lot of money has been invested into updating the club, and the project is still continuing,” said Kevin.
Next on the list is a revamp for the two foyer areas; one for the club and one for the main hall, but in the meantime the team are gearing up for the televised World Cup after installing a new digital projector and 11-foot screen in the club room, which is festooned with the flags of all 32 competing nations.
Kevin said: “We’re even putting on half-time bacon butties for the England games.”