Friday, 23 Oct 2020

The Next 17 years - 1985 - 2002

Over the years, the Club has preserved its' long established reputation as a place of solitude in the very centre of a bustling town. Members can enjoy a quiet drink, eat an acceptable meal at subsidised prices, play a competition game of snooker or Bridge. Always to find good company and somebody to 'pull your leg' and enjoy a good laugh.

Many of us would have liked this cosy atmosphere to remain forever but in the period '84-'85 it became clear that our membership was declining, as were our cash reserves.

Still there were sincere desires to hold onto the past. At one Directors' meeting, somebody calculated that we needed 120 new members to meet our rising expenditure. The Chairman of the day was minuted as saying 'I couldn't agree less!!'.

Looking back over the past 30 or so years after the purchase of the freehold of Archdeacon's House and its surrounding buildings, the Club has enjoyed prudent management by the Directors. The property had been respectfully cared for, as were its furnishings.

With the benefit of hindsight, when one examines closely the balance sheets, we had indeed been prudent in the management of the Club's day-to-day affairs BUT where we had been very wise, or perhaps just fortunate, was to appoint in the first place Ronnie Willett and later David Wass to manage our tenants and negotiate profitable rents with periodic rent reviews which took care of our rising expenses plus an agreeable and welcome profit.

This 'goose' was surely laying for us truly golden 'eggs'. Bigger and better almost by the year.

Outside the walls of Archdeacon's House, Ipswich was growing and expanding its accommodation for shopping precincts and office space. In fact the town was soon over provided with new offices and shops. The rentals which had kept us afloat now had to be held without increase. In some cases tenants removed to other premises and in one or two cases tenants had to ask for lower rents. The rental market took a very severe battering in the '90's. Prime rents in the town centre fell from £16 per square foot to £7.50 in 1995. The 'goose' that laid 'the golden eggs' was forsaking us!