Royal Navy Club will close after 67 years

Eastbourne Royal Navy Social Club soon to be closed down SUS-140821-123632001
Eastbourne Royal Navy Social Club soon to be closed down SUS-140821-123632001

Eastbourne’s historic Royal Navy Club will close its doors for the last time on September 30.

The decision was taken following a meeting held at the club on Beach Road on Monday August 18.

In a statement issued last week, club secretary Sheila Davey said they were meeting to discuss the future of the club and the outcome has now become clear.

The club, which originally opened on North Street in 1947 before moving to Beach Road as it became over-crowded, is one of many similar institutions that have struggled to stay afloat in recent times.

While the club retains a healthy number of members, chairman of 13 years John Wicking said they are still struggling financially.

“I’m really sad that we have to close after so many years. The main reason is a lack of support,”he said.

“We’ve got 300 or so members but most are elderly and don’t come out at night.

“We rely on people coming in and spending money at the bar.

“We wanted to go on until the end of the year but it became quickly apparent that it wasn’t possible to do that.”

However, Claire Brown, whose son was a member at the club , feels more could have been done to keep it open.

“It’s a great shame that another veterans’ social club is closing at time where veterans are in need of support after some of the recently conflicts of the 21st Century,” she said.

“It seems the older veterans are taking it upon themselves not to hand over responsibility of these clubs, thus seeing them close.

“The meeting only lasted 18 minutes and it seemed senior committee members had made there minds up to close the club regardless.”

Mr Wicking added, “Hindsight is a very good thing but people are not coming in.

“I’m extremely upset about it as I’ve put a lot of time into the club and I was only meant to be chairman for a year.”