THE Miners’ Institute in Grosvenor Road, Wrexham, has ceased to function because of mammoth heating bills.
The club’s stewardess of 26 years, Shirley Martin, said the news was a devastating blow.
She said: “I have lost my job and my home and 12 members of staff are now out of work. It’s so sad because for decades the club has been rooted within the community.”
The administrators of the independent registered charity say membership is so low they are struggling to pay £3,000-a-month charges.
The institution was set up for former miners who worked in collieries and their friends.
Members said the bombshell was dropped just a month before the closure.
Mrs Martin claimed there were some members who haven’t been told the news.
She said: “Everyone has fond memories of the club, I was shocked when I found out last month it was going out of existence.
“It’s been a devastating blow, we have had to cancel many functions – there are a lot of people who are very sad and disappointed.
“On Saturday night, there were a lot of upset regulars who came for a last time before we closed. We are holding a crisis meeting in a last ditch bid to save it.”
The decision was made at a meeting of directors last week.
Board member Denzil Pemberton blamed a lack of patronage and financial constraints.
“We're just in the position where it would be irresponsible to carry on,” he said.
“It’s come to the stage now when the heating bills are £3,000 a month – you can't support that on 10 people a night.”
A question mark now hangs over the future of the building which is in a conservation area.
There are talks of it being sold off.
Council leader Aled Roberts said members were not told about plans for closure.
“It is sad news but unfortunately it is indicative of the problems we have nationally with miners’ welfare institutes,” he said.