Swanley Junction Working Men's Club to become a Wetherspoon

This Is Local London: Left to right: members David Knight, Charles Moore and John Moore. Left to right: members David Knight, Charles Moore and John Moore.

Swanley Junction Working Men’s Club is set to close and be taken over by a pub chain after more than a century.

Wetherspoon is in negotiations to buy the club in the High Street which has been going since 1911.

As News Shopper revealed in May the remaining members voted overwhelmingly to sell the building to developers. 

But after that fell through the club’s steering committee entered into negotiations with Wetherspoon for a deal thought to be in the region of £1.1 million.

Committee member Dave Knight, 75, has been visiting the club for 45 years.

He told News Shopper: "I didn’t want to see it go - nobody wanted to but we didn’t have any option.

"When the Wetherspoon offer came in we thought that was the answer.

"The developers offered us a smaller club but with no money to run it.

This Is Local London:

The club building in the High Street. 

"As the members are not using it now we had to ask whether they would use a new club."

The club once enjoyed a membership of more than 1,400 but that has now collapsed to fewer than 300, with only a small proportion attending regularly.

Mr Knight was one of just 20 who voted against selling the club in the ballot on April 23.

He said: "We have had so many pubs close and other clubs as well - I think they are all feeling the pinch.

"The smoking ban didn’t help and a lack of people supporting the club as they drink at home now, particularly in the winter months when it’s dark and cold and they don’t want to go out."

Club secretary Charlie Moore, 76, added: "It’s a good result for the Swanley area because we will have a Wetherspoon in place and the members won’t have to go into the Lullingstone Castle.

"It will create more jobs which is good."

Members will be in line for a pay-off from the sale once debts are cleared and other fees paid.

Wetherspoon declined to comment as a deal has not yet been formally agreed.

It is hoped everything will go through within the next two months.

Comments (8)

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7:37am Tue 8 Jul 14

RVD420 says...

and nothing of value. was lost
and nothing of value. was lost RVD420
  • Score: 4

8:41am Tue 8 Jul 14

PaulErith says...

RVD420 wrote:
and nothing of value. was lost
Wrong. Pubs and clubs were, and still are in many cases, the hub of a community. A faceless Weatherspoons is as far removed from that as you can get.
[quote][p][bold]RVD420[/bold] wrote: and nothing of value. was lost[/p][/quote]Wrong. Pubs and clubs were, and still are in many cases, the hub of a community. A faceless Weatherspoons is as far removed from that as you can get. PaulErith
  • Score: -9

9:11am Tue 8 Jul 14

toomush2drink says...

PaulErith wrote:
RVD420 wrote:
and nothing of value. was lost
Wrong. Pubs and clubs were, and still are in many cases, the hub of a community. A faceless Weatherspoons is as far removed from that as you can get.
Use it or lose it. You cant keep something open if nobody bothers to use it.
[quote][p][bold]PaulErith[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]RVD420[/bold] wrote: and nothing of value. was lost[/p][/quote]Wrong. Pubs and clubs were, and still are in many cases, the hub of a community. A faceless Weatherspoons is as far removed from that as you can get.[/p][/quote]Use it or lose it. You cant keep something open if nobody bothers to use it. toomush2drink
  • Score: 8

11:07am Tue 8 Jul 14

Gypo.Joe says...

When I was a slip of a boi making me bones in the world the old man I worked with used to creep in this club and sign me in to have a swift couple of pints at dinner time. ( It's called lunch time now) It was always packed then with old men and tradesmen having a pint.

The worlds changed...sighhhhhhh
hhhhhhhhhh.
When I was a slip of a boi making me bones in the world the old man I worked with used to creep in this club and sign me in to have a swift couple of pints at dinner time. ( It's called lunch time now) It was always packed then with old men and tradesmen having a pint. The worlds changed...sighhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhh. Gypo.Joe
  • Score: 0

2:39pm Tue 8 Jul 14

ms day says...

another lullingstone castle type pub .the locals will have a choice where to fight ,swanley hell hole
another lullingstone castle type pub .the locals will have a choice where to fight ,swanley hell hole ms day
  • Score: 7

6:15pm Tue 8 Jul 14

life-long-member says...

the club maybe closing and a new pub will take its place but will the monies recieived from the sale actually go to the members or just the members shown in the photo could the sale of the club now be in jeopardy because of this premature publicity
the club maybe closing and a new pub will take its place but will the monies recieived from the sale actually go to the members or just the members shown in the photo could the sale of the club now be in jeopardy because of this premature publicity life-long-member
  • Score: 7

7:23am Wed 9 Jul 14

goldenbroomboy says...

Club members will be happier if the club no longer exists?
Club members will be happier if the club no longer exists? goldenbroomboy
  • Score: -3

5:52pm Wed 9 Jul 14

highway warrior says...

It was inevitable, dwindling numbers of working men in Swanley. Replaced with a non working men's club aka Wetherspoons. At least they can drink from 8:30am now!
It was inevitable, dwindling numbers of working men in Swanley. Replaced with a non working men's club aka Wetherspoons. At least they can drink from 8:30am now! highway warrior
  • Score: 1

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