Tour highlights plight of village pubs

PUBLISHED: 11:39 01 March 2007 | UPDATED: 11:37 06 May 2010

Members of East Beds CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) toured the countryside on a vintage Thornycroft lorry

Members of East Beds CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) toured the countryside on a vintage Thornycroft lorry

BEER lovers made a trip around five pubs in Mid Beds to savour what many believe could a dying trade. Members of East Beds CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) toured the countryside on a vintage Thornycroft lorry visiting the Engineers Arms in Henlow, The Tudor

BEER lovers made a trip around five pubs in Mid Beds to savour what many believe could a dying trade.

Members of East Beds CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) toured the countryside on a vintage Thornycroft lorry visiting the Engineers Arms in Henlow, The Tudor Oaks at Astwick, John O'Gaunt in Sutton, The Wheatsheaf in Biggleswade and The White Horse, Broom, to highlight the plight of community pubs which are closing at the rate of 14 a week.

"The idea was to highlight the fact that so many locals are closing down," said John Walsh of East Beds CAMRA.

"Most of these pubs are the traditional local where neighbours and friends meet up for a chat.

"For many, especially the older generation, these places are a lifeline.

"Property prices are such that many of these places are worth more to the owners to sell for development than trade as a business.

"Brewers' tenants are charged high rents and high prices for their products and struggle to survive. It is no longer village pubs that are suffering, but urban ones as well."

Mr Walsh added: "Each of the pubs we visited have a strong local connection - darts and dominoes teams, bar skittles, raffles, days at the races and quiz nights.

"In other areas the pub has taken on the role of the village store and even the village post office. This benefits publicans by giving them a second income and benefits the community by keeping shops and post offices going.


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