SHOCKED members of a club that served a once thriving mining community on the outskirts of Bedworth are soon to learn its fate.
A meeting is to be held the week after next at Coventry Colliery Sports and Social Club which has collapsed under a burden of debt.
Insolvency practitioners Gibson Booth have called the meeting at the club in Bennetts Road, Keresley, for Tuesday May 22 at 7pm.
Members will then find out the full extent of the financial problems that have forced the club to close.
Michelle Dennis from the Coventry based insolvency experts declined to comment on the situation.
But she confirmed that the meeting will take place on the club premises and will be open to all members to attend.
The club pulled its last pints the week before last, but it has been an open secret on the village that it has been struggling for some time.
Losses are believed to have been running at £500 a week and it has struggled to pay its bills.
Long serving club official Bob Lilley, who has been chairman for the past 12 years said: “Members simply haven’t been using the club so the money just hasn’t been coming in.
“We just aren’t taking enough to pay our bills. It is a simply as that.
“Our electricity and gas bills are massive. It is such a big place that they cost us £1,400 a month.
He added: “It is a shame that we have had to close, but it has been hard work trying to keep the club open.
“Myself and the committee have tried our best, but we can’t do anymore.”
Some members have claimed they have been `kept in the dark’ over the club’s financial plight.
They insist that the club has not kept abreast of the changing times and has suffered as a consequence.
Membership has plummeted from 18,000 at its height to just a few hundred.
The club has two concert rooms and is one of the biggest in the area.
It was built to serve the miners, who worked at Coventry Colliery and later the Homefire Plant.
For years it boomed, members had to get there early at weekends to make sure they had a seat.
The club was also a centre for football, cricket and bowls and other sporting activities.
But the football and cricket sections are not affected: “We have just built a new £120,000 pavilion and they are separate from the club so they will continue,” said Bob Lilley.
Many people believe that the start of its demise can be traced to the miners’ strike in 1984 which split families and divided the village.
The closure of Coventry Colliery in 1991 and the loss of 1,300 jobs also dealt a savage blow to a community that was built on coal.
But the club is also the victim of a decline in the licensed trade which has seen once popular pubs and clubs close at an alarming rate.