Members of a Peterborough sports club have said a sad goodbye after it closed its doors for the final time.
A farewell bash was held at the Parkway Sports & Leisure Club in Lincoln Road, New England, on Sunday after it was bought by the nearby Thistlemoor Medical Practice which will turn the clubhouse into a car park.
The club, which has been sold by the Parkway PSL Ltd, has played host to Peterborough Sports FC, as well as a number of darts, crib and snooker teams.
Long-time member Paul Venters, who first visited in 1981, and whose dad managed the club for 15 years, said: “It’s a huge disappointment and loss to the members and local community alike that the Parkway committee have taken the sad decision to sell a long-standing drinking establishment in the PSL.
“Having been standing since 1939 and through its different guises from Brotherhoods social to being privately owned in the 80s as Peterborough Sports and Leisure, through to its sale just over a decade ago to the Parkway Club (being renamed to Parkway Sports and Leisure), it has been a long-standing working men’s club.
“The members - of which to some the PSL is a haven and gives them the ability to meet and socialise with people on a regular basis - are disappointed that the committee of the Parkway have not listened to concerns raised by members of PSL over its future and the loss it will bring.
“The PSL has long been involved in charity days, supporting the remembrance service, OAP Christmas lunches, pool and darts teams, along with general goodwill to many local societies/groups, including Westwood Musical Society and Peterborough Sports FC, all of which will now have to look at other arrangements.
“Even on its last day of opening which was very well supported it handed over £600 to charity.
“Commercialism drives a lot of things these days and ‘normal’ people are left well behind and it is clear that the future for all of that area is going to be medical centre driven.
“The loss of this long-standing facility, the patronage of which is significantly higher than other establishments in the area, will be felt strongly.
“The bar staff and stewards, some of whom have over 30 years of service on site, have done a tremendous job under difficult circumstances and have been kept in the dark until very recently.
“Life moves on, change happens, but sometimes not for the right reasons or the best interests of the community as a whole.
“This will affect a lot of people for a long while.”
Sue Gilgan (62) from Eastfield Road worked behind the bar for 30 years and said she had “loved every moment of it”.
Sue said: “It was really sad on Sunday - everybody was in tears. I was in bits.
“I’ve seen so many faces and been to lots of birthdays and marriages. It’s been a lovely club.
“We donated £300 on the day to the Poppy Appeal and £300 to Prostate Cancer UK. Over the years we’ve raised about £50,000.
“It’s going to be such a sad loss. People are gutted and a lot won’t go out now.”
Charles Swift, president of Parkway PSL Ltd, previously told the Peterborough Telegraph: “The clubhouse has been there 80 years - it was the former Brotherhoods club. The Parkway club took it over when it was sold and put in £300,000 to renovate the sports field which was a derelict open space.”
Peterborough Sports said it was offered the chance to buy the club, but that “the funding required for such an investment was a million miles away from the level of finance we have available to us”.