CLUBBERS have expressed their shock after Casbah announced it was shutting its doors.

The John Street venue will close on March 7 after being a cornerstone of Swindon nightlife for almost 18 years.

Commenting on Facebook, shocked revellers expressed mixed views on the club’s closure while others organised one last visit before it shut forever.

Andrea Machin said: “So sad, it’s an end of an era, I have such good memories.”

Mark Brown said: “Farewell. I had some good years working there.”

Richard Rouse said: “Used to frequent the establishment regularly about 15 years ago and had many a good night in there.

“Shame it’s closing but judging by some of the other comments, it’s gone downhill since I used to go there.”

Maggie Todd said: “It’s where I met my husband 16 years ago.”

Sara Dommett said: “That’s where I’d always be back when I was a young ’un. Meeting East 17 was the best ever.”

Anna Gibson said: “I feel for the staff losing their jobs.”

Claire Rothwell said: “I remember going to the opening night.”

Tom Hill said: “You know a town is struggling when somewhere like Casbah is shutting up shop.”

David King said: “Will the last bar down the bottom of town please turn off the lights.”

The managers announced the news on Facebook on Monday afternoon.

A spokesman said in a statement: “To all our amazing customers past and present, it is with great sadness that we have to announce to you all that Casbah will be closing.

“Unfortunately, this is something we have not looked at doing and is in no way anything that has happened on our side but it is and has been taken out of our control.

“We have been here almost 18 years and have been a stable site on the nightclub scene in Swindon through the good and the bad. Everyone know there has always been Casbah.

“There is not really a lot we can say to everyone but thank you so much for being a part of us and our history. The love we feel for you all is out of this world.

“Please join us over the next two weeks as we would really like to say goodbye to as many of you as possible with our final party.”

The exact reason for the nightclub’s closure is not known. The Adver has contacted the club for clarification but has yet to receive a response.

Last June, developers K Chesterman SIPP and Camp Hill Estates put in a planning application to knock the Casbah down and build 12 flats in a five-storey building in its place if the lease was not renewed. No decision on the outline plans has been made yet.

The two-storey gable-roofed building started life as a motorcycle showroom.