Gorleston pub closure fears
THE closure of Gorleston's Cap and Gown could severely damage the community it serves, customers and local businesses have warned.The prominent Magdalen Way pub is set to close on October 5 after leaseholder Steve Andrews, 51, decided to call time due to the effects of the economic downturn, the smoking ban and problems with criminals who have targeted the pub.
THE closure of Gorleston's Cap and Gown could severely damage the community it serves, customers and local businesses have warned.
The prominent Magdalen Way pub is set to close on October 5 after leaseholder Steve Andrews, 51, decided to call time due to the effects of the economic downturn, the smoking ban and problems with criminals who have targeted the pub.
But one of the pub's regular drinkers, who wished to be known as Bola, said people could get hold of skilled tradesmen such as carpenters and plumbers who drank in the Cap and Gown and described it as a “community, not a pub.”
He said: “It is an estate pub, isn't it? It is the hub of the estate. You can come into the pub and get hold of a tradesman to come and do a job for you. People come here for a laugh, to enjoy themselves and socialise with others.”
The 49-year-old lorry driver feared for the estate's pensioners who used the pub to meet up and have a chat over a pint during the day, especially as there was nowhere else on the estate they could go to socialise.
He added: “The pub has held charity events and provides facilities for church groups. It is the only place in Gorleston where you can hold a wedding reception. The other pubs have not got the facilities to put on major events.”
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Fellow regular Brian Bagstaff, 61, of Oriel Avenue, said pub manager Paul Mitchell had done a lot to tackle anti-social behaviour in the area by getting to know troublesome youths and encouraging them not to get involved in criminality.
He added: “It will be a big shame if this place closes. It will be a big loss.”
Linda Lumley, manager of the nearby Barnardo's shop in Magdalen Way, joined the chorus in support of the pub. She said Barnardo's held fundraising events at the pub and said it was an important local venue for functions, especially for weddings and church groups.
She added: “I think it will have a huge impact on the community, especially as Paul Mitchell is very community based. It used to be a thriving pub, holding weddings and social functions and I think if more money had been spent on it, it could have been a thriving venue.”
Last week the Mercury reported how the pub, owned by Enterprise Inns, had done a third less trade this year compared to last year.
A spokesman for Enterprise Inns said the pub company was doing everything it could to keep the pub open.