Punch protest pub saved from closure

By Emily Hawkins

- Last updated on GMT

Victory for village: the Rothschild Arms, Aston Clinton will reopen under new ownership shortly
Victory for village: the Rothschild Arms, Aston Clinton will reopen under new ownership shortly

Related tags Punch

A pub that inspired a protest outside pub group Punch’s head offices has been saved from closure and will reopen soon.

The Rothschild Arms faced closure by Punch last year, inspiring a campaign to save the pub and bring it under the ownership of the couple who run it.

Pub regulars took a coach to the pub company’s head office in Burton-upon-trent, Staffordshire, in August 2019, as reported by The Morning Advertiser​ last year.

Gemma and Stuart Ladyman have bought the freehold of the Aston Clinton pub in Buckinghamshire, and are carrying out renovations on the site before reopening in March. 

Gemma, who now owns the pub alongside her husband Stuart, said the news had been overwhelming. 

She said: “It's early days and it has been an overwhelming and very exciting 24 hours. 

“It's been one very long and stressful journey and, six months ago when they took the bus up [to the head office], we didn't think we were going to get it.

“We were told we were going to be made homeless. We have gone from one extreme to another, so it's been a lot to digest.

“We announced it on social media yesterday and our customers are just so pleased, excited and can't wait for us to open and what they call ‘get back to normal’.”

Cause to fight

Even residents of the Buckinghamshire village who did not drink at the pub had attended the protest, the pub’s operator explained.

She said: “People who have lived here for a long time who don't necessarily use the pub but believe that it is a village aspect and it gets the community together. 

“Some were neighbours that don't drink. They believed it was a cause to fight.”

Punch managing director Andy Spencer said: “We’ve continued dialogue with the local representatives of Aston Clinton and can confirm that we have exchanged contracts for the freehold sale of the Rothschild Arms.”

Related topics Punch Pubs & Co

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