A landmark Leyland social club is closing after almost 70 years. The Knights of St Columba Club will shut on August 31, bringing a memory-filled era to an end. The Fleetwood Street club – known locally at KSC – has lost its cash battle.
Committee member Paul Boys said:
“the once cherished and popular place used to thrive, but its heyday is well and truly over.”
He explained: “In latter years several things have conspired to challenge the business, such as the smoking ban, costs of Sky TV, and local outlets such as Wetherspoons and cheap supermarket booze.
“Despite many attempts to negate the effects of these things, the club has finally entered a sustained phase of substantial financial loss.”
He added: “I personally will mourn its passing, and I’m absolutely sure so will the local regular members who dearly love the place and have supported it through the years. Thanks to them for that support.”
The 1950s-launched club was initially set up and run by the Knights of St Columba Council 323 – a still active Catholic men’s organisation – for its members and their families. Mr Boys described the club as “a familiar friendly social club for nearly 70 years”.
He fondly recalled: “I remember it from when my mum and dad, the dear late Paul and Clare Boys, used to take me in there as a child to have a drink of pop. I was so small I couldn’t see over the edge of the snooker table.
“In those days it was Benson’s crisps in greaseproof paper packets and little blue bags of damp salt, and stored in metal tins. And one-armed bandits that took threepenny bits. Many will remember the café downstairs – a regular haunt of bikers, the Chequered Flag.”
Since then it has expanded to take up two more rooms upstairs, hosting free entertainment on weekends, regular bingo and during most of that time been the source of the cheapest beer in Leyland.
“Now I’m serving on the committee – as my dad did in his day – but the problems we face now are totally different to those days. Then the club seemed to run itself, being very busy almost all week. The profits were used to finance donations to charities, local, national and international.”
Source: Leyland Guardian