The Comrades Club at Godmanchester prepared for its re-opening on Saturday by taking the inside outside with the laying of fake grass in the car park to create a new beer garden area.
Members of the public stepped in and helped lay the astroturf, with supporters beating a JustGiving target of raising £1,000 to improve new facilities at the club which should have celebrated its 100th anniversary during the lockdown.
Adam Mayhew, deputy bar manager who has been involved in the fundraising campaign, said that although the social club was roomy in comparison to some pubs, they still had to find ways of achieving the social distancing they needed to meet regulations and so they decided to create the outdoor space for members to use.
“There will be further development so the car park can be used as an inside space,” Mr Mayhew said. “The more we can raise the better we can make the outside.”
He said the club had organised a series of events, including a golf day, to help raise the money to pay for the scheme, which would make re-opening more viable.
Members have also used the enforced break to give the club a thorough spruce-up.
Mr Mayhew said: “The club is a non-profit social club and we are looking forward to reopening which would have been difficult without using the car park as an extra area. People have put in a lot of work to make it happen.”
The club will be closing at 10pm, partly to make sure that there is no noise disturbance from the outside area, and some of its normal facilities, including the snooker area, will be closed because they could not meet the social distancing standards.
The club’s large car park is normally in use during the day because it is the base for community groups and the building is usually available for wedding parties and functions. It closed on March 20 as a result of the coronavirus lockdown.
Mr Mayhew said a one-way system would be in operation for customers, sanitisers would be in place and members could use the club card to pay with instead of cash.