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Meeting called to discuss future of Cockfield Workingmen's Club
THE future of a workingmen's club which almost went out of business five years ago is to be discussed at a special meeting next week.
All members of Cockfield Workingmen's Club, at Cockfield, near Bishop Auckland, are being urged to turn up for the meeting, which starts at 7.30pm on Monday night.
The reason the meeting has been called is not clear.
Notices circulating in the village state the only item on the agenda is the club's future.
Secretary Donald Metcalfe declined to elaborate on the situation.
He said: “I am not prepared to say anything. It is a general meeting and the members will decide what to do.”
In recent months, four members of the club's committee have been relieved of their positions.
One, Cyril Wallis, took his case to an arbitration hearing on Teesside and won full reinstatement as both a club and committee member.
He urged fellow members to turn up to the meeting in an attempt to find out what is going on at Cockfield club.
“I am going along – I have a number of questions to ask.
“However, it's all a hush hush job. I have spoken to people in the village who don't even know the meeting is on.”
Cockfield Workingmen's Club was plunged into crisis when it was placed into receivership in 2008 with debts of £71,000, much of which was owed to the Inland Revenue.
An accountant from the Clubs and Institutes Union (CIU) stepped in to help reduce the unpaid tax bill, while the club's members vowed to raise as much money as they could.
The efforts of the CIU auditors and club treasurer brought the debt down to £4,000 and a series of fundraising events, including car boot sales, raffles and bring-and-buy sales raised more than £12,000.
This, together increased revenue from the bar, covered the remaining debts plus the costs of accountants, solicitors and liquidators.
In January 2010, the club confirmed it was debt-free and out of receivership.
No-one from either the Durham branch of the CIU or the union's London headquarters was available to comment on the current situation at Cockfield club.
Monday night's meeting is not open to the public – only club members may attend and they will be asked to produce proof of membership at the door.
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