Andrew Marsden of our Batley Office is the Chairman of the Batley Business Association and writes a monthly piece in the Batley News, this months piece below was first published on 28 July 2016
As I write this the demolition crew are taking down the remains of Batley Working Mens Club. I have driven past that building most working day mornings and evenings for a lot years now (more than I care to remember). It has always been there, at least during my time in Batley. Sadly the building was devastated by fire in August last year bringing an end to one of the longest surviving clubs in the area.
It will seem strange to drive past and the building not to be there, but I have no doubt that the site will be redeveloped, which will bring new ventures into town. And I will quickly get used to driving by the new building/s that appear.
Very shortly another long established club will also close it’s doors for the last time, as the Frontier shuts. I have many fond memories of the club, and still remember my first night in there watching in awe the light and laser show to a jean michelle jarre sound track. Seeing the club live on tv, on the Hitman & Her! (am I showing my age yet??) and some fun nights.
I am not old enough to remember the Batley Variety Club, and the many stars who graced it’s stage, but have heard many stories about it over the years. In my job I regularly speak to people all around the country, and it is surprising how many people mention the Variety club when Batley comes up in the conversation.
The times they are a changing sang Bob Dylan, and whilst I am fairly sure he never appeared at the variety Club, his words hold true, times change. Towns change. It is easy to become nostalgic for memories of partying the night away in the Frontier and bemoan it’s closing. But the truth is that the club wouldn’t be closing unless it had to, and whilst it is easy to talk about heydays you have to deal with the here and now.
Plus with one door closing another is opening with the revamping and planned opening of the old Deco unit as T.B.C. And a new business will operate out of the Frontier building creating jobs and footfall.
I am also pleased to say that a number of other new doors look set to be opening with the ongoing development of some previously empty units around the town centre, and new businesses opening soon. Things are looking up.
Memories are good, they should be cherished, we should look back fondly on how things were. But we should also keep looking forward.