RESIDENTS in a Cardiff neighbourhood have staged a protest outside their local pub after a shock announcement that it is to close.

Regulars at the Newbridge Inn in Trowbridge say their local is at the “heart” of the working class community in the east of the city.

The pub recently made a statement online saying that it will be “closing for good” on July 31.

It is not yet clear why the Brains-owned pub has been given the sudden notice that it will have to close. The pub has been told that it must be vacated by August 5.

The brewery, which was esablished more than a hundered years ago in the city, has experienced financial difficulties that came to light at the end of 2020 and earlier this year it was reported close to selling the freeholds to scores of its pubs to a private equity firm.

Residents held the peaceful protest outside the pub on Wednesday July 13 and among those to attend was Christian Davies.

He said he was “absolutely gutted” when he first heard about the potential closure of the pub.

“It is not just a pub, it is a hub,” he said.

“We have got a few people in the area with mental health. They meet up here, they have a chat amongst themselves, they help each other through the day.”

Christian, 48, said that the pub is more than a place for people to come and have a drink, adding that it has become something of a community centre.

The building provides a home for local skittle teams, hosts bingo nights and offers a place for children to meet for arts and crafts.

Christian said: “This is where people come. This is their community. This is the heart of the community.

“Mark [a friend], for instance. I don’t see him from one day to the next, but every Thursday or Wednesday we come here for skittles and I see him.

“We have a conversation and that is what it is about. Otherwise, we have got nothing.

“We have got plaques on the wall in there out of rememberence for people who have died. It is memories.

“The minute this pub goes, the heart of Trowbridge is gone and we need to try and save it.”

There are men’s and women’s skittle teams at The Newbridge Inn.

Gill Johnston is a member of one of the women's teams and the 65-year-old has known the pub since she was a child.

READ MORE:

She reacted with “disbelief” initially when she heard the news that her local pub might be closing.

She said: “There is nowhere else to go.

“Don’t get me wrong, skittles is skittles, but it is a reason to come out.

“I am not one to just come to the pub to meet my mates unless there is a special occasion.

“Skittles gives you reason to come out and get out of the door and some of the women we skittle with only come out on skittle nights and they live alone.

“So they don’t see anybody if it is not for skittles.”

The National Wales: Michael Foley, 83, goes to the Newbridge Inn, which is expected to close, to see his friends. Pic: Ted Peskett. Free for the LDRS service.

One pensioner, Michael Foley, (pictured above) said he has been coming to The Newbridge Inn since the day it opened. He goes to the pub now to meet and catch up with friends.

Michael, 83, said the news of the pub’s potential closure was “terrible”.

“Especially for myself and the other pensioners,” he added.

When asked how important the pub was to him, Michael said: “It is very important. I can afford to come over twice a week.

“We meet every Wednesday and Thursday, about six or seven of us, but that will be gone.

“I have been going since the day it opened.”

READ MORE:

Marston’s brewery took over the running of 156 Brains pubs in 2020 – all of the pubs owned by the family businesss in Wales at that time.

In May this year, it was reported that SA Brain & Co sold the freehold and leasehold interest in nearly 100 of its pubs across south Wales. However, the company still owns th Newbridge Inn.

Another Brains-owned pub in Cardiff, The Wolfscastle in Llanishen recently revealed on social media that it will be closing its doors “for the final time” on August 3.

Brains has been approached for a comment.

If you value The National's journalism, help grow our team of reporters by becoming a subscriber.