AN 80-YEAR-OLD social club in York is closing, citing changing entertainment habits and lack of interest from younger patrons.

The Post Office Employees Social Club opened in 1937, but despite its name has no link with the Post Office - it was simply founded by four postal workers.

In recent years the club’s home on Marygate has become a well-known gig venue and arts space - but the trustees have now confirmed the club will close in the first few months of next year.

In a statement from the club’s treasurer Melvyn Wells, the trustees explained:

“It is with great regret that notification of the closure of the club in the first quarter of 2018 if hereby given.

“Over the 80 years of trading, it has served its members and their families well with entertainment, outings, parties, gigs, road walking and angling to name a few.

“It was also known to be a ‘live music’ venue of some note, which was much appreciated by the members, affiliates and guests alike.”

However Mr Wells said that despite making significant changes in decor and entertainment to keep the club up to date, the club cannot go on any longer - partly because its core of loyal supporters is ageing and they have had little interest from younger generations.

“However in an attempt to address the downward spiral, the management committee introduced a package of diverse attractions including rock n roll, Motown tribute, open mike, karaoke and private functions.

“These were met with some success, but insufficient to stem the inevitable course.”

In many ways, the club’s demise is a sign of changing leisure interests, cheap supermarket drinks and the “stay at home culture”, he added.

With the club due to close in the first three months of next year, a planning application has appeared to convert its buildings on Marygate into two town houses.

A design and access statement produced by Gaby Higgs Architects shows the building was once York Industrial School, with the site housing Marygate Workhouse before that, and a cotton mill in the late 18th century.

The modern day facade is largely as it was built around 1876, and a large “shop-front” style window could have been built as a showroom for joinery work produced by the boys in the industrial school, the document adds.

Under the building plans, the existing club and the flat above will be converted into two four-bedroomed three-storey houses, each with small gardens at the back; but a large modern function room at the back is not included in the application.