EDITORIAL: When is a local pub not a local pub?

(10 March, 2016) Editorials

It is astonishing that this national brewery is so hell-bent on stopping live music at the Half Moon pub when it re-opens.

8180Jo Brand calling for music to remain a part of the Half Moon Pub

When is a local pub not a local pub? When it is run by Fullers perhaps!

It is astonishing that this national brewery is so hell-bent on stopping live music at the Half Moon pub when it re-opens.

The large pub that is a landmark for the Herne Hill area has an impressive history of top names playing on the stage there. And so has a notable celebrity fan base. More importantly for any publican, the pub as a live music venue is clearly popular with the local community. Why on earth Fullers cannot see this and is sticking to some rigid business model would astound any local landlady or landlord.

Hundreds came out in the rain at last week’s pop-up musical protest and many more since Fullers said they would be doing away with the pub’s famous stage. Fullers accountants have obviously opted for food over drink and live music, but who says they can’t have both?  Surely they need to listen to their customers – who are currently amassing on the street outside the pub.

J Mark Dodds says:

Money is the lowest possible common denominator when fabulous pubs like this come onto the market, once in a Blue Moon. Huge opportunity here that Dulwich Estates could have capitalised on when planning the shape of their estate years ago… it’s ALL about money, and falling off logs. The Half Moon has a rich history as a great Local with a great live performance venue integral to its being… This can easily be sustained and enhanced now, especially as there will be investment involved. But no. Let’s just do Sunday Roasts, oh, and Fuller’s unique Pie & Ale concept… Like all the other Fuller’s managed pubs. What a RUBBISH COP OUT!

When you know the pub sector well what’s happening to the Half Moon Herne Hill is not astonishing in the least. Between its freeholder the Dulwich Estate and its desire to see maximum possible income for longest possible time into the future from its long-paid-for bricks and mortar it’s to be expected they will lease to a branded bland corporate that will turn the pub into Just-Another-Homogenised-Food-and-Drink-Dispense-Unit indistinguishable from all the major competition. There is nothing genuine here about retaining, sustaining and promoting authenticity, tradition, heritage, sense of place, nothing of integrity. It is ALL about money. Fuller’s retains a vestigial romantic glow of being a ‘Family Brewer’ but that’s just a hogwash notion. When it comes to pubs Fuller’s is just another predatory Plc – like all the others.

The community has mobilised to try to prevent the almost inevitable from happening to the Half Moon – Locals should be lobbying the Dulwich Estate HARD but they will most likely remain deaf to any pleading no matter how well presented… Dulwich Estate has become as bland and beaurocratic as most large fat lazy organisations do. Unimaginative, lacking creative thought or vision… Focused on a fat bank balance rather than on the things it was set up to sustain.

Protect Pubs was set up by people concerned by this type of completely unnecessary erosion and valueless homogenisation of British culture to begin to stem the tide of banality and bland in the pub sector. If you’re concerned about the Half Moon and the countless other pubs that are falling prey to this everywhere in the UK you should join Protect Pubs and add your voice and opinions, skills, energy and experience to our growing numbers. Protect Pubs will quickly become THE voice in Britain for Pubs’ Protection… it has no political affiliations, no axe to grind with anyone other than the faceless people and organisations that place Britain’s future at threat by threatening the future of British Pubs … in cases like these Protect Pubs will be uncompromising

Twitter @ProtectPubs
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Website http://www.protectpubs.org.uk

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Eddy Behr says:

Im afraid its use it or lose it. Our local pub was busy Friday/Saturday..and empty every other night of the week. The landlord tried everything, including live music, and nothing seemed to work. He told me one Monday that after taking out all his expenses for the week between him and his wife they had earned £14. There is no point people moaning if a brewery thinks the pub can make a profit selling food and not having bands on if they dont support the pub during the week. They are a business not a place for people to gather on a Friday and Saturday…they can survive on what they take on two nights. If you dont use the pub during the week, dont moan when it goes under or changes to something you dont like.

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