‘I’m forever telling people the centre is not just a bar’

COMMUNITY Steve Wilkins
COMMUNITY Steve Wilkins
Eastney Beach and Southsea esplanade

Pair of Portsmouth beaches hailed ‘excellent’ by inspectors

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THERE is a lot going on here.

We provide a place for people to have a drink.

We recently had a wake there, with family arriving from all over the country.

We do weddings, funerals, parties, as well as the ongoing people.

People like to get out, play darts, play crib and they like to have a chat and put the world to rights over a pint.

On Sundays, people bring their families, kids can play in the play room.

We’ve bought toys, sketch books and things like that.

But I’m forever telling people this is not just a bar.

A lot of people see it as a bar. They come down have their pint, they’re quite happy and home we go.

They’ve got no concept of what goes on in the background, all the groups.

We invite a representative to be on our committee so they can actually get a say in how we manage the club.

It’s somewhere to socialise.

Club 87 come from many, many miles away – the authorities pay for transport and things.

They have special needs coaches and buses turn up.

They come from a wide area.

And the Townswomen Guild every week have interesting speakers.

People need a place where a) it’s affordable and b) it’s accessible, and obviously there are parking spaces.

We’ve got more capacity for daytime.

We’ve got a hall available Monday nights and Friday nights, unless there’s a function on.

A couple of years ago, Hampshire County Council, actually rented the place out so it could hold public inquiries.

Once again, it meets all the requirements, there’s a hall, it has disabled access, toilets – all the boxes are ticked.