Ruling on social club feud

Have your say

A BITTER dispute between two warring factions of a social club has come to an end.

Internal feuding between members of Blakeborough Social Club in Bradford Road, Brighouse, and Blakes Albion Bowling Club, has rumbled on for four years, before a decision was made at Leeds Chancery Court.

Recorder Brian Rawlings ruled in favour of the members of Blakeborough club after the case was brought to court by Andy Speechley, who led the bowling club faction.

The case revolved around who was in charge of the management of the club and whether these duties were exercised properly within the spirit of the club’s rules.

Over the four days at court, evidence was heard that members of the bowling club were furious that the members of the ‘asset-rich but cash poor’ social club decided to sell the bowling club to secure the future of the organisation.

They claimed the club was being mismanaged and made allegations of fraud and theft leading to a police investigation.

There was no evidence of criminal activity though it was said the club could be better managed.

Mr Speechley, for the claimants, claimed that there had been incorrect payments of salaries to members, a lack of statutory returns and audited accounts.

Steven White, counsel for the defendants which included Social Club president Rod Allot and former subscriptions secretary Andy Taylor denied the claims.

Recorder Rawlings ruled in favour of the defendants only allowing a ‘pyrrhic’ victory on the question of whether bowling club members had been correctly excluded. He also ruled that the claimants would have to pay 70 per cent of the costs.

The club closed its doors about a year ago and at some points power supplies were cut off.

Members of Blakeborough Social Club are now free to deal with the assets of the club which includes the bowling club and a site in Hove Edge which is leased to Brighouse Football Club.

The club which has been running for 26 years will now look to reopen its doors over the coming weeks.