PUB CLOSURE: Don’t say you weren’t warned

The Burnside, Longhoughton
The Burnside, Longhoughton

An interesting/ironic letter last week from Ann Burke regarding the Burnside Inn at Longhoughton.

Read Ann’s letter here.

Interesting that her family saw the need for a pub in the village and had to overcome many obstacles to get the licence granted and open for business in a place where the Co-op couldn’t make any money.

Ironic that now we are in a situation where the publican can’t make any money but the Co-op can. How times have changed.

I wrote to your paper approximately 18 months ago extolling the virtues of the great British pub – the envy of the world, and at the same time warning that if communities didn’t use the facility they would likely lose it. Well done, Longhoughton – you lost it.

There are a number of factors responsible for pub closures – health scares, smoking ban, the price of a pint, the price in supermarkets (or Co-ops) - but the most frightening of all, technology – and apathy.

In the good old days, you went to the pub to talk. Now people just text, skype or email – there is no need to talk.

The place for a social get together now is Facebook or Twitter, not the pub. They can’t be bothered to go out, they don’t need to.

It’s only when the pub is gone that people realise the importance of having that place where all are welcome for a good old chat and social gathering, where ideas for a day of fun are put into practice and usually lots of money raised for various charities.

If only the people who tell me how much they miss the Black Bull at Warkworth, the great village event around St George’s Day, the money raised for air ambulance and lifeboats, actually went to the pub on a regular basis (you don’t have to spend fortunes), these things would still be going.

If every villager went to the pub once a week for one drink, their wellbeing would improve greatly, and the great British pub would thrive.

Property values are also enhanced in villages with a pub – bet you didn’t think of that one.

So, sorry Longhoughton –you were warned. Hopefully, other villages will take heed and support your local pub.

Peter Mailer (ex-owner of the Burnside and Black Bull),

Station Road,