Sheffield club run by three generations of the same family faces closure

A Sheffield club run by three generations of the same family has warned it faces closure unless more people use it.

Monday, 28th October 2019, 10:47 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th October 2019, 4:43 pm
Kerry Rose outside St Mary's Catholic Club in High Green (pic: Scott Merrylees)

St Mary’s Catholic Club in High Green risks going the same way as many pubs in the suburb have already if trade doesn’t pick up quickly – with those in charge saying there are just four or five weeks left to save the long-running venue.

The club, beside St Mary’s Church on Mortomley Lane, has been running since at least the 60s and was a bustling social hub during its heyday but like many such clubs its popularity has dwindled in recent years.

Kerry Rose has worked there for 20 years, her mother Joan has been there for about 30 years, and Kerry’s grandparents Lawrence and Joan McSweeney ran it before that.

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Lawrence and Joan McSweeney, who used to run St Mary's Catholic Club in High Green

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Kerry claims many people don’t even realise it’s there, or that anyone can use it, which is why she is launching a major publicity drive in a last ditch attempt to stave off the threat of closure.

“Unless something changes, the club will be closing its doors for good in the next four to five weeks, which would be very sad,” she said.

“If we want to keep going we need extra bums on seats to help boost our takings by at least £200 a week, so we need the community to show its support by using the club.

Kerry Rose, treasurer Laurence Woodward and Joan Rose at St Mary's Catholic Club in High Green (pic: Scott Merrylees)

“High Green’s lost around 11 pubs over the years and we don’t want the club to go the same way.

“A lady told me the other day she’s lived a few streets away for the last five years and didn’t even know we existed, which is why we’re making one last big push to raise awareness and get more people through the doors.”

Kerry said it was not known exactly how old the club is but it has been running since at least the 60s, having started life as a working men’s club.

She said it was originally just the snooker room, which prior to the club’s opening housed what would become St Mary’s Primary School, before the club was extended.

The club is open on weekday evenings from 7pm-11pm, on Saturdays from midday to 4pm and 7pm-11.30pm, and on Sundays from midday to 3pm and 7pm to 10.30pm. It is also available to hire for events from birthdays to funerals at other times.

It hosts a snooker league, darts and card games competitions and bingo nights, as well as live music and other events.

“It’s a really nice family club where children are welcome and there’s a small discount for pensioners,” said Kerry.

“If it does close it would leave a big hole in the community. A lot of the older people who come here have been wondering where they would go if it’s not here anymore.”