Down on the edge of town sits what is perhaps one of the most versatile and under-rated amenities in Whitchurch – the Sports and Social Club, and the town’s official website team took an evening out to investigate.
The Social Club is one of several facilities at the Longmeadow Sports Centre, but it is the one that really does cater for everyone. Run by friendly steward Roy Preston, with until recently his wife Mo, the Club offers a relaxed atmosphere as well as a whole range of associated events and attractions from dinners to live bands.
But this evening (a Tuesday) was to be a spot visit, so what did we find?
With two large rooms, the focus in both is the bar with its range of good value drinks and usually two real ales, this time from the much acclaimed St Austell Brewery. Roy who has a background with the country’s oldest brewery Shepherd Neame, ensures the beer is in good condition, a fact that has been recognised by inclusion in the latest edition of the Good Beer Guide.
The lounge bar with its comfortable seating and lower table area was set out with a range of sandwiches and nibbles for a Quiz evening that was taking place. Unlike in many pubs this did not dominate, so no loud PA system to disrupt others quietly enjoying a drink.
Meanwhile in the other bar the main activity was an evening of Poker, run by Sue Hadlow who has set up a system so that anyone can join in. The games are played for points and for just £7.00 you also receive a meal, this time a burger and chips (no pun intended). There are two ‘leagues’ on Mondays and Thursdays, with a monthly play off between the top in each – September’s final is this Saturday (29th) from 7.00pm to 10.30pm.
To the side a group of locals were playing darts; there are three dartboards in this bar which is also hung with colourful national flags on the ceiling and a mass of football shirts around the walls.
In the corner, and not at all obtrusive, is a TV while for special occasions there is a ceiling mounted digital projector with large screen.
But this evening was just so relaxed with so much going on, and we still haven’t mentioned another group who were enjoying a match on the pool table, again open to anyone to use.
So on this single evening’s visit there was a quiz, darts, pool, poker, refreshments, fine beer and a friendly chat – all good things for a Social Club.
Of course there is much more as the Centre also has the Indoor and Outdoor Bowls, Squash Courts and the Football Ground.
Regular events are held with a great charity evening coming up. On Saturday October 6th top band Just Testing are playing at an evening to raise funds for The Soldiers Charity ABF. This will also be a Big Curry Night – a choice of curry for just a fiver with all profits to the charity – free entry too! Details are HERE. There are many other events booked including an Auction with top comedian Adger and the Sunday afternoon music sessions with Keith Bell.
Why not wander down and visit sometime – you will probably be astounded as to what this friendly venue can offer.