Regulars launch bid to save pub from closure

Daily Echo: The Stoneham Arms The Stoneham Arms

Please save our pub. That is the plea from campaigners trying to rescue a Southampton pub, which closed at the end of last month.

The Stoneham Arms in Bassett Green Road has been used by thousands of customers for more than 60 years but last orders were called for the final time when the previous licensees chose not to renew the lease.

The closure has meant the loss of nine jobs and it caught pub regular and lead campaigner Paul Dixon by surprise.

He said: “I was in Majorca when I heard the news. It had been up for lease for four or five months, but we always thought they would have a new landlord and that would be that.”

Now Paul, who has been going to the pub four times a week since 1988, has rounded up a group of regulars who have created a petition to try and save the pub. Originally the group planned to take over the lease, but now the pub needs a freeholder to take it over.

Paul added: “It’s like a family pub here. We all get along and meet up. But since it shut we have barely been able to see each other.

“We want someone to take it on and bring it to its former glory. It is a cracking pub, and it is the beating heart of the community here, we have got nothing here without it, and we do not want to see it turn into a supermarket.”

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The closure has come at a time when an increasing number of pubs are closing, many being turned into convenience stores.

As reported by the Daily Echo, a separate campaign is currently under way to save The Bittern in Thornhill Park Road from becoming a McDonald’s restaurant.

Back in 2008, The Stoneham Arms was a thriving hub of the Stoneham and Bassett community.

Every week hundreds of people would visit for wakes following funerals at nearby Southampton Crematorium, and its popularity saw it win the Best Pub Title at the 2008 Best Bar None Awards in Southampton.

Alan Harvey, 72, of Ventnor Court, was a regular for 43 years. He said: “I have been at a loss since it closed. We used to come in here and put the world to rights and run down the Government. We were probably talking a lot of rubbish, but it was our pub.”

Also supporting the campaign to save the pub is Labour councillor for Swaythling, Sharon Mintoff.

She said: “I have fond memories of the Stoneham Arms and I want to see it restored to its former glory. It is a lovely building and always used by a lot people. I want to do all I can to save the pub.”

The pub is owned by Enterprise Inns, which was unavailable for comment about its plans for The Stoneham Arms site.

Comments (8)

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5:48pm Wed 14 Aug 13

Totton Ric says...

Enterprise Inns, What a surprise, either be a Mc Donald’s, Tesco Express, Sainsbury’s Local or housing. Seems Enterprise has no interest in running pubs but selling them all off for maximum profit !, week after week of Pub shuting/closing .
Enterprise Inns, What a surprise, either be a Mc Donald’s, Tesco Express, Sainsbury’s Local or housing. Seems Enterprise has no interest in running pubs but selling them all off for maximum profit !, week after week of Pub shuting/closing . Totton Ric

7:58pm Wed 14 Aug 13

TinaSM says...

Can't believe The Stoneham Arms has closed. My brother used this pub regularly when he was younger. Then he emigrated to Thailand and built his own pub on the tropical island of Koh Phan Gan in the image of his favourite pub back home. The only difference, he named it the Masons which is our mums maiden name. When he comes home he always visits the Stoneham Arms. Will sign the petition to keep it open. Is there any way to get a petition started online to make more people aware.
Can't believe The Stoneham Arms has closed. My brother used this pub regularly when he was younger. Then he emigrated to Thailand and built his own pub on the tropical island of Koh Phan Gan in the image of his favourite pub back home. The only difference, he named it the Masons which is our mums maiden name. When he comes home he always visits the Stoneham Arms. Will sign the petition to keep it open. Is there any way to get a petition started online to make more people aware. TinaSM

8:02pm Wed 14 Aug 13

dolomiteman says...

Totton Ric wrote:
Enterprise Inns, What a surprise, either be a Mc Donald’s, Tesco Express, Sainsbury’s Local or housing. Seems Enterprise has no interest in running pubs but selling them all off for maximum profit !, week after week of Pub shuting/closing .
Did you read the story, there is no one to take the lease on which is why it has shut, new leaseholder = open pub. How can this be the fault of Enterprise?
[quote][p][bold]Totton Ric[/bold] wrote: Enterprise Inns, What a surprise, either be a Mc Donald’s, Tesco Express, Sainsbury’s Local or housing. Seems Enterprise has no interest in running pubs but selling them all off for maximum profit !, week after week of Pub shuting/closing .[/p][/quote]Did you read the story, there is no one to take the lease on which is why it has shut, new leaseholder = open pub. How can this be the fault of Enterprise? dolomiteman

10:05pm Wed 14 Aug 13

DrivinMissDayzee says...

dolomiteman wrote:
Totton Ric wrote:
Enterprise Inns, What a surprise, either be a Mc Donald’s, Tesco Express, Sainsbury’s Local or housing. Seems Enterprise has no interest in running pubs but selling them all off for maximum profit !, week after week of Pub shuting/closing .
Did you read the story, there is no one to take the lease on which is why it has shut, new leaseholder = open pub. How can this be the fault of Enterprise?
It is a common occurrence for a leaseholder of a public house to be taking on a great deal for 6-12 months, then Enterprise swoop in for the kill and up the price, leaving the landlord to struggle making ends meet, eventually in loads of debt, having to hand back the lease, being financially crippled, thus resulting in land sold for Enterprise, a cushy little 106 payment for SCC, and flats for ???
Mmm, I wonder.....
[quote][p][bold]dolomiteman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Totton Ric[/bold] wrote: Enterprise Inns, What a surprise, either be a Mc Donald’s, Tesco Express, Sainsbury’s Local or housing. Seems Enterprise has no interest in running pubs but selling them all off for maximum profit !, week after week of Pub shuting/closing .[/p][/quote]Did you read the story, there is no one to take the lease on which is why it has shut, new leaseholder = open pub. How can this be the fault of Enterprise?[/p][/quote]It is a common occurrence for a leaseholder of a public house to be taking on a great deal for 6-12 months, then Enterprise swoop in for the kill and up the price, leaving the landlord to struggle making ends meet, eventually in loads of debt, having to hand back the lease, being financially crippled, thus resulting in land sold for Enterprise, a cushy little 106 payment for SCC, and flats for ??? Mmm, I wonder..... DrivinMissDayzee

10:21pm Wed 14 Aug 13

dolomiteman says...

TinaSM wrote:
Can't believe The Stoneham Arms has closed. My brother used this pub regularly when he was younger. Then he emigrated to Thailand and built his own pub on the tropical island of Koh Phan Gan in the image of his favourite pub back home. The only difference, he named it the Masons which is our mums maiden name. When he comes home he always visits the Stoneham Arms. Will sign the petition to keep it open. Is there any way to get a petition started online to make more people aware.
Petition for what, you could have a million signatures but with no one willing to take on the lease it will stay shut?
[quote][p][bold]TinaSM[/bold] wrote: Can't believe The Stoneham Arms has closed. My brother used this pub regularly when he was younger. Then he emigrated to Thailand and built his own pub on the tropical island of Koh Phan Gan in the image of his favourite pub back home. The only difference, he named it the Masons which is our mums maiden name. When he comes home he always visits the Stoneham Arms. Will sign the petition to keep it open. Is there any way to get a petition started online to make more people aware.[/p][/quote]Petition for what, you could have a million signatures but with no one willing to take on the lease it will stay shut? dolomiteman

10:21pm Wed 14 Aug 13

loonaloop says...

Enterprise Inns, now there's a surprise. The cancer of many a community strikes again giving a manager a false sense of security with false promises whilst hiking up rates to cripple them. Would i be wrong to expect a fire soonish??
Enterprise Inns, now there's a surprise. The cancer of many a community strikes again giving a manager a false sense of security with false promises whilst hiking up rates to cripple them. Would i be wrong to expect a fire soonish?? loonaloop

3:04am Thu 15 Aug 13

StevenAus says...

So sad to see this place shut. I hope it reopens again soon. These facilities can never be replaced when lost in buildings like this. My auntie and uncle used to own this pub and it was always a busy place, I'm sure they can find another tenant.
So sad to see this place shut. I hope it reopens again soon. These facilities can never be replaced when lost in buildings like this. My auntie and uncle used to own this pub and it was always a busy place, I'm sure they can find another tenant. StevenAus

8:53am Thu 15 Aug 13

Brock_and_Roll says...

No one will take on the lease........because of its onerous terms!

Enterprise (as a zombie company up to its eyeballs in debt) are just looking for the best return and clearly it seems that they have identified an alternative more lucrative solution for the site!

If you know anything about the industry you will know that it was the Pubco's gorging themselves on debt fuelled acquisitions that has fuelled a great many of the pub closures. If these pubs had remained with small chains or as free houses, then many of them would have adapted, survived and thrived. The Pubcos themselves were a monster accidentally created by the deregulation of the pub trade to reduce brewers having monopolies in certain areas. Ironically, many drinkers today would rather have a large number of Bass pubs than one Chef'n'Brewer, 2 Tescos Expresses and a Tyre Shop!
No one will take on the lease........because of its onerous terms! Enterprise (as a zombie company up to its eyeballs in debt) are just looking for the best return and clearly it seems that they have identified an alternative more lucrative solution for the site! If you know anything about the industry you will know that it was the Pubco's gorging themselves on debt fuelled acquisitions that has fuelled a great many of the pub closures. If these pubs had remained with small chains or as free houses, then many of them would have adapted, survived and thrived. The Pubcos themselves were a monster accidentally created by the deregulation of the pub trade to reduce brewers having monopolies in certain areas. Ironically, many drinkers today would rather have a large number of Bass pubs than one Chef'n'Brewer, 2 Tescos Expresses and a Tyre Shop! Brock_and_Roll

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