A 104-YEAR-OLD Newbridge pub, known as ‘The Black’ because of its history with miners, has closed down.

The Masons Arms, on North Road often saw miners from the Celynen North and South collieries use the pub after a day’s work down the pit between 1930 and 1985. The pub first opened in 1910 but had to close last month.

John Williams, 60, landlord from 2004 to 2008, said: “It was called the Black because miners used to go straight to the pub before going to have a bath. Showers at the pits weren’t introduced until later.

“Not many pubs would let that happen but back then there weren’t carpets in pubs.

“I remember going there when I was 18-years-old and there was an open fire at the pub, it was popular with miners until the pits closed in 1985. It’s sad that a pub with such history had to close.”

The pub’s upstairs was turned into four flats during the 1980s and now there is planning permission to turn the pub into living quarters.

Jason Wallace, 45, current pub landlord, said: “The pub will be living quarters for myself. I’ve been in the trade since I was 18-years-old, it’s been nearly 25 years working at the Masons back and forth there a few times.

“We get lots of characters here with our regulars, it’s quite sad about the decline in British pubs mainly down to the smoking ban and cheap alcohol at supermarkets. It was the biggest decision me and my wife had to make but we couldn’t keep throwing money away.”