Family holds firm in pub dispute

A FAMILY refusing to leave the Ipswich pub they used to run today warned they would stay until they are paid wages they claim they are owed.Chris and Wendy Rudge are ignoring requests for them to leave The Railway pub in Foxhall Road after becoming embroiled in a bitter dispute with the pub's owners.

A FAMILY refusing to leave the Ipswich pub they used to run today warned they would stay until they are paid wages they claim they are owed.

Chris and Wendy Rudge are ignoring requests for them to leave The Railway pub in Foxhall Road after becoming embroiled in a bitter dispute with the pub's owners.

The Railway, which once famously played host to rock band Status Quo, closed its doors last month after suppliers refused to deliver beer due to alleged debt problems.

Relations between Mike Burgess - from the Premier Pub Company - and the Rudges have since deteriorated amid allegations of a £3,000 stock discrepancy.


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The family was told they should leave immediately, but a stand-off has developed with the family staying inside the ailing pub.

Mr Rudge said he had recently received a letter from a solicitor acting on behalf of Mr Burgess instructing them to leave The Railway within seven days.

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He said: "The letter offered us a week's wages in lieu, but we are owed more than that - a week's wages and some holiday money.

"We haven't done anything wrong and we have been forced to leave our jobs. I would still like to be reinstated as manager.

"We've done everything by the book. We don't want to get into any big legal problems but if we have rights, we'll use them."

Living with Mr and Mrs Rudge at the pub are their three children, aged 15, 18 and 19 as well as their two-year-old granddaughter.

Mr Rudge said: "It's hard for them. My granddaughter used to come down with us in the morning and she doesn't understand why she can't anymore. My wife is not taking it very well either. It's been very stressful for her, but we're both still determined.

"We are used to being on the ball and on the go all the time so it's tough to be in this situation where we don't know what to do with ourselves."

He said customers had been calling the family with messages of support and had told them they would not drink in The Railway once it reopened under new management.

He added: "If there's anybody out there looking for a manager and manageress, we would love to hear from them."

Mr Burgess said the issue was in the hands of his solicitors and declined to add further comment.

N What do you think of the situation at The Railway? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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