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A social club that has been going for more than 100 years has shut its doors for the last time.

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Rainham Social Club in Upminster Road South, Rainham closed last Friday, despite attempts by the regulars to save it.

Joe Bowen, who worked as club secretary for five years until last year said: “It was very sad when it closed.

“We tried everything we could to keep the club going.”

The club opened in the 1900s to provide activities that could be enjoyed by the whole family.

But in recent years, the club had fallen on hard times and saw its membership fall from a high of 800 to 400 and couldn’t afford to keep up with the bills.

It was also targeted by vandals last May who smashed the windows causing thousands pounds worth of damage.

As a last resort regulars pitched in to save the much loved drinking spot by helping to give the venue a face lift.

Ken G spoke about his memories of the club on website, Streetlife.

“I joined the club in June 1977.My son had just been born and we wanted to

have a place to drink where you could take your family.It was quite a formality to join in those days. The books were only open for one day each year for new members to be taken on and there was never a problem replacing old members with new. You had to stand before the commitee to be approved but if anyone had an objection you could not join.

“The place was always packed at the weekends.Sunday lunchtime was unofficially”men only”You never saw a woman in there.”

Cllr Jeffrey Tucker (Rainham, Independent Residents’ Group) said: “It was very sad.

“It has been going for a very long time and a lot of people have been trying to save it, but they just couldn’t afford to pay the bills.”

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