Madness fans drink pub dry

IT MAY be raining outside but one Ipswich pub has been left distinctly dry after 200 Madness fans drank it out of beer.

Simon Tomlinson

IT MAY be raining outside but one Ipswich pub has been left distinctly dry after 200 Madness fans drank it out of beer.

The Railway Inn has been desperately waiting for a delivery of alcohol since being drunk dry last Saturday.

And it is not the first time the Foxhall Road pub has hit the headlines- in April 2005 the establishment ran out of beer after a dispute between former managers and the ex-owner.

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Now the pub is struggling after hundreds of thirsty music fans descended on the bar at a Madness tribute gig.

Landlord Ray Dean, 40, said: “They drank us totally out of beer. There is nothing in the cellar. It is a void.

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“We've been ringing our suppliers, but they say they can't get to us until today, which doesn't help.”

Having run out of most lagers and ales, he says he cannot buy alcohol elsewhere because he is bound by a contract with Enterprise Inns, which supplies and owns the pub.

Customers are turning away and Mr Dean is worried the saga may have a long-term effect on business.

Mr Dean said: “It is gone very quiet at the moment because we haven't got any beer, so we need to do something to get people back in the door.”

The pub, which has a proud history of live music and once played host to rock legends Status Quo, has also experienced a severe drop in the number of people paying to watch gigs there.

In a desperate attempt to get customers back, Mr Dean has resorted to the drastic move of offering free lager for a limited time this Monday evening.

Mr Dean, who has worked at the pub for two-and-a-half years, said: “We need 200 people through the door just to break even, but I can't see that happening. People haven't got the money.”

A spokeswoman for Enterprise Inns said: “Enterprise Inns does not discuss private and confidential matters which may arise in the business relationships between the company and its licensees.”

- Are pubs in a crisis? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to

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