A Pub Is More Than Beer

This post is the first of a series that will highlight some of the local residents' thoughts about having the Crown at the centre of our village.

On behalf of the community I urge Dave & Cheryl to take a brave step forward and discuss with us how we can all help each other.

Until now I haven't shared the supportive and often frustrated emails and messages I've received over the past few months from the many villagers who have been unable to attend our meetings and therefore don't necessarily have their voices heard.

The reason I haven't shared them is to avoid upsetting the current owners whom I know are taking this extremely personally. However, public feeling is now out in the open. There is no hiding from it and those who support Dave & Cheryl's idea to close the pub and live above it have yet to publicly voice their support for such a plan.

As the issue of the ACV comes to a head the Parish Council may decide to re-nominate, or it may decide not to. Whatever the Parish Council's decision it is clear to me that the pub means a lot to those that live here for more than the simple reason of having the occasional drink or quiz. I hope that these posts will make that clear to you too.

As with other people in the village we run a holiday cottage. This brings a small amount of work to the village and this would increase if the pub was active in the village instead of being a part time, haphazard affair.

The theme of the pub being run part-time is one that repeatedly crops up. Dave & Cheryl have made it quite clear that they've lost their enthusiasm and that's why they decided to sell. If your heart wasn't in it, would you want to continue? Another commenter goes further - they even deny the village has a pub!

I currently have to send lots of [customers] to other pubs, denying we even have one! [It] would be great to have a good local pub.

It's a seriously sad state of affairs that the pub is allowed to run down, benefitting only a few regulars. I know Dave & Cheryl try their best to organise quiz nights, food and other entertainment but if you've lost your mojo for such things then it is time to consider other options. Local residents and businesses suffer while you deliberate over your plans.

We find it irritating to have to tell all our guests to ring in advance to see if they are open. We believe our guests when they say they would have gone there every night had their reception and treatment been better. We believe them when they say they felt unwelcome and were reprimanded for laughing too loudly.

The pub is for sale and the doors will soon close. We need to help ourselves out of this situation and in doing so help Dave and Cheryl to move on. There is a process we as a community need to follow in order to begin fundraising a community purchase with the highest chances of success. An ACV nomination is likely - either from the Parish Council or a third party. There is no right or wrong way of approaching this emotionally charged issue as a whole. But we do need to talk about it.

All quotes used above have been anonymised where necessary.

Mark Vanderstay

Mark Vanderstay

I've lived in Northwold since 2005, ran an after school club here and proudly supported village life where time allowed.

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A Pub Is More Than Beer
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