Raid on former BRJ Club

BAILIFFS and police raided the former premises of the BRJ Club.

Officers and repossession firm All In Property Services forced their way into the site of the popular ex-sports and social club in Sallowbush Road on Wednesday (December 1) after it had been shut when served with a Fire Safety Order.

Charlie Davis, owner of Charlie’s Angels Health Solutions Ltd, had signed a legal warning posted on the door which warned against anyone making an entry into the building and said: “At all times there is at least one person in this property.”

The investor, who got involved in the long-running organisation in 2009 when founders and members were looking for someone to take on its debts, added: “We live in this property, it is our home and we intend to stay here.”

Former member Tony Williams has now pledged revive the club after it was saddled with mounting debts but admits it will be an uphill struggle.

“If it had the right management in there, it could be very successful,” he said. “It is the biggest venue around.”

However he estimates it would need a �420,000 investment to get it back up and running.

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Even then it would need to pass stringent fire safety tests and undergo big regeneration work to make it useable.

“A lot of people will think it’s nothing but hassle. However it has been there since the 1970s and was built for the people,” Mr Williams said.

One plan is to find an investor willing to stump up the cash but his favoured option is to encourage people to buy shares in the club for �10 each to raise the cash needed.

The BRJ Club was founded by Maurice Bastini, Tony Rigden and Charlie Jacques in 1972.

Two years later they borrowed �53,000 from Charrington’s Brewery, in St Ives to open a venue which became a popular focal point for the community.

However in recent years it has struggled to pay its debts and enlisted the help of Charlie’s Angels Health Solutions to turn it around.