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Open For Business

From Kim D

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Would someone please tell Punch Taverns the good news because from all accounts their opinion seems to be that Hebden Bridge, Todmorden and Mytholmroyd are very much not Open For Business!

Their apparent abandonment of popular and previously successful local pubs at this difficult time is borderline criminal. These pubs have acted as hubs for the community for years.

While small businesses struggle on, finding ways to bring their trade back against such adversity and with the help of these forums, charitable fundrasing, the local community and the council they will be back. Not so for our local pubs owned by national breweries who have no understanding of the impact of their decisions on our livelihoods. If only they could be held to account.

I support the petition that has been formed to highlight the acts of Punch Taverns but fear our collective voice will have little impact on such a massive machine answerable only to its shareholders.

From Gary Rathbone

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

This could actually be good news! Freehold pubs don't have to buy (at inflated prices) from the Pub Co's and can charge less for their products.

I know of one brewer who is also a tenant at a pub. He brews his beer, has to sell it to the PubCo, then buys it back at an inflated price to sell in his pub.

Without the PubCo's the pub owner has a free choice of what products to stock and from where they are purchased. Cutting out the middle man margin on the beer and excessive rent means that a pub can be a successful business whilst the customers enjoy lower prices.

However, one to watch is the fact the PubCo's seem to have deals with certain supermarkets. It's happened in many towns around the country... see this page

As the outgoing Darts Captain at the Railway I would much rather see the Railway return to a thriving vibrant pub.

From Benny M

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Very sad to here about the "Railway" now here. This the very same company have today told Anne and Angus at the "Dusty Miller" in Mytholmroyd that they are to dispose of the the pub in the light of future risk factors. Thank you, Punch. Iit has always been acceptable for our money to finance your property company ambitions. But when faced with problems other than the norm, they run like rats abandoning a sinking ship. The aforementioned lovely people have worked their socks off to create a caring and involved community pub.

I am totally disgusted that big business can just stick two fingers up to a local community and walk. Remember their name "Punch Taverns".

From Ron Taylor

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Whilst sympathetic towards those trying to save the Railway pub I can't sign the petition as it stands. I am quite happy that Punch Taverns wants to sell it as I see them as greedy profiteers who have, along with other similar companies, ruined the pub trade by forcing up rents and bar prices.

I would, however, support a campaign to pressure Punch to sell at a knock down price to someone who would run it independently.

Meanwhile here is interesting piece about Punch from The Guardian a couple of months ago.

See also:

See petition calling on Punch Taverns to reconsider their decision to close the Railway

From Andrew B

Friday, 20 July 2012

Ron whilst I appreciate the (very valid) points you raise, we can be almost certain that Punch will not sell the pub at any less than the value, or the highest offer should it go to auction. They have over £2bn of debt that isn't going to clear itself. In many cases Punch sales are made through a 'sealed bid' process.

I am concerned that The Railway as a building will be purchased and a change of use application be made- it's in a good location (most of the time), particularly for anyone who needs their business to be seen.

The Railway is successful and certainly doesn't have prices as inflated as many other pubs in the area.

It is my view that we must aim to save the Railway, in any possible way, alternatively we face 'the unknown' and I dread to think what the building would become.

From Mark Simmonds

Monday, 23 July 2012

Might I suggest that the customers of the Railway consider the co-operative route as regulars at the Fox and Goose have. You could even preserve the current tenancy.

341 people have signed the petition. A few hundred quid each would secure the pub for now and the future - an autonomous thriving pub free of the PubCo clutches. Pubs are being sold for very little compared to their value as domestic property even when you factor in the speculation.

For full details of this option and the growing number of pubs pursuing this option, see the Plunkett Foundation website.

From Simon Hayles

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

I strongly agree that there's cause for concern - we need as a community to own our social hubs. We lost the (long lamented) Nutclough House Hotel due to lack of action.

We should all keep an eye on any change of use applications to the council planning department for the Railway and oppose them vigourously. So long as the building remains a pub the price will be far more affordable. In it's current state I reckon 250 people with £1000 each could buy the place... but then it'd have to be fettled up... It's a big ask...
I wonder if there are any council or flood relief funds which could help?