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Roffen Sports and Social Club, New Road, Rochester, is to close

By Nicola Jordan

Worried brides have been desperately looking for alternative wedding venues after it was announced one of Medway’s oldest clubs is to close.

Rochester’s Roffen Sports and Social Club, which has been bought by the owners of the nearby Trinity School and College, will shut on April 1.

The news was broken to its hundreds of members and staff on Tuesday with parties and events booked after that date cancelled.

Sara Henslow and staff ahead of the club's 30th anniversary earlier this year

Sara Henslow and staff ahead of the club's 30th anniversary earlier this year

Sara and Brian Henslow have run the club in New Road for more than 30 years.

In a statement they said: “It is with great regret we have to announce the good old Roffen Club will be closing for the last time.

“Until that time we will be serving our members and clients just as we have done since 1986.

“In the next four months we will hold lots of parties and give you all lots of ways to remember The Roffen and all the fun and comradeship it has given to everyone over the last 32 years.

“The club has been for sale since May and was being marketed as a ‘going concern’ with the aim it would continue to run along the current lines.

The club also hosts a popular gym

The club also hosts a popular gym

“The successful purchasers, Cavendish Education, looked hard at a variety of plans which could have retained the health club and function rooms.

“Sadly the issues proved insurmountable and so just a short while ago the final decision was taken the club would have to close its doors at the beginning of April.”

Among those who have been shocked are brides who have booked and paid for their ceremonies.

Roland Stanley, company director of the nearby St George Hotel, says he has been inundated with calls.

He said: “We had 10 inquiries in one day. In the main they are quite calm and just want to get it sorted and get a date in the diary.

The Roffen is closing down on April 1

The Roffen is closing down on April 1

“We are liaising with The Roffen to accommodate people as much as possible. Being so nearby, we can offer like-for-like.”

  • Are you a bride affected by the closure? Email medwaymessenger@thekmgroup.co.uk or phone the newsdesk on 01634 227803.

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