August 2008 Archives
Posted by The Herald on August 1, 2008 10:56 AM
By Dion Jones
BACK in June, I wrote an article about how the ex-servicemen's club in Caernarfon is struggling to pull in the punters and might have to close if the situation does not improve.
These days, I can hardly step into any of my favourite watering holes without someone bringing the story up.
In fact, I would say that out of all the articles I have written for the Herald, that was the one that provoked the most response.
People would come up to me and say something along the lines of: "Didn't you write that story about the Legion? Such a shame isn't it."
It has since been two months since I wrote that story and the club in question remains just as empty.
During my interview with the club's secretary Norman Binfield, he told me that he understood the "age of the social club is at an end."
It got me thinking, is that really the case?
Whilst clubs like the one in Caernarfon seem to be dying on their feet, similar establishments are enjoying a period of unprecedented prosperity.
You only have to walk 10 minutes down the road to find a completely different situation.
Go to the Caernarfon Town Supporters Club on any of its major entertainment nights and the place is packed to the rafters.
So surely, live entertainment is really what the people are after?
Apparently not so.
According to Mr Binfield, the club had to stop putting on entertainment BECAUSE no one was turning up.
Whilst I agree that social clubs in general are experiencing a decline in popularity, I think that the smoking ban, cheaper alcohol available elsewhere and the convenience of off licenses have only served to make matters worse for the club.
Also, as Mr Binfield said in the article, the unsuitability of the club to many of it's disabled members has also chipped away at it's market.
Personally, I have many fond memories of the club and even more hazy recollections that only numerous pints of lager can produce.
In my case, an event at the club is usually amongst the only times that I get to see my extended family all together under one roof which, whatever the circumstance, is never a bad thing.
Whatever people's opinions might be about the Legion, I think it would be a great shame if Caernarfon, a former garrison town, would lose it's only ex-servicemen's club.
This page contains an archive of all entries posted to The Herald in the August 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.