Petition started as members try to save their club

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Members of a social club faced with closure have started a petition to try to convince the firm that funds it to continue its support.

Cummins Generator Technologies announced last month that it was withdrawing funding from Cummins Social Club in Wharf Road, Stamford.

The company, which is also cutting 95 jobs, said it was not worthwhile supporting the club anymore.

Cummins owns the club building and currently matches the membership fees paid by its employees.

Club committee chairman Graham Hirst has started a petition to try and save the club. He said: “We are devastated. Moreso for the seniors who use the club when they come to the bingo.

“For some of them it is probably the only time they come out and meet people.

“Where is there in the town for a new location? I get the impression that Cummins don’t seem to care about the community and the people they are going to upset.

“We have just been told that we have to get out and that is it.”

The club has been running since the 1970s and has about 150 members.

Carol Harkness is one such member who regularly attends the weekly bingo nights.

She is also chairman of the Stamford Festival committee, which holds a senior citizens Christmas meal, a summer entertainment evening and a quiz at the club every year.

She said: “The chances of finding somewhere else are not high.

“We offer the Christmas meal at a reduced cost because the club lets us use the building for free.

“If we have to pay for a hall people are going to lose out. I think the meal would come to an end if the club were to close.”

A Cummins spokesman said the club had been “under-utilised for a period of time.”

She added: “Cummins recognises this decision will affect members of the local community and pledges to continue to support local initiatives through its community involvement teams, where employees provide over 2,500 hours of support and sponsorship to community groups and partners each year.”

Anyone wanting to sign the petition can call in at the club Monday to Sunday 7pm until 11pm.