Plea to save Star pub landlady

REGULARS at an award-winning pub have launched a campaign to save their 100-hours-a-week landlady after she was told to leave her premises.Victoria Mills, 24, received notice this week that she had to vacate the Old Mariner in New Street, Woodbridge, and hand back the pub on April 7.

REGULARS at an award-winning pub have launched a campaign to save their 100-hours-a-week landlady after she was told to leave her premises.

Victoria Mills, 24, received notice this week that she had to vacate the Old Mariner in New Street, Woodbridge, and hand back the pub on April 7.

The pub won the title of Best Woodbridge Pub in last year's Evening Star Pub of the Year competition.

The decision has been made by GRS Inns, who manage the pub on behalf of Pubmaster, and their letter to Miss Mills did not state a reason for their decision.

Drinkers are now rallying round and handing out leaflets to "Save our Vicki".

GRS Inns has been unavailable for comment.

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John Murray, from Woodbridge, said: "She has created a lovely atmosphere and keeps excellent beer which is very important. She is always happy and smiling."

Miss Mills has displayed notices in the pub to thank everyone for their 'friendship, custom and support' and she admitted yesterday that she was disappointed to be asked to leave the pub.

She started as a part-time bar assistant, became pub manager and then took over the licence last July. The Old Mariner was voted the best pub in Woodbridge in a newspaper competition last December.

Miss Mills said: "Basically, I had a meeting a couple of weeks ago and they were concerned about the decline in barrels that I had been ordering and selling. Last week the area manager said they were replacing me with someone else. They said it was a last attempt to save the pub.

"I know they want to open all day. But I refuse to do that because a lot of regulars come after work and they do not want a pub that is smelling and untidy because it has been open all afternoon.

"In the short term what has happened is not very pleasant. In the long term I think I will be better off – I do not less than 100 hours a week, working from the time I get up until the time I go to bed.

"A lot of people say they will boycott and not use the pub because of what has happened."

Miss Mills said the Old Mariner had retained its image as a beer drinkers' pub while putting on community events. £270 was raised for Comic Relief with a staff fancy dress evening.

The pub which was built in 1814, was used by Pubmaster in 1998 to promote the company nationally because it was so successful.

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