December 12 2013 Latest news:
By Hollie-Rae Merrick
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
THANK you for the memories.
THE Golden Key will open as a store just as Tesco prepares to open a new venture on another pub site.
Both the Golden Key and The Emperor pub in Norwich Road are being converted, just months after the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) revealed the number of pubs across the country facing the same plight.
Camra said 45 pubs were under threat at the end of last year while more than 200 pubs across Britain have been converted into branches of supermarkets since January 2012.
Camra said “weak” and “misguided” planning laws have enabled the UK’s biggest supermarkets to “rip the hearts of out small communities” by converting pubs into shops such as Tesco Metro or Sainsbury’s Local.
The sites where the Safe Harbour in Meredith Road is now a supermarket, while the Racecourse in Nacton Road is now home to a Tesco Express.
That was the message from the Dee Haining, the Golden Key’s landlady of nearly 13, after she called last orders for the final time.
The Woodbridge Road pub was a community hub for decades but the last pint has been poured after the owners called time on the venue.
The 50-year-old, who took over as landlady in February 2000, told of her sadness that drinkers had lost their pub.
“It’s really sad because this pub has a lot of regulars,” she said.
“I made a lot of friends here and have memories that I will always remember. I have too many memories from throughout the years to mention.
“I would have been at the pub for 13 years on Valentine’s Day.
“During our last week the customers were really upset to think they are losing their pub – they don’t know where to go know.”
The Star previously revealed that retail giant Sainsbury’s was set to take on the site and transform it into a store.
Pub owners Greene King applied for permission to build an extension to the building and convert its use in 2011.
The application was eventually rejected by the borough council due to concerns about access to the site but permission was eventually granted on appeal last summer.
Mrs Haining, who is originally from Portugal, thanked customers for supporting her throughout the years.
“My customers and the company were really supportive when my husband Richard died in 2009. I don’t think I would have got through it all without them helping me.
“I just want to thank everyone who made the pub what it was.”
She now plans to take a holiday and think about what she wants to do in the future.
A Sainsbury’s spokesman previously revealed their plans to open a Sainsbury’s Local on the site of the Golden Key following the decision to close the pub.
He said: “The new shop will give local residents increased choice and value and allow them to top up their food shopping locally.”
n See pages 18-19 for an update on the town’s breweries.