Ipswich: Tributes continue to be paid to Betty’s nightclub owner as she announces her retirement
People in Ipswich have reacted with a mixture of shock and sadness after it emerged that the popular town centre nightclub, Betty’s, will close at the end of the month.
The venue’s owner, Ali Strickland, announced the closure online last week, saying she was retiring after 10 years at the helm.
In the statement, Ali said the nightspot would close on August 31 after she made the decision to retire to “pursue other personal interests.”
Readers on the Ipswich Star’s Facebook page and web site were quick to pay tribute to Ali’s work at the club and the venue itself.
Angela Harrison said: “That’s a shame.
“It is somewhere gay people can go and feel comfortable with like-minded people.”
Anna Bran added: “There’s a general decline in the night-time economy, but this problem is just getting huge now.
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“I’m not talking specifically about Betty’s, but in general.”
Writing on the Ipswich Star’s web site, Irene Wragg added: “What a shame, but enjoy your retirement.
“Hope someone else will take it over so those who enjoy the venue can continue to do so.”
Robin added: “(I’ve) been there once. Not really my scene but had a lot of people say its a great place to go.
“Such a shame – what is Ipswich turning in to?”
Betty’s was part of the Best Bar None scheme and last year it was in the running for the best independent club accolade.
While the club will close its doors at the end of this month, it is currently unclear whether or not a new owner will be sought to take over the running of it.
However, in her statement, Ali was quick to pay tribute to her staff and customers for their support over the last decade.
She said: “I would like to extend a massive thank you to all staff, past and present for their hard work, loyalty and support to myself, Betty’s Nightclub and all it stands for and represents.
“I would love to be able to name you all, however the list is too long, but you know who you are and I thank you all.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you, the community for your loyalty and support because without you, Betty’s wouldn’t exist.
“So thank you and I hope you’ve enjoyed partying in a fun, safe, attitude-free environment.”