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Kent's pubs closing as many shut up shop for the last time

Pubs in the UK are closing at a rate of around 21 each week, latest figures from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) reveal.

In Kent alone it's believed around 10 pubs closed last year, with a range of issues being blamed for their demise including cheap supermarket offers.

We look back at some of the popular pubs which have called last orders for the last time in recent years.

Escape to the pub with this wintry weather
Escape to the pub with this wintry weather

Some of Kent's lost locals

  • The Railway, Sheerness, used to be situated at the top of the High Street before it became Bar One and closed in 2009. It has since been turned into offices.
The pub was situated at the top of Sheerness High Street. Picture: Google
The pub was situated at the top of Sheerness High Street. Picture: Google
  • The Churchill pub in Canterbury Road, Ashford, called time for the final time in 2011.
The former Churchill pub in Canterbury Road, Ashford. Picture: Allan King, Lost Pubs Project
The former Churchill pub in Canterbury Road, Ashford. Picture: Allan King, Lost Pubs Project
The Kemsley Arms in Kemsley, Sittingbourne. Picture: Chris Davey
The Kemsley Arms in Kemsley, Sittingbourne. Picture: Chris Davey
  • TheHop Inn, Paddock Wood, closed in 2006. It was demolished.
The Ten Bells pub in Upper Street, Leeds, which has been demolished. Picture: Google
The Ten Bells pub in Upper Street, Leeds, which has been demolished. Picture: Google
The Royal Oak pub. Picture: Steve Crispe
The Royal Oak pub. Picture: Steve Crispe
  • Campaigners lost their battle to save their boozer from calling last orders for the final time in Medway. Last year it was revealed the developers ofthe Royal Oak in Frindsburywould be granted planning permission to turn it into a four bedroom home.
The Crown pub in High Street, Sheerness.
The Crown pub in High Street, Sheerness.
  • The Crown in Sheerness High Street is also gone forever. Many acts used it as a live launching pad.
  • The Globe in Gravesend became a bathroom shop and is now an ice cream parlour.
Chris Porter, two famous faces from the Muppet Show who helped promote the campaign and villagers who have saved the Harrow pub in Stockbury. Picture: John Westhrop
Chris Porter, two famous faces from the Muppet Show who helped promote the campaign and villagers who have saved the Harrow pub in Stockbury. Picture: John Westhrop
  • But it's not all doom and gloom as villagers came together to save their local in Stockbury. The Harrow was rescued from its looming closure after the team of punters raised enough money to put forward a community share offer.

The head of the CAMRA in Kent, Kae Mendham, says the county may have lost around 10 public houses in the last 12 months.

She said the figures aren't totally accurate because some pubs close and then reopen due to refurbishment.

"To break down information into regions is difficult, and even though I have reports and information from the nine branches in Kent over a long period of time, the actual numbers of closures is very hard to identify.

"Although a lot of pubs closed, they were reported as being temporary closures and in fact were later confirmed to be open.

"It did seem that during the past 12 months we may have lost 10 public houses that may not be going to reopen for various reasons.

"However, during the same period 10 new public houses have opened around the county, some as micropubs and some others as large bistro type pubs.

"A lot of landlords are tenants of pub chains and breweries and are guided by their employers. Others are being hurt by local government rates, duty and staff wages which seem to be increasing" - Kae Mendham, CAMRA

"Thus we do not seem to have reduced the number of local places that customers can visit."

She says in her experience people are looking more for places to eat when considering whether to go to the pub.

"Our most popular and flourishing pubs are those that make their customers welcome, offer up-to-date food and drinks, as well as involving themselves in local communities where possible," she added.

"Customers are more concerned about the price of their purchases, the sourcing of ingredients and less about comfort or decor than appears to be the case in the past.

"A lot of landlords are tenants of pub chains and breweries and are guided by their employers.

"Others are being hurt by local government rates, duty and staff wages which seem to be increasing."

What pubs do you remember from the past? Join the debate below.

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