Dalkeith & Woodburn Miners’ club queues raise concerns

Dalkeith & Woodburn Miners’ Club has defended its social distancing measures after photos emerged of youngsters queuing to get in.

Wednesday, 12th August 2020, 7:08 am
A large crowd gathered outside Woodburn Miners Club.

In the photos, taken on Saturday evening, dozens of young people can be seen waiting outside the establishment, with no social distancing rules being followed and no sign of any face masks to defend against the threat of Covid-19.

One local resident, who didn’t want to be named, told the Advertiser: “Myself and a friend witnessed a worryingly large crowd gathering outside Woodburn Miners’ Club.

“There was a total disregard for any social distancing measures. This crowd was still gathered approximately 20 minutes later and was already getting larger.

CCTV at Dalkeith & Woodburn Miners' Club shows most of the youngsters had been dispersed by 8pm.

“Whilst I think it’s appalling that these individuals did not take responsibility for themselves, it is also extremely worrying to see that the Woodburn Miners’ Club had no control over the crowd and there was no request to implement a distance between them.

“No masks were worn by the visitors in the queue until they entered the establishment, which I would have expected under the guidelines if no social distancing could be implemented.”

Concerns were also raised about the large queue on the What’s On Dalkeith Facebook page, and came just days after lockdown restrictions were re-introduced in Aberdeen following an outbreak of the killer disease in the city’s bars.

The local resident, who contacted the Advertiser, added: “Given the localised lockdown of Aberdeen recently, its concerning to see that this group of individuals seem not to be taking the virus seriously. I feel this should be highlighted to the residents of Midlothian so that if necessary they can take additional precautions to avoid potential contamination from those young people in the community.”

The club’s secretary Keith Hay told the Advertiser the club had posted on social media telling people to stay away.

He said: “We have done the utmost to comply with government guidelines and had three visits from the Environmental Heath and police within the last week who found that the internal procedures were more than sufficient.

“The club issued two notices on social media informing patrons not to come to the club as they would probably be turned away and that we have limited the numbers being admitted to the club.

“While we do accept that control outside the premises is our responsibility, we did not anticipate such a large crowd coming to the club so early.

“We closed the door at 6.30pm and tried to get them to queue up in an orderly fashion, and we dispersed the crowd before 8pm letting no one else inside. What do you want us to do just let everyone in regardless of the numbers?

“We have now taken extra measures with installing barriers outside and there will be supervision to ensure that social distancing is observed outside the premises.

“Dalkeith Miners Club has done the utmost throughout the lockdown, we were the first establishment in the area to close ahead of the announcement.

“We have 27 part and full time staff who rely on the club in one way or another for an income, we have kept all of these staff making sure everyone received something, unlike other establishments.

“We gave a weekly donation towards hot and cold food going out to the elderly and housebound via our inhouse caterer, we also ran the community foodbank from the premises in tandem with the Dalkeith District Community Council.

“The club is an integral part of this community and the town would be much the worse if it were not here, we give generously to local charities and local clubs on a yearly basis, the club is run by local residents who give their free time willingly to ensure its success, it should be something everyone is proud of and lauded instead of knocked and criticized.”