You ask – are pubs an important part of the community? Yes they are. The Holywell Inn – my particular watering hole – has been a good pub that has ‘served’ this village well over the years.
It has always been one of the more traditional pubs that served good beer and chat. As a woman I have always felt able to go into that pub on my own – something that is frowned upon even today in some areas – and have a good evening chatting with friends and acquaintances. (I am married and do have a husband – but just occasionally I like or have to go out on my own). I have been to various parties, birthday or otherwise, funeral ‘teas’, wedding receptions, fundraising events – really the list is endless. The pub is at the centre of the village and so no one need drive to get to it, unlike now where the nearest pub is just under a mile away. Of course gone are the days when a man would go to the pub for his ‘pie and a pint’ at lunchtime, and even ‘call in for a swift half’ at the end of a day’s work, but nevertheless they still have an important role in today’s busy society. The way people drink has changed over the years and only the very young or very stupid go out and drink to excess, and this is usually in town centre pubs. Now a lot of people prefer to have a glass of wine after a good meal. Pubs – even village ones – can do this, it is just a matter of working to supply customers with what they want. What we want is somewhere we can go to have a drink, meet friends, be entertained, catch up on news (even more important now we do not have a daily paper) have a games evening or hold local meetings – a village pub can supply all of these things and more! The smoking ban has not helped the plight of struggling pubs and I do feel that one half smoking the other half non –smoking would have been a better solution. We do not need more flats, or as they are laughingly called ‘apartments’ in the village, we have enough flats and houses for sale or rent – we need a building that is for the community and preferably a pub. Our pub shut on New Year’s Day even though the landlady was working hard to renovate it and had started to build up trade. The only reason I or any one else can come up with is that it was bought with the sole intention of turning it into flats, so even though a pub is trading fairly successfully it can be gone overnight. If you have a ‘local’ then make sure you don’t end up with ‘apartments’ or flats.
Mrs. Wendy Tooby