Plymouth social club runs out of beer as punters say their goodbyes

The manager of a beloved social club which closed its doors for the last time on Tuesday said there has been such a reaction from members that they ran out of beer.

Louisa Traynor, general manager of The Saltram on Salisbury Road in St Judes, said she and her family had been ‘blown away’ by the outpouring of emotion from the community after the closure was announced.

The social club was first established in 1901, and previously saved by more than 50 members who came together to buy shares in order to keep their club open. But the committee said recently that they had decided to close the doors and put the club up for sale, with Tuesday being last orders.

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Mrs Traynor has run the club since members took it over in 2010 and lives with husband Graham, daughter Lacy-Dee and son Connor, in the connected property.

The family held a farewell party for members on Sunday, and the club was packed throughout the day with well-wishers. Mrs Traynor said such was the reaction on Sunday that she had to close up early, well before 10pm, as they had run out of beer.

She told The Herald: “It’s been incredible – people saying how much the club has done for the community and what we’re about, and how sad it is going to be – and well wishes for my family. I’ve been blown away by it.”

She added: “[On Sunday] I literally had to close because I had run out of beer – there wasn’t a bottle, a can, a pint left in the barrels, nothing.

“It was crazy from the minute I opened the door. But we had amazing entertainment as well, we had our favourite singers come in and they did pieces for us. We had Kirsty Johnson, who is an unbelievable vocalist, and Panda Hill, my all time favourite band, and they have even put comments on their pages saying this is why they do what they do, and they have never had a gig like it.”

Member Kenny Grogan presented Mrs Traynor with a painting he had done of her in front of the premises. He said: “The staff asked me to do it, and so I was under a bit of pressure to get it done, but it took me about 14 hours in total,” he said.

“They said I had to have her in animal print, which is difficult to do, but that is what she’s known for. Louisa is a diamond – together with her staff, who have all been brilliant. I’ve been a member for 46 years and she is the best stewardess we’ve ever had.”

A tearful farewell on Tuesday night included speeches and songs, with Mrs Traynor also paying tribute to her staff including deputy Kirsty and daughter Lacy-Dee.

She said: “I would not have been able to do any of it without them – Kirsty my deputy has been with me for 13 years and we’ve had a lot of staff come and go but Kirsty has been my right arm for that whole time.”

Mrs Traynor said the reaction of members showed what the club had meant to the community.

“You always found a familiar face,” she added. “It’s a cliche but it’s like the programme Cheers – it’s a place where everyone knows your name.”