THE classic English fish and chip supper could save a long-running club from closure.
While the chips have been down for the Hampshire Ex-Services Club, in Fratton Road, a number of new activities are being introduced to keep it running.
This includes holding fish and chip lunches each Tuesday, tea dances, bingo and Sunday afternoon karaoke.
At a crunch meeting scores of people came forward to show their support for the club, which has been running for 36 years.
Chairman Malvyn Fryer said: ‘We have seen so much support for the club, that it’s been fantastic.
‘We’re hoping these new activities will draw in current and new members to our club.
‘We have a new treasurer, money has improved, but we still need more people to join.
‘The people that came to the meeting were very enthusiastic.’
The 66-year-old added: ‘Last year the club had run up a debt of £8,000, but thanks to donations we cleared that and are now back in the black.
‘We want younger people to come along too, so we’re going to start a Sunday afternoon karaoke.
If it’s successful we’ll extend it to the evening.
‘Someone is contacting the National Lottery to see if we can get funding.
‘It has been tried before, and as we’re not a charity, we got rejected.
‘But we do serve the community and it’s worth trying again.
‘If we go down then we will not go down without putting up a fight.’
Changes have also been made to opening hours and the club has been saved until its Annual General Meeting, which takes place in mid-April.
The board will then see if the club will remain open in the next financial year.
The club was founded in 1971 by Doug Smith, 85, and William Doyle and had been set up for ex-servicemen and their families.
It has now been extended so anyone can come along.
At its peak it boasted a membership of around 1,500, which has fallen to 400.