Downham and Clackclose Conservative Club
Newsletter No 4 October 2023

There is a lot going on at the club and a lot more is planned. We thought we would update you on all that is happening and our plans for the future.

Refurbishment of Building
The chairs, sofas and barstools are now all recovered and re-padded.The benches in the lounge are on the schedule. We will then have completed the furniture.The external front door has been repainted and so too the black skirting. We are getting estimates for the windows in the lounge to be replaced. We will complete painting this area and repaint the area in the bar where there was a leak. The curtains in the lounge have now been replaced. Once everything is finished, we will get the carpets industrially cleaned.Our thanks to all those who helped to do all this work.
We had a plan to invest in the building: to delve into our savings and bring the building up to health and safety requirements: to make it watertight and attractive. Just when we thought we were getting there we discover another issue. The wall adjacent to Morrisons has a tree which has started growing into. It all needs re-rendering. As a health and safety issue we need to act immediately.

The Plan
At the start of the year the committee agreed what we intended to do in the year. We worked on the basis that if we didn’t know where we were going, we’d never get there. We attach the “cunning plan” which we called Our Prospectus.

Rule Book
One aspect of this was to revise the Rule Book. The Blue Book. It is out of date. For example, it says we elect our trustees annually. This is not the case. Our Trustees are the Assuocition of Conservative Clubs. There are other areas too, where we need to clarify and update the book. The committee will consider at its next meeting establishing a working party to review the rule book. Any changes would need to be agreed by a Special General Meeting. Convened just for this purpose. The niceties and intricacies of constructional analysis are not to everybody’s taste. We would therefore welcome any volunteers, of that disposition, who wished to join the working party. Please contact Brenda.

We had an offer from Greene King to give us £7500. Our commitment would be to buy the same amount of beer from them as we are at the moment for three years. We would also need to display two of their beers on the counter. We do this already. We were concerned if that they raised their prices we would be tied in a contract. However, we secured an assurance of marginal price increases which would protect us. After consulting ACC our trustees, we agreed to proceed with this. The money will be used towards our refurbishment and improving the kitchen crockery and facilities.

We have new tenants in the flat. It has taken us a considerable amount of expenditure to get this up and running and until this has been recouped, any income received will be paid into the Refurbishment Fund.

Subscriptions 2024
The committee agreed to the increase subscription by £2.50 for single membership, and £5 for joint membership, single membership will therefore be £27.50 per annum and joint membership £45. The joining fee for both will remain at £20.
From October a new member can join and get 15 months for the price of 12.

Catering and Christmas
During December our chef will be offering pre-booked groups meals with a traditional Christmas dinner.please ask at bar for details
We will also be holding a Christmas Lunch for members only on 17th December. £25 per head. Again, pre booking is a requirement.
On Christmas Day a gastronomic delight will be available: Norfolk Bronze turkey, sirloin of beef, all the traditional trimmings. A vegetarian option will also be available, accompanied by crackers and carols. The price will be £45 members and £50 guests.

Our thanks to Lyn Thorpe our Entertainment Secretary for the programme of events she has arranged. She has made some additions and alterations to the programme.

1st Oct 23 Dan Starr 2:30pm (non-members£1)
4th Oct 23 ShopPing trip to Springfields
7th Oct 23Tony G 8:30pm
28th Oct 23 Sidewalk 8:30pm
29th Oct.23 Halloween karaoke. 2:30 Fancy dress optional
(non-members £1)
11th Nov 23 Ann-Marie. 8:30pm
19th Nov 23 Karaoke 2:30 (non-members £1)
25th Nov 23 Carnaby Sounds 8:30pm
16th Dec 23 KJ & The Catt 8:30pm
17th Dec 23 Members’Christmas lunch and Christmas draw
24th Dec 23 Christmas Party karaoke 2pm
31st Dec 23 New Years Eve Party with food.
Ticket only for function and all bars. (Members £13 guests £15)

20th Jan24 Dan Starr
28th Jan 24 Karaoke
10th Feb 24 Ann-Marie
18th Feb 24 Pops
25th Feb 24 Karaoke
9th Mar 24 Move It
30th Mar 24 KJ &The Catt
31st March 24 Karaoke

Quiz every last Friday in the month – 7:30pm. £2 per person. Max of 6 in each team.

Bingo every Tuesday Eyes down 7:30pm.

Cribbage Tuesday one team home, the other way.
Whist Wednesday Evenings.

Open the Box every other Friday. Prize presently stands at over £1300!

We will also be having a number of Craft Fayres.
There is a selection of games available: darts, shove halfpenny, dominoes cribbage and playing cards. We have two full size snooker tables in the games room.

An art class meets on Wednesday mornings.
Our new tearoom is open for light meals and snacks throughout the week. See our website or noticeboard for opening hours.
A number of groups meet at the club. If you and a group of friends would like to meet at the club, we have rooms for hire at reduced rates for members.

Downham and Clackclose Conservative Club is a private members’ club which exists to provide service to its members.

We will ensure that the club is a safe, comfortable, and welcoming place for our members in the centre of town.
Hot and cold drinks will be available seven days a week. Good quality food will be available on Thursday Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

We will provide this at the cheapest rate we can. We are aware that cost of living increases has affected our members, and we realise we too, will be subject to price increases.

We will provide a program of entertainment, where there is at least one event a month, and also bingo, whist and cribbage
on a weekly basis. We will ensure both our bowls club have the facilities they need.

We will treat our staff with respect and be good employers. Along with VAT, Corporation and council tax, we will ensure tax N.I and pension contributions are up to date.

We will train our staff so that they are qualified as first aiders, fire Marshals and hold food and hygiene certificates where necessary.

We will ensure the club is cleaned and will employ our own cleaners to do this.
This year we will commence a programme of redecoration and continue with our maintenance programme. We will ensure the club is watertight and complete the roofing work.

We will refurbish the seating in the club so that it can be washed regularly. We will be bio security conscious.

We will communicate with members via Facebook, the website and a newsletter. The latter will be emailed to members and copies placed in the bar and on the website.

We will continue to let the premises to community groups and for private functions, we will offer the club for hire to members at a reduced rate.

We will budget our expenditure to match our income. Our aim is to break even. We recognise however that the volume of maintenance work is so great that we will need to view this aim as a longer-term ambition. The flat has been let out to tenants and has become a source of income. Considerable expenditure was required to do this. This will be recouped this through the income from rent.

We are aware of the need to generate income via bar sales, rents, hire of rooms. entertainment, grants, gaming machines and subscriptions. The Finance Committee will monitor this.

We are members of the ACC, as such our members are entitled to IAP cards for a minimal fee. We honour our commitment to reciprocal club membership and welcome IAPS members.

The ACC provides the Trustees for the club, and we benefit good interest rates. We abide by the Blue Book Rules part of which requires allegiance to the Conservative Party.

Our Blue Rule Book needs revision. We will ask for volunteers to assist us in this task. Once we have a draft version, we will need to hold a Special General Meeting to get this accepted.