All hands to the pump in effort to save Rainham social club

�Regulars are pitching in to help to save their much-loved drinking spot.

The Rainham Social Club, in Upminster Road South, has been open for more than 100 years but has fallen on hard times, which weren’t helped by vandals smashing its windows in May.

Membership has fallen from a high of 800 to around 400 and in these tough economic times it may be forced to close for good if it can’t pick up more trade.

Joe Bowen, club secretary of five years and member for 40 years, said: “With the increase in VAT and everything else we’re under threat, if we don’t turn it around we will be closing.”

‘Rallying around’

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Redecoration of the venue was the idea of Steve Church of Budget Windows, who asked his employees to help out, while several others have also pitched in.

Some regulars have offered to upholster and re-carpet the club for as little charge as possible.

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Mr Bowen said: “It’s great that the members are rallying round to help. It looks so much better now than it did.

“They know that it’s a family club and you can’t really take kids just anywhere. It’s a really old club and it’s part of our way of life.

“Some members have been coming in with their kids for 45 years, some people never go anywhere else.”

Cllr Jeff Tucker (Independent Residents’ Group, Rainham and Wennington) is also a member who is trying to help the club survive.

He said: “This club has been there for over 100 years. Things started going wrong with the smoking ban and it’s now struggling to stay afloat.

“It’s a real community place and we need local people to come in to keep it that way.”

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