Salisbury social club in ‘use it or lose it’ plea amid financial struggle

A SALISBURY social club that’s been at the heart of the community for decades could face closure.

Stratford Social Club is battling rising costs and falling membership as it bids to stay open.

The venue, complete with iconic high ceilings, bar, pool room, vault darts and community space, is a social hub for residents.

But its 170 members are simply not enough to keep the lights on and the doors open, the management committee says, and is appealing for hirers, members and new people on the volunteer committee to keep it running.

Salisbury City Council owns the club’s Chatham Close home, letting it for free as part of the Rent Reduction Community Impact Scheme.

Chair of the committee, Carl Doran, said: “This is a fantastic facility, run by an amazing but increasingly small group of volunteers.

“We need to shout out for hirers and members and say if we don’t use it, we will lose it.”

Dolly Burnett, a committee mmber for more than 25 years, said: “We have been the venue for a number of community events over the last few months and it’s as important to have places when times are hard as it is to have places to celebrate, what our club is for many people.

“We have celebrated new year, hosted darts tournaments and the monthly Mencap Disco and also been the venue for wakes and memorials.

“We just want to share our spaces with more people and sadly we have whole days in the week where the club is empty.

“Surely someone out there needs this space?”

Finances are tight at the club, which is looking for groups and organisations who would like to share and use their spaces, be that for individual groups or sessions or as a long-term partner in the facility.

City Councilor John Wells (Lab, St Francis and Stratford) has been supporting the club’s committee over the past six months.

He said: “If you live locally and have a skill like social media, creating flyers, or would like to put on an event you need only give a few hours a month to the committee, and it could make all the difference.”

Chair Carl added: “If nothing else, become a member. It only costs between £5 and £15 a year. Just that membership fee makes a huge difference to us, and you will always be welcome at the club for a cheeky pint at a very friendly price.”

Mr Doran has also been hiring the basement of the club for his own business, The Happy Fruiter, since the pandemic, with that rent being a lifeline for the club.

But with all options on the table, and business changes for Mr Doran, the club are also open to hearing from other businesses who may wish to sub-let the premises.

Anyone interested in membership or hire of the club can visit their Facebook page or email the chair of the committee at

Community groups interested in full day or multiple day use of the facilities can contact the City Council Communities Team at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *