End of an era as Bradford's Irish Club is put up for sale

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The club The club

Bradford’s struggling Irish Club is up for sale to help clear its debts as management blames part of its downfall on being in the middle of the city’s red-light area.

Club chairman and director Dominic Sheeran said the fact the area around the club in Rebecca Street was populated by prostitutes had an “indisputable impact”.

Mr Sheeran said the adverse effect the locality was having on club users, the current trend of people drinking at home and cheap alcohol from supermarkets had all combined to create “the perfect storm” responsible for shutting down the club.

He said the only way for Bradford Irish Club Ltd’s directors to stay in control of the situation and not go into liquidation was to put the club up for sale to pay off its debts.

He said: “Anything left over will be up for our members to decide what to do with. Whether they donate it or put it into some other venue where they think the Irish Club could continue. Everything will be transparent to the members and it will be done by company law and by members’ will.”

However, a police spokesman said there had been fewer prostitutes standing near the City Road end of Rebecca Street and insisted it was still force policy to move them on if spotted.

Focused patrols in the area have been part of specific work by police to tackle prostitution, said the spokesman, who added that feedback had been positive.

The police spokesman said: “We are aware of the negative effect that prostitution can have on businesses and communities in the city centre and are committed to working closely with partners to tackle it.”

At a meeting called by the club just before Christmas, members voted 66 to 24 that the club should be sold.

It stopped trading on December 19 with the building, purpose built in the 1970s, having to be emptied and all stock cleared.

Mr Sheeran said: “There have been bigger clubs than ours in the city who have gone to the wall long before us.

“At least by selling the club we can move forward and it is in the hands of our members.”

The closure has led to two of the city’s established music clubs having to find new homes. Both the Topic Folk Club and Jazz have now uprooted to Glyde House in the heart of the city centre.

Steve Arloff, chairman of Bradford Jazz Club JATP Jazz, said the Irish Club had been “forced to put itself up for sale” and that it had been “a wrench to up sticks”.

But he said its baby grand piano was now firmly ensconced at the new venue with its first gig on Friday, featuring The Weave, a quintet from Liverpool.

The Topic’s first club event tomorrow will be a singers’ and musicians’ night.

Bradford Irish Club is run as a limited company under Bradford Irish Club Ltd and dates back to the late 19th Century when it was formed to provide a social centre.

Comments (12)

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9:35am Wed 1 Jan 14

dave - keighley says...

It is likely to be more than the red light area that is the problem.

The area that it is in has a high Asian population so they are not going to be customers. If the customer base is not there then it will struggle. Many pubs and clubs have.

It is a pity for them members when this happens but it is no longer serving a need in a area where it is needed.
It is likely to be more than the red light area that is the problem. The area that it is in has a high Asian population so they are not going to be customers. If the customer base is not there then it will struggle. Many pubs and clubs have. It is a pity for them members when this happens but it is no longer serving a need in a area where it is needed. dave - keighley

10:16am Wed 1 Jan 14

schroeder says...

The main problem is the owners have no imagination. It looks like a dive and no attempts have been made to try attract new costumes or move with the times.

The Beehive is in the same area and that is a completely different story. It has reinvented itself recently with live music,real ales, and a social network presence, and as a result it has become very popular with people of all ages, especially students.

These "Irish Clubs" are all the same. boring, uninspired and miserable.
Get with the times.
The main problem is the owners have no imagination. It looks like a dive and no attempts have been made to try attract new costumes or move with the times. The Beehive is in the same area and that is a completely different story. It has reinvented itself recently with live music,real ales, and a social network presence, and as a result it has become very popular with people of all ages, especially students. These "Irish Clubs" are all the same. boring, uninspired and miserable. Get with the times. schroeder

10:21am Wed 1 Jan 14

Albion. says...

schroeder wrote:
The main problem is the owners have no imagination. It looks like a dive and no attempts have been made to try attract new costumes or move with the times.

The Beehive is in the same area and that is a completely different story. It has reinvented itself recently with live music,real ales, and a social network presence, and as a result it has become very popular with people of all ages, especially students.

These "Irish Clubs" are all the same. boring, uninspired and miserable.
Get with the times.
By "new costumes" do you suggest they should all dress up as little green Leprechauns or something?
[quote][p][bold]schroeder[/bold] wrote: The main problem is the owners have no imagination. It looks like a dive and no attempts have been made to try attract new costumes or move with the times. The Beehive is in the same area and that is a completely different story. It has reinvented itself recently with live music,real ales, and a social network presence, and as a result it has become very popular with people of all ages, especially students. These "Irish Clubs" are all the same. boring, uninspired and miserable. Get with the times.[/p][/quote]By "new costumes" do you suggest they should all dress up as little green Leprechauns or something? Albion.

10:34am Wed 1 Jan 14

MontyLeMar says...

schroeder wrote:
The main problem is the owners have no imagination. It looks like a dive and no attempts have been made to try attract new costumes or move with the times.

The Beehive is in the same area and that is a completely different story. It has reinvented itself recently with live music,real ales, and a social network presence, and as a result it has become very popular with people of all ages, especially students.

These "Irish Clubs" are all the same. boring, uninspired and miserable.
Get with the times.
"These "Irish Clubs" are all the same. boring, uninspired and miserable. Get with the times."

So you are saying there's no Craic at this particular establishment? Aye, you're probably right. I must admit I've known of it's existence for decades but never had the inclination to go in even though I've lived and drunk in Ireland on quite a few occasions. I chose The Harp if I wanted an Irish themed drink. I go in The New Beehive and as you say William Wagstaff manages to keep things interesting but I must admit to seeing a few "ladies" being escorted out on a number of occasions so there may still be a red-light problem. All the same, sad to see the I.D.L. closing.
[quote][p][bold]schroeder[/bold] wrote: The main problem is the owners have no imagination. It looks like a dive and no attempts have been made to try attract new costumes or move with the times. The Beehive is in the same area and that is a completely different story. It has reinvented itself recently with live music,real ales, and a social network presence, and as a result it has become very popular with people of all ages, especially students. These "Irish Clubs" are all the same. boring, uninspired and miserable. Get with the times.[/p][/quote]"These "Irish Clubs" are all the same. boring, uninspired and miserable. Get with the times." So you are saying there's no Craic at this particular establishment? Aye, you're probably right. I must admit I've known of it's existence for decades but never had the inclination to go in even though I've lived and drunk in Ireland on quite a few occasions. I chose The Harp if I wanted an Irish themed drink. I go in The New Beehive and as you say William Wagstaff manages to keep things interesting but I must admit to seeing a few "ladies" being escorted out on a number of occasions so there may still be a red-light problem. All the same, sad to see the I.D.L. closing. MontyLeMar

10:58am Wed 1 Jan 14

bcfc1903 says...

Hopefully the Irish Club will get up and running somewhere else, have been in the IDL many times when the White Abbey Branch used it. Got a big Irish connection like many folk in Bradford but use the Harp of Erin for a pre match beer. The area seems far better since the council upgraded the housing near by.
Hopefully the Irish Club will get up and running somewhere else, have been in the IDL many times when the White Abbey Branch used it. Got a big Irish connection like many folk in Bradford but use the Harp of Erin for a pre match beer. The area seems far better since the council upgraded the housing near by. bcfc1903

11:11am Wed 1 Jan 14

hx3bantam says...

Once the City fans left it was on borrowed time. Harp seems to be doing OK though.
Once the City fans left it was on borrowed time. Harp seems to be doing OK though. hx3bantam

11:21am Wed 1 Jan 14

idleone says...

Shame really but the older generation Irish won't want to frequent a run down place like the IDL in a red light area. Even the Irish don't drink drive as much these days so it's inaccessible too. It should have moved with the times instead of being complacent, other clubs like WMC's are doing ok so no reason why the IDL couldn't have followed suit. Hopefully it will continue in the new venue and our vibrant Irish roots and community social hub will remain It's the people remember, not the building that make a club.
Shame really but the older generation Irish won't want to frequent a run down place like the IDL in a red light area. Even the Irish don't drink drive as much these days so it's inaccessible too. It should have moved with the times instead of being complacent, other clubs like WMC's are doing ok so no reason why the IDL couldn't have followed suit. Hopefully it will continue in the new venue and our vibrant Irish roots and community social hub will remain It's the people remember, not the building that make a club. idleone

3:57pm Wed 1 Jan 14

yezboss says...

Funny (not) isn't it how the police repeatedly say they have got the oldest profession in the world under control (not) I've lost count of the number of times this same old rhetoric has been trotted out. One of the reasons those 'ladies' are around is because of the area the premises is in being a mainly Asian occupied. Their 'trade' lies mainly in such areas. Sorry but it's true.
Funny (not) isn't it how the police repeatedly say they have got the oldest profession in the world under control (not) I've lost count of the number of times this same old rhetoric has been trotted out. One of the reasons those 'ladies' are around is because of the area the premises is in being a mainly Asian occupied. Their 'trade' lies mainly in such areas. Sorry but it's true. yezboss

6:06pm Wed 1 Jan 14

Victor Clayton says...

what a shame. but agree with most of the above. i joined a couple of years back but never got any info of events or a reminder when renewal was due.
what a shame. but agree with most of the above. i joined a couple of years back but never got any info of events or a reminder when renewal was due. Victor Clayton

9:39am Thu 2 Jan 14

hx3bantam says...

Yes I remember how the police had it under control now. Wasn't it by sending a letter out to a business accusing an employee of kerb-crawling even though they were merely attending the Catholic Players rehearsals? Luckily the employee was female and worked for her own family but it could quite easily have been an innocent male driver being reported to their employer for nothing. Well done Chief Inspector! That'll have helped the club no end. Lazy policing at it's best!
Yes I remember how the police had it under control now. Wasn't it by sending a letter out to a business accusing an employee of kerb-crawling even though they were merely attending the Catholic Players rehearsals? Luckily the employee was female and worked for her own family but it could quite easily have been an innocent male driver being reported to their employer for nothing. Well done Chief Inspector! That'll have helped the club no end. Lazy policing at it's best! hx3bantam

4:03pm Thu 2 Jan 14

flogem says...

The police spokesman said: “We are aware of the negative effect that prostitution can have on businesses and communities in the city centre and are committed to working closely with partners to tackle it.”

Who are these partners,why can't they tackle it themselves.
The police spokesman said: “We are aware of the negative effect that prostitution can have on businesses and communities in the city centre and are committed to working closely with partners to tackle it.” Who are these partners,why can't they tackle it themselves. flogem

11:22pm Sat 4 Jan 14

BDFD.LAD says...

I REMEMBER THE IDL WHEN IT WAS ON DREWTON ST. MY DADS PALS TOLD ME I COULD RUN UNDER THE SNOOKER TABLE WITHOUT DUCKING MY HEAD ???? HOPE THEY FIND A NEW LOCATION..I COULD ALWAYS FIND MY ST. PATS MATES IN THE LAND LEAGUE...... PETER McCann..
I REMEMBER THE IDL WHEN IT WAS ON DREWTON ST. MY DADS PALS TOLD ME I COULD RUN UNDER THE SNOOKER TABLE WITHOUT DUCKING MY HEAD ???? HOPE THEY FIND A NEW LOCATION..I COULD ALWAYS FIND MY ST. PATS MATES IN THE LAND LEAGUE...... PETER McCann.. BDFD.LAD

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