Petitioners welcome U-turn over decision to give much-loved Walkern landlord notice to quit

The Yew Tree pub in Walkern. Picture: Google Street View.

The Yew Tree pub in Walkern. Picture: Google Street View. - Credit: Archant

A brewery has made a U-turn over its decision to give a much-loved landlord notice to quit, with a petition amassing almost 1,000 signatures in support of the licensee.

Last month, brewery McMullen gave the landlord of The Yew Tree in Walkern High Street, Marcus Wan, and his wife Amy until the end of August to vacate their positions.

In protest, regular Justin Nye started an online petition to “convince McMullen to grant Amy and Marcus two more years at The Yew Tree”.

The petition, which was reported in the Comet, amassed close to 1,000 signatures and McMullen has now agreed to its terms.

Marcus said: “We have been granted another two years. It’s good news to everyone who has helped The Yew Tree throughout this difficult time.

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“It shows the power of the community and the petition, which demonstrated the hard work that Amy and I put into this business.

“The support from the community was very much appreciated. Now to relax and get on with my two years.”

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Justin said: “I’m absolutely ecstatic. I’m really pleased for Marcus and Amy, who have worked hard at the pub for more than eight years.

“It’s the right decision for McMullen to make and I think the petition definitely helped. There was overwhelming support from the community and it couldn’t be ignored.

“I’m really chuffed with McMullen for listening to people and subsequently making a U-turn.”

Prior to the U-turn, McMullen said Marcus had failed to address “continuing concerns on a wide range of matters”, including a 24 per cent real sales decline in beer volume during his tenure.

On Tuesday, Fergus McMullen, production and sales director for the brewery, said: “We are disappointed Marcus has been falsely alleging that The Yew Tree was for sale rather than working with us over the past two years to address a number of our clearly expressed concerns.

“However, we are sympathetic to his remaining schooling requirements in the area and, as a result, will offer a two-year lease.

“We continue to hope the trade will materially recover over this time so that we can then invest to ensure the long-term viability of this pub for generations.”

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