AN emotional letter appealing to locals to 'keep the Tute alive' has been penned as the Lochore Miners Welfare and Social Club faces uncertain times.

Members will hold an emergency meeting on Thursday night (6pm) at the club - known to many as Lochore Institute or simply as 'The Tute' - as it looks for support from the community.

In a year that started with Covid-19 disruption and is set to finish with party and function cancellations due to the Omicron variant, it has been a horrid year for the 'Tute and its staff who discovered that expensive vandalism was also carried out on the building.

Lead was stolen from the roof and this resulted in water spilling into the building, causing considerable damage and forcing areas to be closed off, such as the main dance hall which provides a large source of income through parties, weddings and more events.

Although insurance will cover the roof repair, damage costs remain high and with all the club's Christmas parties scrapped within hours of Scottish Government advice advising people to cancel their plans, the venue has been hit in the pocket significantly.

With staff feeling deflated, doorman Ramsay Paterson published a Facebook post as a rallying call.

He wrote: "In the area of Benarty, there stands a place where memories both happy and sad have been created and everyone in the area has a least or will at least visit once in their lives.

"That place is Lochore Miners’ Welfare and Social Club otherwise known as 'The Tute'.

"Many of your relations, great grandads and grandads or even fathers those who worked in the mining industry will have contributed towards the building of this building.

"This was a place where they could meet and socially enjoy a drink and the woman could enjoy a “wee dance”.

"Local people who used this establishment throughout the decades have stepped up to volunteer to man the committee to keep this place running. For without this the Tute would not be standing today

"In its heyday, the 'Tute' was one of the, if not the, busiest pub in Fife - some say Scotland. Busloads from Dundee and Mid Lothian would regularly appear on a Saturday night and fun was had by all.

"Sadly though, the Tute like most pubs and clubs is now in decline.

"People say its an old man’s pub, but in recent years committees have attempted to remove this stigma but it still has stuck.

"The Tute is one of the hubs of the community ​of Benarty area; used on a regular basis by community groups and families.

"We are proud to say we have 450 members.

"But, sadly, we only see 10 per cent on a regular basis.

"Recently, some persons in the area felt that the lead from the roof should be used to help them fund their lifestyles and removed it.

"Due to this, the roof is leaking and loads of functions have had to be cancelled. This applies to the main dance hall and the singsong lounge.

"This is not helping to the ongoing issue of lack of customers.

"The Tute is a large building and requires a fair bit of money to operate, this is even before the doors open.

"We are open to suggestion to help get the Tute back on its feet and stay open for future generations.

"The usual is a disco. The last disco that was hosted by the Tute ended up with £500 worth of damage to doors etc. people being barred, the same people who suggested a disco and sadly to say other situations arose from this one event.

"So, if you have a sensible suggestion on how to develop and take the Tute forward or you are a tradesman and would like to donate your time to help the Tute stay open by making it watertight etc, we are more that happy for you to contact us.

"Use it or lose it.

"Once the doors close, a part of Benarty history is gone forever."