CHAMPAGNE might have been more appropriate but that’s not the style at Layton Institute.
Instead it was pints of mild all round as members celebrated the reopening of one of Blackpool’s most famous and oldest clubs.
The Westcliffe Drive building shut its doors last month, seemingly for good, due to financial problems.
But a hardcore group of members – determined not to let a piece of local history die – got together to redecorate the famous venue and get the doors back open.
And yesterday the fruits of their labour were there for all to see as members flocked back to the Institute in their droves to celebrate the grand reopening.
Committee member Trevor Taylor said: “A lot of people have given up their own time to get this place back up and running.
“Now we want to move forward and create a new family orientated venue.
“We are not going to be a bog-standard working man’s club. Those days are gone, it wasn’t working.”
Fellow committee man Mark Luxton added: “Instead we want to encourage kids and make it a family venue, while still retaining the spirit of the venue. That’s the aim.”
Life member David Watts, of Annesley Avenue, Layton, said: “The glory days at this place were 20 or 30 years ago. I’m not sure we’ll get that back but we can try.”
Ron Threlfall, 65, of Wilford Street, who has been going to the Institute since he was an 18-year-old, was particularly chuffed to be back.
Sipping from a beer glass, he said: “This is my first pint of mild in six weeks. Tastes lovely. You can only get lager and bitter at other places – thank goodness it’s reopened.”