Shock at sudden closure of White Horse pub in Netley Marsh

CLOSED: Landlord Duncan Owers behind the bar at The White Horse.

CLOSED: Landlord Duncan Owers behind the bar at The White Horse.

First published in New Forest
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

 IT is the ancient country pub which has served Hampshire punters for generations.

But villagers in Netley Marsh have been left reeling after their local watering hole mysteriously closed.

Punters arrived at the White Horse in Ringwood Road on Friday to find the doors locked.

A message attached to the window written by former landlord Duncan Owers revealed he was closing his doors for good.

Yesterday a spokeswoman for pub owners Enterprise Inns said: “The White Horse has closed following the publican’s decision to cease trading.

“We are now actively recruiting for a new publican.

“While the pub is closed we are taking the opportunity to carry out some minor works to enhance the pub’s interior.”

She denied there were plans for supermarket giant Tesco to develop the site.

The closure comes just three months Mr Owers launched a new Thai menu with chef Sarah Wuthrick which appeared to spark a roaring restaurant and takeaway trade.

Previously the pub was run by couple Val and Rob Freeman and their son Russell.

Surprise The village’s nearest pub is now The Gamekeeper in Woodlands Road and two others are within two miles.

Totton North ward UKIP councillor Chris Lagdon said: “It’s an extreme surprise – I know Duncan has put a lot of work and money into it.

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“It’s very sad to see another local pub closing and another death knell for the English way of life.

“Pubs are part of the community where villagers meet and it means people are going to have to go elsewhere for drinks or are going to have a supermarket.

Netley Marsh parish councillor Cllr Pattock said: “I am very sorry there is another pub closure.

“We don’t have many businesses left in the village.

“More and more pubs are closing and it is likely to happen at this time in the year when people have spent a lot over Christmas and aren’t going out in the early part of the year.”

Comments (15)

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12:55pm Wed 8 Jan 14

southy says...

Thats a shame to see this pub to close
Thats a shame to see this pub to close southy
  • Score: 5

1:08pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Brusher Mills says...

I heard all the old regulars have been going to the Gamekeeper gradually for a while. Shame it was a good pub.
I heard all the old regulars have been going to the Gamekeeper gradually for a while. Shame it was a good pub. Brusher Mills
  • Score: 9

1:19pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Hulk says...

he was very rude and had a reputation for no customer service skills and very poor front of house ability. I wouldn't go in there, even though I liked the food and it was 100 yards away, because I couldn't stand his attitude.
Its got a good catchment area, the Thai idea was really good, but he was not the person to front it.
he was very rude and had a reputation for no customer service skills and very poor front of house ability. I wouldn't go in there, even though I liked the food and it was 100 yards away, because I couldn't stand his attitude. Its got a good catchment area, the Thai idea was really good, but he was not the person to front it. Hulk
  • Score: 32

3:20pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Lazy skier says...

I thought he was Duncan Renders?
I thought he was Duncan Renders? Lazy skier
  • Score: 6

6:00pm Wed 8 Jan 14

apm1954 says...

enterprise say no more - ex licencee in poole
enterprise say no more - ex licencee in poole apm1954
  • Score: 5

6:32pm Wed 8 Jan 14

solomum says...

Why is it a surprise that the nearest pub is the Gamekeepers? Come on Echo, proof read before posting.
Why is it a surprise that the nearest pub is the Gamekeepers? Come on Echo, proof read before posting. solomum
  • Score: 6

11:08pm Wed 8 Jan 14

toretto says...

I'm really surprised he stuck it out there for so long, he never was one for hard work. Probably had to do a runner because of the stealing he no doubt did, never could keep his hands to himself..... I look forward to it reopening under a new landlord, perhaps it will return to the lovely local it used to be! Good riddence to bad rubbish!!
I'm really surprised he stuck it out there for so long, he never was one for hard work. Probably had to do a runner because of the stealing he no doubt did, never could keep his hands to himself..... I look forward to it reopening under a new landlord, perhaps it will return to the lovely local it used to be! Good riddence to bad rubbish!! toretto
  • Score: 3

8:14am Thu 9 Jan 14

Focus3 says...

Shame that pear cider on tap was the best I've ever had. Hope new owners stick with that if it re-opens.
Shame that pear cider on tap was the best I've ever had. Hope new owners stick with that if it re-opens. Focus3
  • Score: 0

8:16am Thu 9 Jan 14

Focus3 says...

What a shame. That jj's pear cider was the best I've ever had and not sure where else sells it now.
What a shame. That jj's pear cider was the best I've ever had and not sure where else sells it now. Focus3
  • Score: 0

10:53am Thu 9 Jan 14

Beeftub says...

Oh no! We aren't what you would call regulars but my sister and I have always enjoyed calling into the White Horse on our way back from days out. We never even got to try the Thai food (please, chef, let us know where you will be cooking next - we need to try your lamb massaman!!)
We also always got a nice welcome and good service.
DON'T LET TESCO SNEAK IN!!
Oh no! We aren't what you would call regulars but my sister and I have always enjoyed calling into the White Horse on our way back from days out. We never even got to try the Thai food (please, chef, let us know where you will be cooking next - we need to try your lamb massaman!!) We also always got a nice welcome and good service. DON'T LET TESCO SNEAK IN!! Beeftub
  • Score: 2

12:38pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Le Batteur says...

Can't identify Dunc's pub with the vitriolic comments from some previous submissions - he has put a lot of effort into the place - the new decorations done by one of the chefs are fabulous, loads of friends rated the Thai food very highly and in any case, if you can have a restaurant with a bar in it, why not a **** fine bar with a great restaurant in it.
Dunc also did a heck of a lot to support local businesses, loves live music and recently sponsored a mini X-Factor competition for local talent which made him a loss. My only regret is that as it is not within walking distance for me, so I couldn't get in there as regularly as I would have liked.
I've only ever seen Dunc get ratty with offensive louts, and always dealt with normal drunks very discreetly. I wish him and his family luck!
Can't identify Dunc's pub with the vitriolic comments from some previous submissions - he has put a lot of effort into the place - the new decorations done by one of the chefs are fabulous, loads of friends rated the Thai food very highly and in any case, if you can have a restaurant with a bar in it, why not a **** fine bar with a great restaurant in it. Dunc also did a heck of a lot to support local businesses, loves live music and recently sponsored a mini X-Factor competition for local talent which made him a loss. My only regret is that as it is not within walking distance for me, so I couldn't get in there as regularly as I would have liked. I've only ever seen Dunc get ratty with offensive louts, and always dealt with normal drunks very discreetly. I wish him and his family luck! Le Batteur
  • Score: 0

5:30pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Zephyr14 says...

Beeftub wrote:
Oh no! We aren't what you would call regulars but my sister and I have always enjoyed calling into the White Horse on our way back from days out. We never even got to try the Thai food (please, chef, let us know where you will be cooking next - we need to try your lamb massaman!!)
We also always got a nice welcome and good service.
DON'T LET TESCO SNEAK IN!!
Thai Kitchen now exists at the Langley Tavern in Blackfield - original chef and front of house :o) reckon he may of known it wasn’t long term at WH.

http://www.langleyta
vern.co.uk
[quote][p][bold]Beeftub[/bold] wrote: Oh no! We aren't what you would call regulars but my sister and I have always enjoyed calling into the White Horse on our way back from days out. We never even got to try the Thai food (please, chef, let us know where you will be cooking next - we need to try your lamb massaman!!) We also always got a nice welcome and good service. DON'T LET TESCO SNEAK IN!![/p][/quote]Thai Kitchen now exists at the Langley Tavern in Blackfield - original chef and front of house :o) reckon he may of known it wasn’t long term at WH. http://www.langleyta vern.co.uk Zephyr14
  • Score: 0

8:03pm Thu 9 Jan 14

elvisimo says...

The Mad Dog wrote:
Not at all surprised. Known Dunc for years and a pub landlord he is not!
Should have stayed on a building site, probably OK there.
A Thai Kitchen in a pub? Please! That was never going to work. The Thai food may have been wonderful but it's either a pub, serving 'pub grub' (however fancy) or its a Thai restaurant.
Went there for a Sunday Lunch a while back, no-one else eating (makes you wonder) had better ready meals from Iceland to be honest. Never went back. As others have said, it used to be a nice pub, we used it a fair bit prior to Dunc taking over.
Yes, he was rude, but that's the man he is I'm afraid. Clueless when it came to customer service.
Hope whoever takes it on, and really hope someone does, they will not have delusions of grandeur and try to compete with the Zen Garden at Careys Manor.
'Thai kitchen in a pub was never going to work' - you need. To get out a bit more. Very common
[quote][p][bold]The Mad Dog[/bold] wrote: Not at all surprised. Known Dunc for years and a pub landlord he is not! Should have stayed on a building site, probably OK there. A Thai Kitchen in a pub? Please! That was never going to work. The Thai food may have been wonderful but it's either a pub, serving 'pub grub' (however fancy) or its a Thai restaurant. Went there for a Sunday Lunch a while back, no-one else eating (makes you wonder) had better ready meals from Iceland to be honest. Never went back. As others have said, it used to be a nice pub, we used it a fair bit prior to Dunc taking over. Yes, he was rude, but that's the man he is I'm afraid. Clueless when it came to customer service. Hope whoever takes it on, and really hope someone does, they will not have delusions of grandeur and try to compete with the Zen Garden at Careys Manor.[/p][/quote]'Thai kitchen in a pub was never going to work' - you need. To get out a bit more. Very common elvisimo
  • Score: 0

6:51pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Tonguecutter says...

toretto wrote:
I'm really surprised he stuck it out there for so long, he never was one for hard work. Probably had to do a runner because of the stealing he no doubt did, never could keep his hands to himself..... I look forward to it reopening under a new landlord, perhaps it will return to the lovely local it used to be! Good riddence to bad rubbish!!
Nice to see some of you on here having a lot to say especially "toretto"
Seems your in the know???
Landscaping business???? Only as a partner to someone who yes ripped people off...need to get facts right one thinks
[quote][p][bold]toretto[/bold] wrote: I'm really surprised he stuck it out there for so long, he never was one for hard work. Probably had to do a runner because of the stealing he no doubt did, never could keep his hands to himself..... I look forward to it reopening under a new landlord, perhaps it will return to the lovely local it used to be! Good riddence to bad rubbish!![/p][/quote]Nice to see some of you on here having a lot to say especially "toretto" Seems your in the know??? Landscaping business???? Only as a partner to someone who yes ripped people off...need to get facts right one thinks Tonguecutter
  • Score: 0

11:15pm Wed 29 Jan 14

Razor777 says...

Hulk wrote:
he was very rude and had a reputation for no customer service skills and very poor front of house ability. I wouldn't go in there, even though I liked the food and it was 100 yards away, because I couldn't stand his attitude.
Its got a good catchment area, the Thai idea was really good, but he was not the person to front it.
I do recall there was a story about an extremely offensive person being shown the door after complaining about someone's food despite eating it on behalf of their relative.

I assume from some of the comments on here it is the same person with an axe to grind - very immature and unhelpful comments.

For my perspective I found the landlord quite humorous and the thai food was excellent - I never had the opportunity to try the food (being new to the area) before it switched to Thai but my colleagues assured me it was fantastic too.

Real pity to see it go, only found this story as I was planning to go this Friday and thought would check to see what was on.
[quote][p][bold]Hulk[/bold] wrote: he was very rude and had a reputation for no customer service skills and very poor front of house ability. I wouldn't go in there, even though I liked the food and it was 100 yards away, because I couldn't stand his attitude. Its got a good catchment area, the Thai idea was really good, but he was not the person to front it.[/p][/quote]I do recall there was a story about an extremely offensive person being shown the door after complaining about someone's food despite eating it on behalf of their relative. I assume from some of the comments on here it is the same person with an axe to grind - very immature and unhelpful comments. For my perspective I found the landlord quite humorous and the thai food was excellent - I never had the opportunity to try the food (being new to the area) before it switched to Thai but my colleagues assured me it was fantastic too. Real pity to see it go, only found this story as I was planning to go this Friday and thought would check to see what was on. Razor777
  • Score: 0

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