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Home   Sheerness   News   Article

Sheerness Society forced to call it a day after failing to attract young blood

13 February 2014
by Emma Grove

The Sheerness Society was set up in 1990 but over the past few years has had trouble recruiting new members, particularly young people.

Although the committee had tried to keep it going, it has been agreed the time is right to shut down.

Securing the future of the former Victoria Working Men's Club building is one of the Sheerness Society's successes

Securing the future of the former Victoria Working Men's Club building is one of the Sheerness Society's successes

Funds which remained in the organisation’s bank account will be distributed to causes with the same or similar aims.

Members agreed Sheppey Local History Society, the Queenborough Society and Sheerness Enhancement Association for Leisure should benefit.

The groups have each been given £211.

Over the years, the society has been involved in a number of campaigns, most notably when Islanders fought against developer George Demetriou, who owned parts of Sheerness Dockyard.

He wanted to restore and convert some of the buildings into flats and also applied to knock a hole through the listed dockyard wall.

But after pressure from groups including the Sheerness Society, he eventually sold the properties to The Spitalfields Trust, which is still working on a huge project to restore them.

The group also campaigned to ensure the former Victoria Working Men’s Club in Broadway was renovated and not demolished – and a project is ongoing to turn it into flats.

Sheerness Society was founded by the late Brian Sinclair, Bill Bishop and Tony Killingback and treasurer Keith Georgeson said although they tried to keep it going in their name, it’s just not been possible without younger members to take it forward.

He admitted the committee is sad to have to draw a line under it, but said he hopes in future someone else can come along and launch something similar.

He said: “The committee, chairman Christine Burrows, photographer Denis Wigham-McCall and myself, would like to thank all members past and present for their support.”

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