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logo A Gay Club for Glasgow: Annual report 1982
logo A Gay Club for Glasgow: Annual report 1982

Setting up the Club
(Glasgow) CLUB 

Annual Report  1982

The keenly fought elections to the Management Committee at the first AGM on 30 Sept 1981 produced a committee anxious to develop the Bistro to a profitable level, and unhappy with the performance of the then Manager (George Henderson), and the Bistro was revamped in mid-November when a comprehensive working party report was implemented by the acting Manager, John Guiller-McCallum.

At the same time adequate soundproofing and ventilation was installed.

But, although the kitchen was brought up to a standard by December, the Bistro never became profitable, and over the 6 months to December it had lost the Club £2,500. From the new year, costs were saved by restricting opening to busy nights and using voluntary help (Tim Redman did much of the cooking).

Also, despite dozens of applicants coming forward for the post of Manager the Committee did not consider that any were suitable and the post was re-advertised four times. An appointment was made on 5th January but Roy Moseley left after only 5 days (14-19 January), no doubt partly because of frozen and burst pipes and consequential damage over this period. (He left his job before the Club lost its late licenses later on 19th January). While the late licenses were in abeyance the Club could not afford to appoint a Manager so we soldiered on with Kip McCready and Mark Govan filling the gap from 19th January to 20th April.

The Committee were dismayed to hear from the police on 15th December that numerous complaints had been made about noise from people leaving the Club between 2 and 3 a.m. Immediate steps were taken to control this. However, some members and guests paid little heed to requests for leaving quietly and on 19th January, at the hearing, local residents succeeded in establishing that no improvement had occurred. Accordingly , the Club lost its late licenses with immediate effect.

During the next few months, 19th January to 16th March, the Club operated without late licenses, with attendances down to about half what they head been. By careful cost-cutting losses were kept as low as possible during this period. Noise from people leaving was brought under control and we offered to doubleglaze the objectors' windows. The residents admitted an improvement had taken place and the late licenses were restored.

However, the Club's finances had been based on income continuing at £2,500 or so per week, in order to keep various trading accounts rolling over, and when no surplus cash income was available for this the Club suddenly needed between £10,000 and £14,000 capital to meet the shortfall in payments. Members were kept fully informed: a circular went to all members at the end of February, and a meeting of guarantors on 1st March, and a general meeting on 28th March, discussed the finances fully.

On the assumption that our late licenses would be restored in March, loan financing of £8,500 was secured by the Committee, through the sale of Glasgow Gay Centre and a loan on the Group's National Office, and by the time the general meeting took place at the end of March the late licenses had been restored and income levels had recovered so that it seemed then that the Club would just get by.

However, in early April, Bennett's Disco attracted virtually all our members to their weekend discos, and the Club had no spare money to make any changes to compete. The drastic drop in income made our case for the loans no longer tenable and the Club's solvency had to be reassessed.

On 20th April the staff were laid off and the Club operated ona voluntary basis at the weekends while members were informed of the serious worsening in the Club's finances. Income at the Bar on the next two weekends was only £120 so the Committee decided unanimously on 4th May to close the Club until the AGM on 30th May at which it would propose the winding up of the Club.

Malcolm Crowe, Secretary.

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