'˜End of an era' as home of TheÂ Full Monty in Sheffield changes hands
The iconic home of The Full Monty in Sheffield has changed hands, bringing down the curtain on nearly a century as a working men's club.
Shiregreen Club is where the big reveal was filmedÂ for the hit 1997 movie about a group of unemployed steelworkers stripping to make ends meet, which was produced for around $3.5 million and grossedÂ more than $250m.
The venue on Shiregreen Lane became a tourist destination in the wake of the film's global success and has hosted numerous charity stripping acts over the lastÂ two decades.
Last year, hundreds of punters packed in to watch stars including Harry Judd and Wayne Sleep complete an '˜undress' rehearsal, ahead of their big night at the London Palladium,Â for ITV'sÂ The Real Full Monty.
The club, which opened in a house on Shiregreen Lane in 1919 and moved to its current premises in 1928, had been run as a working men's club throughout its history.
But the building's freeholder has now cut short the club's lease and although it remains open as a pub it is no longer operating as a working men's club.
Club president Terry Wake and secretary David Howden branded it the '˜end of an era' and said they were shocked and disappointed by the owner's decision, given the club had been thriving in recent years.
They told how the club had been thriving in recent years, having put its past financial woes behind it, and the committee had spent more than Â£50,000 renovating the building over the past decade.
'This is the end of an era for the home of The Full Monty, which is very sad,' they said.
'It's a shame because we were doing so well and to be given just four weeks notice after all the work we've put in over the years is hugely disappointing.'
Mr Howden explained how the clubÂ had owned the building until the freehold was transferred to Stones Brewery during the 90s to cover debts run up by the then committee.
He said the club was sold in 2004 along with other working men's clubs in the city after Stones was bought by the US brewer Coors.
In 2008, a planning application to demolish the building and replace it with 24 homes was withdrawnÂ by Chatsworth Inns after hundreds of people signed a petition to save the club.
Mr Howden said the committee had initially signed a 25-year lease with the new owner in 2004 but four years ago agreed an amendment giving the owner the right to end the lease with just four weeks' notice.
That clause was exercised in July and the freeholder, understood to be Hotel Van Dyk Limited, took back control on August 20 this year.
Hotel Van Dyk Limited has since submitted a licensing application to run the premises as a hotel, with late opening permitted on New Year's Eve.
The '˜Club' has been dropped from the venue's name, though the application still refers to it under its old title ofÂ Shiregreen Working Men's Club.
Mr Howden said the owner had agreed to honour all existing bookings and that members' cards would remain valid at other clubs until they expire at the end of the year.
Although the club was not as busy as in its heyday, it still had 450 members and remained a popular venue for weddings, wakes and other functions.
Mr Wake said members had voted at a meeting on Sunday for the club's balance of around Â£60,000 to be split between members.
Shiregreen and Brightside ward councillor Peter Price is a life member of the club, where he began holding surgeries in 1972.
'It's very sad. I held my surgeries there for many years and still pop in every now and again,' he said.
'During its heyday it was packed and they used to run trips to the seaside for children andÂ sports clubs. It was the heart of the community.
'It's such a shame that we're losing the tradition of working men's clubs across the city.'
The Star has attempted to contact Hotel Van Dyk Limited.