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A Tale of 2 Pubs.

But first.......Hello to all.

Yes we are still here and we believe you are still with us.

Just to recap on the groups objectives.

Get The White Lion property in Crays Pond reopened as a community pub and so much more.-OR

Work with any responsible plan to reopen the White Lion as a Pub so it can be a commercial success.-AND

Support SODC with rejecting any Planning request that does not allow the White Lion to reopen as a Pub as their own planning protocols dictate.

A Tale of 2 Pubs.


The Greyhound at Whitchurch.


You may have seen the Greyhound over the years suffer the same uncertainty as other pubs, and it was saved from complete closure.

Now owned by Oak Taverns and run by Lottie Mitchell it has had a remarkable renaissance and she works hard to remain a commercial success.


As the Interior is not conducive to kitchens etc for an in house food offering it opted (as have many other pubs nationwide) for a rotation of ‘Street Food’ provision which has proved very popular and is a substantial help in ensuring the local and wider community has a Pub at its disposal.


The Street Food operators all have Food Standard Agency certification…however we are told that SODC have insisted that the provision of food in this way ceases until Individual licences for each operator for each day at each location are obtained.


Now abiding by the Law is important, especially for Planning etc. but the world is changing and the way Licences were granted in the past may not be ‘In Tune’ with the way our local pubs need to operate today. Certainly corresponding by email only seems a bit restrictive when people are trying to sort things out, better to meet and converse.


It may be that other District Councils take a different view and offer a simpler licensing system (so we have been advised) based on a more flexible approach.


Now it is up to Oak Taverns and SODC to sort this out, but it is important for the communities theyboth serve to have their Pub, and the use of ‘Street Food Vendors’ on a peripatetic basis is important to the commercial success of them.


In the meantime why not support (or continue to support) Lottie at the Greyhound with a visit or two whilst the matter gets sorted, you know it makes sense.


The Save the White Lion group will be there on Thursday 24th of August to do our bit.


The Crooked House.

From This……….


To This.........



Now you have probably seen the fate of the Crooked House in the midlands that was sold (empty) to developers and before the community could really get their community group formed and active it seemed to burst into flames.

As if this was not enough the fire engines could not get close (obstructed by a mound of earth) so it burnt to a shell and then before any instruction regarding the property was given, it was torn down.

The community group to save and rebuild the Pub has its own Facebook page if you are interested (Save the Crooked House Let’s get it rebuilt) and are now supported by Andy Street (local Mayor) the Council and the local Police are now active…evening all!

In reading all the comments about the Pub in its past it appears to have suffered the same fate as the White Lion in the hands of Breweries and Pub companies, Greedy rents, high tenant turnover, and managers with no interest in its success, followed by a quick sale to someone to take it off their hands (I wonder what due diligence was done by the vendor?).

In some of the comments the same old chestnuts come up such as…If you had used it, it would not have been shut and sold. However our view is that these sales to others are usually done after a period where the Vendor runs down the pub, does not invest and inflicts high rents on any successful tenant…sound familiar.

As we said in a previous newsletter the value of the Pub property to a housing developer is greater than the value of a pub on the site, particularly in this area, and if the White Lion turns into residential properties (usually the high value sort) you won’t get the amenity back again.

EVER-EVER-EVER.

And Finally.....

We will be touch again soon about a couple of Supporters evenings at Goring Heath in the autumn. We hope you can support these events in aid of the fighting fund

We hope you could take the time to attend to meet the group, have fun with family and friends, and generally enjoy yourself in our Pop Up White Lion …Watch this space.


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