Your location is set to Dartford
Published: 17:38, 29 June 2013 |
Updated: 10:46, 30 June 2013
Regulars have given hours of their time for free to re-open the Medway Queen pub in Chatham under community ownership.
Click to view
A much-loved pub has re-opened today after a community campaign.
The Medway Queen, in Street End Road, Wayfield, shut earlier this month amid falling takings.
Regulars were horrified to hear brewery chain Enterprise Inns was considering selling it – which could have seen the building turn from a pub into housing or a shop like Tesco.
So dozens of them have spent all week in overalls with brushes and rollers giving the pebble-dash venue a lick of paint.
Enterprise has allowed cleaning company boss Andy Bristow and business partner Bobby Beck to reopen the pub temporarily while the firm considers its future.
Mr Bristow, 52, of Chestnut Avenue, Walderslade, said this afternoon: “We're open and it's heaving. You can hardly move in here."
He added: "It’s been a huge concerted effort by regulars who use the public house.
“We’ve been in a position to throw a bit of money at it and the residents have given their labour for free. We’ve spent thousands of pounds in here this week.
“This is our chance to prove ourselves to Enterprise. If we can make a go of it maybe they will want to keep it as a pub. We couldn’t have done it without the residents.”
Today’s launch began at 2pm and includes live music until late.
We previously reported the residents had launched one of Britain’s first “community right to bid” applications under a law passed last year.
The legislation forces property owners to allow more time for offers on a popular asset, such as a pub or village shop, so locals can get the resources together to make their own bid.
Residents are still pursuing their application. Ward councillor Sam Craven (Lab) said: “The Medway Queen has been given a temporary licence, which is great news and allows us more time to work on saving it as a community pub.”
Built in 1967, the pub is popular for its view across Wayfield Recreation Ground, where parents can keep an eye on their children.
Churchill Avenue resident Lorraine Clarke, 48, has marked several milestones in the pub – including her son’s 21st, daughter’s 18th and her own hen night.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
This is a brand new online resource covering every aspect of owning and improving a home in Kent and Medway.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Neil Miller, Hever Castle head gardener is new gardening blogger.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.