Pub threat shocks villagers

SUFFOLK'S High Sheriff has told of his sadness after being forced to close his family's pub for financial reasons.

SUFFOLK'S High Sheriff has told of his sadness after being forced to close his family's pub for financial reasons.

The move has provoked a strong reaction from one regular at the Queen's Head in Erwarton, who claims it could be “disastrous” for the community.

James Buckle, whose portfolio also includes the Bildeston Crown and the Lindsey Rose, placed the pub on the market for �325,000 three weeks ago.

Despite refurbishing the premises two years ago, he said the business was no longer viable as turnover was now half of what it managed three years ago.


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He said: “Revenue at The Rose and The Crown has gone up this year, but at the Queen's Head we have seen it go down pretty dramatically.

“I inherited the Queen's Head from my father, who bought it in 1987 for its location on the Shotley peninsula, close to where he liked to sail. It is no easy decision to sell it.

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“I'm incredibly upset. It wasn't part of my game plan, but for me it was the right thing to be doing.”

Mr Buckle, who was sworn into the figurehead role of High Sheriff earlier this year, cited the decline in the beer trade as another factor.

The closure has prompted fears the building could be converted back into a private home, leaving no hub for residents.

Harriet St Johnston, of Old Shotley, said: “This would be absolutely disastrous for the community, for whom this is not only their nearest pub, but indeed a place for the darts team to practise and a venue for local events such as the weekly Christmas Club as well as a place with fantastic food.”

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