A SOCIAL club which came face to face with closure six years ago has now scooped a top award.

Castle Hedingham Club was thrilled after being named the North West Essex Campaign for Real Ale’s Club of the Year at a ceremony last Tuesday.

Club chairman Clive Clark, 57, said: “It is something we all feel very proud of.”

The club – which is an important part in the community – was facing closure about six years ago.

But a group of members got together and volunteered to take over the day-to-day running of the club.

Over time they raised enough money to re-fit the bar and decorate throughout.

The club now has three paid members of staff and an ever increasing membership.

There is regular live music, karaoke, bingo, quiz nights and it offers free pool, bar billiards and darts.

Mr Clark, who lives in Castle Hedingham, said: “We are very proud – it is a sense of achievement.

“It’s not all me, we have a whole committee behind it and we are all involved.

“I do the beers and my wife does the cleaning and others do the banking– we’re all volunteers.

“We’ve even created three jobs out of it now.”

Membership of the Castle Hedingham Club has skyrocketed since the residents took over.

“Membership just keeps going up and up,” added Mr Clark.

“We have a lot of older folk coming in and a lady who came last week to our bingo for her 93rd birthday.

“It’s something for them to do. It’s got a good following and a good clientele.”

Mr Clark said the club is still open for more members to join and urged people to drop in.

The club is in Church Lane, Castle Hedingham. Email. castlehedinghamclub@gmail.com.