Thursday, 18 June 2009

Shock At Jolly Angler Closure

A talk on 'vanishing Newtown' will be held at the Palmer Park coffee morning from 10-11am today, just as news reaches us that another community hub has been closed prior to an application for redevelopment.

The Jolly Angler is now closed for business and could eventually be lost forever if it is converted into housing.

Following the managerial uncertainties experienced by the canalside establishment in recent years and an aborted attempt to sell the lease, spokesperson Vicky Averis said Enterprise Inns were committed to the success of the traditional workingman's pub and had no plans to sell.

With John Doughty installed as publican the future had looked brighter, but Enterprise Inns (who held the freehold) rejected firm offers to turn it into an independently-managed and owned business, preferring instead to sell it to an unnamed developer who was able to hide their identity by acting through a holding company.

In a statement CAMRA campaigner and LibDem PPC Cllr Gareth Epps said,
"If Enterprise think or claim that they can gain planning permission for the closure of this pub, they can think again. They cannot shut successful community pubs at a whim. Corporate bullies such as Enterprise Inns are increasingly going to find that communities fight back in a united and positive way."
Cllr Epps also described Enterprise Inns' treatment of their tenant leaseholder and the Newtown community as "outrageous".

Green Party activist Rob White expressed his shock after belatedly discovering only a day earlier that the pub was under threat. The teetotaller offered his strongest assurance that he would be doing all he could to help the pub re-open by lobbying councillors and council officials (among whom Cllr Epps will presumably be included).

Meanwhile, as the campaign to get enough council votes to reject the redevelopment proposal mounts, a distant prospect of saviour may come in the form of reality television producer Twofour Broadcast - who are looking to save a community pub and will transmit the results in a programme on new UKTV channel Blighty.


  1. I wouldn't know anything that was going on in Reading if it wasn't for this blog. thanks for all your hard work.

  2. Thanks, Elizabeth, that's very sweet. Though I don't think the local press would be too happy to hear it!

  3. rough as **** - that place was a dive. I'm glad it's gone.

  4. Not wishing to get in the way of your Lib Dem campaigning and 'facts', but I am not a teetotaller, I just do not drink as much as some of your councillors ;)

  5. Hi Rob, thanks for the comment.

    I stand corrected on your stance towards drinking - it's clearly changed somewhat since you told me that you were teetotal!

    However, don't be confused about any party allegiances held by the team here in the Reading List treetops. Inaccurate speculation reflects more upon you and doesn't do you any favours.


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