A BARMAID was left cowering in a corner after being threatened by a man and woman wielding a bat in a social club raid.
The woman was alone behind the bar when the couple demanded the daily takings from the safe at Maiden Place Social Club.
It was a quiet evening in the Maiden Lane Centre, Kilnsea Drive, club on Sunday with only a few customers enjoying a drink when the pair arrived just before 9pm.
Michelle Large, chairman of the social club, said of the attack: “We were robbed when a male and a female entered the premises and threatened the bar staff with a wooden object. They emptied the safe and took our takings. A four-figure-sum was taken.”
“The lady behind the bar was shocked and shaken, she is a young, married mother.”
She said they believe the woman who helped carry out the attack had walked into the club and asked to use the toilet before being joined by the man.
The pair then demanded the bar-maid empty the takings and the safe into a bag the man was carrying before running from the building.
Mrs Large added: “When they left she [the barmaid] locked the doors and hid in the corner and rang the police. We had a good police response, they are checking the CCTV at the centre and have been given a very good description.”
Although an ambulance was called the barworker did not need hospital treatment.
Detectives are now examining the CCTV at Maiden Lane Centre in an attempt to identify the raiders.
Mrs Large said that “the money is irrelevant” and the safety of her staff was the “number one priority” for the committee.
The 36-year-old said: “The club remained closed on Monday and immediate security action will be taken.
“We will implement new CCTV, extra security, and the front door will be on a buzzer system.”
She said she was saddened by the incident, having worked extremely hard to get the club back on its feet since she took over in 2011.
She said: “When I took the position as chairman the club had an AGM. It was in serious financial trouble and we have worked very hard to turn that deficit around. The money is irrelevant, my priority is the wellbeing of my staff.”
A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said: “The man ordered a female member of staff to empty a safe of the bar’s takings. Cash was handed over to the man who then fled the scene.
“He was carrying a bat, which appeared to be similar to a rounders bat, and demanded a female member of staff to open the safe.”
“The man was described as white, 6ft 2ins tall, with blond hair and spoke with a local accent.”
The club has reopened and will be offering reduced drink prices and promotional offers today (Thursday) on St George’s Day as a thank-you to customers for being patient while it was shut on Monday.