RAFA club to close

CLOSING TIME The RAFA Club and former St Patrick's school.(d307g333)
CLOSING TIME The RAFA Club and former St Patrick's school.(d307g333)

A club which was set up 65 years ago for former servicemen is to close.

The Royal Air Force Association (RAFA) Club, in Darley Street, Heckmondwike, will close on Monday.

Secretary Sheila Ellis said dwindling membership meant the club had to close.

She said: “As with other ex servicemen’s clubs, time and age have caught up with us. Our members are getting older and we aren’t getting any new members.

“Everybody is very sad about it but the RAFA is a charity and the club is not, so the RAFA says if we are not getting people through the door, we have to close. There is not a lot we can do about it.

“Members who started the club and the branch in 1946, have either died or are too old to come.

“The branch owns the building which will go up for sale. We don’t know what’s happening from there.”

Sheila said the branch would continue for the time being, meaning new premises would have to be found, or the branch would disband and members go to other clubs.

She said: “It has been a lovely, friendly club over the years, but the average age of members is 75 years old. Sadly the club is just going the way of other ex servicemen’s clubs.”

The final event at the club will be a reunion for former pupils of St Patrick’s RC School and Holy Spirit Church, on Monday from 7.30pm. The building used to be St Patrick’s School until it closed in 1968 and the new Holy Spirit School opened in nearby Bath Road.