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Villagers in Somersham come together to look at the future of The Duke of Marlborough pub

PUBLISHED: 19:00 14 November 2014

A public meeting was held to see if villagers in Somersham want to save their pub, The Duke of Marlborough.

A public meeting was held to see if villagers in Somersham want to save their pub, The Duke of Marlborough.

More than 150 villagers packed into a public meeting to hear about the future of their only pub.

The event was called in Somersham, near Ipswich, to discuss The Duke of Marlborough.

The meeting heard claims that the establishment is due to close next month – with residents already getting together to fight for its future.

No one from the pub was available to comment about the claims made.

Sarah Caston, 34, is leading the campaign. Speaking after the meeting, she said: “Most people did not know about the project beforehand; we talked about what a community pub is and the different options of how you can set up a company. We are looking to raise awareness with potential investors.

“Ideally, we’d like to do what was done at The Sorrel Horse in Shottisham; they sold shares at £500 each. In the end 900 were sold which gave them £450,000. We may do smaller shares as it’s not as wealthy an area; people have not got the money to spend.”

A new shop was opened by the community in 2012 after the village rallied when the previous store shut in 2007.

Julia Truelove, county councillor, said: “Somersham residents have shown their commitment for not-for-profit enterprises with the successful village shop which is now flourishing and is supported by volunteers.

“At the meeting there were representatives from Battisford who established a community pub in the village with the Punch Bowl.”

A questionnaire has been produced for villagers. Contact marlboroughsomersham@gmail.com for more information.

5 comments

  • theres more to running a pub than just opening the doors and assuming people will automatically flock in. pubs need to offer people what they want, at good quality for a good price. it isnt about competing with supermarkets, restaurants dont compete with supermarkets even though they sell cheaper meals so why the obsessive comparison with pubs. theres clearly a desire for a local pub, but if those people packing that village hall arent using the current facilities, you need to work out why, not just blame cheap lines and market conditions.

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    beerbaron

    Saturday, November 15, 2014

  • Any pub that's in it's final throws due to lack of customers (and it's the villagers' fault for not supporting the landlord) should be made exempt from the smoking ban and be given a chance to bring customers back in by any means. Non-smokers clearly don't use the pub. I'm a non-smoker so as guilty as everyone else but I have at least one evening a week in my local pub.

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    Ipsman

    Saturday, November 15, 2014

  • As a former pub landlord, I have to agree with Pandy and Esco Fiasco, another case of "Use it or lose it". I left the trade whilst I could still make a profit. After all, landlords run a pub to at least keep their heads above water, not as a loss making charity for just a few customers.

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    The original Victor Meldrew

    Friday, November 14, 2014

  • I agree with Pandy. I was born in Somersham but don't live there anymore but still visit the Duke occasionally and it has always been empty. The bar and food are nice but if the local community don't actively support it they hardly have grounds to complain when it closes due to lack of custom.

    Report this comment

    Esco Fiasco

    Friday, November 14, 2014

  • It's a case of shutting the gate after the horse has bolted ,I've been in the pub some nights when only 4 people have been in it so where where the 150 when the pub needed surport ,sitting at home drinking cheap alcohol bought from the supermarket.

    Report this comment

    pandy

    Friday, November 14, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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