CAMPAIGNERS looking to secure Maltby’s “Stute” and sports fields will march to the venue tonight asking for answers and resignations.
The working men’s club became unprofitable and was closed in late 2018, which directors said had been to help protect the linked recreation facilities.
Maltby Miners Welfare & Recreation Protection Group was set up by concerned residents who want to see the WMC, on Muglet Lane, reopened.
Co-ordinator Gerry Haywood said: “These facilities are a long-standing part of the fabric of Maltby that we are determined to protect.
“To do nothing would be a betrayal of the many who were instrumental in the formation and growth of football and cricket in this former mining village.”
Campaigners will gather at Coronation Park from 5.30pm and march to the Stute at 6pm.
Ex-miner and firefighter Gerry said: “In the 1990s it was still going strong but people’s drinking habits change.
“Over the last few years it’s really been run down. They stopped taking new memberships. We’ve been trying since before Christmas to see the accounts.
“The aim of the march is to secure a further meeting with directors to answer questions.”
Even though there are no new accounts to file because the company is inactive, directors of Maltby Colliery Institute & Recreation Ground Scheme Social Club should have submitted a confirmation statement by April 13. This was still outstanding this week, according to Companies House.
And the campaign group had been successful in delaying a striking off order to dissolve the company, Gerry said.
Main chairman Wilf Race said: “This has never been about the football club, we are just one of several user groups.
“You grow to love a club like this. It’s in its 103rd year, has a long and fine history at non league and just last year was on BBC iPlayer.
“But we feel that these facilities are under threat. If the same management that led to the working men’s club closing carries on, without change, then the outcome for the sports facilities will be the same.
“I want to be clear that change can be in a number of guises. Can we get new blood alongside the trustees? Can we have fresh pairs of eyes, people bringing new skills?
“This march needs to take place. The directors and trustees know that these facilities are not theirs but belong to the community.”
Director/trustee Bill Vallance pledged to be outside the Stute to answer questions after tonight’s march.
He said the Stute had been offered to the campaign group last November but a rental agreement could not be agreed.
And he added: “I’ll answer questions, I don’t care about them trying to make me look silly. I’ll talk to anyone but I’m not interested if they’re just trying to form a mob.
“People have said some poisonous things. We’ve been called thieves and vagabonds but it’s not like that.
“The club was non-profitable so, as a responsible body, we ceased trading. Then out of the blue
everyone wanted it back, even though they hadn’t been going when it was open.”
Bill said the directors feared that, should they all resign, the site would be bulldozed for housing by landowners Ciswo.