Angry pub bosses in head office sit-in protest over Doncaster inn closure

A Doncaster pub landlord and landlady launched a head-office sit-in protest over the closure of their pub.

By David Kessen
Monday, 29 July, 2019, 15:55

Bosses of the Blacksmith, in Everton, entered the building a refused to to leave the Heineken head offices in Edinburgh, after travelling there to demand answers on Monday.

The pub company says the pub will re-open in the future, but Stefan Moverley and Louise Pagram, who run the venue, say they have been left with no where to live by the move, which they say was at short notice.

They were joining by a number of staff at the company’s offices, and demanding a letter to explain whey they are having to leave next week.

Stefan Moverley, left, in chef's whites, and Louise Pagram, right, in their protest at Heineken head office over plans to close the Blacksmith pub, at Everton, near Doncaster

The police have been called out, and Ms Pagram said the officers had suggested to the brewery that they provide the letter that had been asked for.

She said: “The area manager came to the pub last week, and told us we’d be closed on Thursday, so we have come here to find out why. They said it was a commercial decision.

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“When we got here they said there was no one who could provide us with the letter, so we said we’d not leave until we got one. They police have been here, but only for about five minutes.

“This will leave me, my partner and our 11-year-old son homeless. I think we deserve and explanation.

“We took the lease of the pub and we’ve put a lot of money into building it up as a business.”

Heineken’s Star Pubs and Bars subsidiary issued a statement on the situation.

It stated: “We have come to the end of our commercial relationship with the current licensees of The Blacksmith, who took on the pub on a temporary agreement. This is never a decision we take lightly, but it was necessary on this occasion.

“The licensees have always known their agreement was temporary – we’ve discussed this at length with them and been as flexible as we can be given the situation. Our long-term plan is to invest significantly in the pub to give the community a local they can be proud of. The Blacksmith will be closed for a short period, but it is our intention to re-open it as soon as possible.”