Former committee members of a Royal British Legion club in Cornwall say they are devastated by its closure after bailiffs were called in last week.

The building in Newquay closed at midnight last night (Sunday, September 10) after its current committee members, who have all resigned, were unable to pay debts. A flag is currently flying at half mast at the premises.

We received a statement on behalf of the club’s committee, which said the venue had been struggling for a number of months due to “bad mouthing of the club” coupled with the rising cost of gas, electricity and other resources that had “put the club under severe pressure”.

It said: “The committee have resigned to allow those who disagree with the way the club is run to step forward and form a new committee. No one has done so thus far and it is now too late.

“Although the committee have resigned, the officers remained in place to help with the closure of the club at midnight on Sunday 10th/Monday 11th as the club has now, after much hard work by the volunteer club committee, become insolvent, which means it is illegal to trade and the club must act within the boundaries of the law, which it has done under the present committee and chairman. Bailiffs for one debt came in on Friday and it was dealt with within an hour.”

The club, on Trevena Terrace, has been running since 1948. Former club secretary Paula Marcelis, who was a member since 1979 and sat on the committee until last year, said: “I am mortified – I’m devastated to see what’s happened and I know other former committee members are too.”

She said four previous members of the committee, who left before the current financial problems, were continually fundraising to keep the club running when they were in their roles. “Through lockdown we decorated it all – we paid for that out of our own pockets mainly. We paid for the sign out the front ourselves. We cleared a previous debt as we did lots of fundraising and had a big Crowdfunder; we did lots of things on the Killacourt, all different things and we got the money in.”

She added: “My parents used to go in there, my grandpa was in there. My whole family have been involved in the club – my mother used to sing in the shows.

"I’m just hoping that people in Newquay can do a massive fundraiser or something to keep it going.”

In 2019, Cornwall Council issued a video on behalf of the club requesting financial support for its survival on the run-up to that year’s Remembrance Sunday. The council was the building’s landlord at the time – we have approached the authority to ascertain if that is still the case.

Geoff Brown, who was then a Newquay councillor but has since lost his seat, says on screen: “This club is really important to the town. It’s been looking after the town for decades and now’s the time for the town to turn around and look after this club.

"It needs the support of the town – get behind it and support them. There is a Crowdfunder you can go onto so we’re really looking for all the support we can get to keep this club going for the next generation.”