ONE of York's oldest working men's clubs is closing its doors after no longer being able to attract new members.

The New York Club & Institute, in Blossom Street, which recently reached its 90th anniversary, will shut on January 7 next year.

The move comes after a majority of the membership voted to sell up.

The club has been unable to attract new members in recent years and numbers have dropped by around half.

The current membership is about 300, of whom 105 turned up to a special meeting on September 16.

A three quarters majority was needed to carry the motion and a resounding 82 per cent voted in favour of closure.

Options other than selling out completely were tabled, but all were rejected by those at the meeting.

Frank Healy, the regional branch secretary of the Club & Institute Union (CIU), was disappointed by the move.

He said: “The New York has gone from being the heart of the community to being on the periphery. The history that is being lost here is tremendous.”

The ‘For Sale’ boards went up last week, and Frank and club secretary, Dave Matthewman, are now inviting offers for the property, which has a Grade-II listed frontage.

The closing date for offers is October 26 and all bids on the table will be put to the membership after that date.

Premier Inn, which has a site on either side of The New York, put in an offer to buy it several years ago, but the membership at the time voted to reject it.

The New York is just one of a number of clubs either closing or considering big changes.

In the 1970s, the heyday of the working men’s club, there were around 4,000 nationally. Now, there are less than 1,500.

In York, plans for the future of the historic Tramways Club, in Millgate, and The Burton Lane Club, in Bootham Crescent, are still up in the air, while The Post Office Employees Social Club, on Marygate, closed its doors in April.

However, other clubs around the city, such as Haxby and Bishopthorpe, are bucking the trend, thanks to radical changes and investment.

Membership for The New York Club & Institute is now closed.