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Friday, 19 September 2014

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'Dangerous' clubhouse closed after storm damage

A popular clubhouse has been closed after it was severely damaged by recent storms.

Harrington treasurer photo
Club treasurer Les Ashe at the clubhouse

Committee members of Harrington’s Royal British Legion were forced to cancel a number of functions – including an eighteenth birthday party and a christening due to take place this weekend – after the true scale of damage came to light.

But members have vowed to reopen the building and are ploughing ahead with repairs which they hope to be complete in eight week’s time.

Because of the Salterbeck Road club’s prominent position it has been ferociously battered by recent weather. Members originally thought that some tiles had came loose, but after calling in building surveyors, they were told the damning news that the full roof of the building had moved and needed to be rebuilt.

Richard Tait, the legion’s northern surveyor, said he had never witnessed damage of this type before in his career.

“There is nothing between the building and the sea and the wind has battered the building badly,” he said. “We thought there was a couple of tiles missing but the whole of the main roof has moved.”

Allerdale council’s building inspector was called out on Thursday and served a dangerous structure closure notice on the building.

Work immediately began to secure the club, as well as building a fence around the site to protect the public and repair works – which could hit the six-figure mark – are due to begin.

Les Ashe, committee treasurer, has been a regular at the club since it opened nearly 30 years ago. He has never seen damage on this scale in its history.

“We have had minor incidents,” he told the News & Star. “But the business has traded constantly since 1985. The club is a focal point of the estate and this will have a huge impact on some people’s lives.

“But we are determined to be back up and running as soon as possible to the public and members.”

Mr Ashe said it was “extremely difficult” to cancel this weekend’s events as committee members personally knew the customers.

The legion’s domino and dart nights have been temporarily moved to Station Road Working Men’s Club in the town and work is ongoing to relocate other functions to different locations in the town.

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