Letters to the Editor

Right to reply

I am writing to complain about our club Dalkeith Miners Club making the front page of the Advertiser and once more being shown in such a negative light.

You know the effort myself and all my committee put into running the club and, unlike the women you interviewed who run the nursery, none of us take a wage.

We have done nothing wrong. We were approached by the council and asked to explore the possibility of sharing parts of the building when it lies unused Monday to Friday.

We looked into this and it seemed to be a win situation for all, the community centre is closing and will be knocked down, the building is simply not fit for purpose any more.

We now find ourselves in the unfortunate position of being ridiculed and our good reputation questioned when all we have done is try to help.

We are not just a pub, as all the women you interviewed well know. There is currently the following activities taking place within the club – keep fit several times a week; hip hop, street dance, modern dance and ballet for children; a children’s fishing club; OAP club; free family film shows; family orientated wrestling shows; Zumba; Latin dancing classes, lip-reading club; old time dancing; bingo; and tea dances.

There are also many charitable organisations using our club rooms and committee rooms for free, we sponsor local football teams, and raised over £30,000 for charity at the club this financial year.

I could fill a page writing about all our activities that do not include selling alcohol – we are a massive part of this community and something everyone in Dalkeith should be very proud of.

This club is one of the biggest and most successful clubs in Britain and has been built up with help from no one but its members into what it is today.

We are one of the last clubs in Scotland to forge links with local council, Loanhead has done so for years, so has Addiewell in the West and Coalburn in the South, it would open the way to funds being made available for local youth and other projects within the club and by working together with the council would be a benefit to the whole community.

I have been inundated with calls from my members since this article was published and all have expressed their disgust at the way we were portrayed.

Gregor Hutchison

Chairman, Dalkeith Miners’ Club

More letters in this week’s Advertiser (May 12). Plus, talking newspaper is latest ‘casualty’ of community centre closure.