End of an era for miners institute and bowling club

Denbeath Miners Welfare Club, Institution Street, Methil
Denbeath Miners Welfare Club, Institution Street, Methil
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DESPITE a history lasting almost 90 years, a landmark building in Denbeath has been forced to close down.

Soaring repair and maintenance bills have been blamed for the demise of Denbeath Miners Welfare Institute - and along with it, Denbeath Bowling Club.

“The upkeep of the buidling was crippling us,” said Gina Gardiner, secretary of the Denbeath Miners and Welfare Charitable Association.

The Institute - which is owned by CISWO - was riddled with leaks, the heating system outdated and the roof needed replacing, she explained.

“The weekly maintenance bills were £800 and that was before wages were paid to staff. It’s sad because we were trying our hardest to keep the building open.”

Although the listed Institute, which was built in 1924, looks set to be put up for sale, the association has been granted a potential lifeline.

Renaming themselves as Denbeath Social Club, the team have moved into the smaller former Scout’s Hall next door bringing with them some of the Institute’s furniture and even the old bar.

They intend to repaint the building in the coming weeks and already have plans to stage social nights, beginning this Valentine’s weekend.

The Institute was regularly used by pensioners who attended its coffee mornings as well as local societies, including the women’s guild and retired miners’ group.

Mrs Gardiner said: “Hopefully our patrons will continue to come to us in our new premises and we are always looking for new members.

“For some people the Institute had been their only social outlet and they were panicking when they realised we had closed.”