Town campaigns to save much-loved pub

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

'Disbelief': A Portsmouth community is rallying to save its community hub (Credit: Getty/ The Good Brigade)
'Disbelief': A Portsmouth community is rallying to save its community hub (Credit: Getty/ The Good Brigade)

Related tags Portsmouth Greene king

Drayton residents are rallying to save a much-loved Greene King pub, after complaints the pub company had not given a clear reason for its closure.

One campaigner Brad Gudgeon said the community found out the Manor House in Portsmouth would close mid-November, a decision that was met with “disbelief”.

Gudgeon claimed he was informed that Sunday 26 November would be the pub’s closing date. However, on Friday morning, contractors had already boarded up the site.

This meant it closed two days earlier than planned meaning pub-goers did not have a final weekend to have their last drinks and say goodbye, he added.

Gudgeon and local MP Penny Mourdant have both written open letters to Greene King chief executive Nick Mackenzie expressing the "heartbreak" of the community and asking what the intentions are for the site.

A Greene King spokesperson told The Morning Advertiser​: “Making the decision to close a pub is never an easy one and multiple factors are always considered."

'Fobbed off'

They continued: “We know the closure of the Manor House is disappointing news to the local community and our loyal customers that live in the area, and would like to thank those who have enjoyed visiting us over the years.

“We look forward to welcoming them into our other pubs in the area soon. We have worked with our team from The Manor House to find alternative roles at our other pubs in the local area where possible." 

Gudgeon said he had been “fobbed off” by Greene King who hadn't given a clear reason for the closure.

“It’s been so frustrating for all involved,” added the community member. “All we want to know is what your plans are for the site so we can act accordingly.”

Community hub

Many locals bared the cold to sit outside the pub in a peaceful show of solidarity last weekend.

“All we want is a pub at the end of the day,” said Gudgeon. “You’ve got the full spectrum of the community that use [the pub] and want to keep it,” he added. The pub hosts a diverse mix, from young people in sports teams, to veterans to PTA and scout meetings.

He continued: “We’ve all got our own reasons why we want to keep the pub open, but seeing the outpouring of different reasons was like, this goes beyond what we want to do for ourselves. This is really an important community hub that has to be saved.”

The campaigners have applied to make the pub an asset of community value.

Speaking to The Morning Advertiser,​ Portsmouth North MP Penny Mourdant said: “There is a lot of interest from the local community for retaining and perhaps taking on the pub. We are working with all parties to try to ensure they have that opportunity.”

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