A LANDLADY has spoken of her devastation as it was revealed another Portsmouth pub is to be sold.
Pauline Hannan, 54, has run The Alexandra, in Wingfield Street, Buckland, for eight years with the help of her husband Peter, 49.
She said although she was heartbroken to be told the pub had been put up for sale by its owners Punch Taverns, she was not surprised.
‘We just can’t pay our bills any more,’ said Pauline, of Agincourt Road, Buckland.
‘We still have a seven-year lease but we’re not making enough money to meet the obligations of the lease and we haven’t been for a while, so Punch decided to sell it.
‘We’re not happy about it, but we have been borrowing money left, right and centre to keep the pub going and we just can’t do it any more.’
Pauline started working there around nine years ago, part-time as a barmaid, and when the former landlord left, she took over.
Since then she and Peter have turned it around – ridding it of drugs and creating a community hub.
And the couple’s achievements have not gone unnoticed.
Customers say they adore the pub and will be sorry to see it go. They are now backing our Love Your Local campaign.
Graham Morgan, 55, of Watts Road, Buckland, who has been a regular for three years, said: ‘I was so sorry to see the for sale sign up.
‘It’s great and it does everything that a proper local pub should.
‘Everyone in the community goes there to meet up and for lots of people it’s the only social place they can go.
‘I don’t know what we’ll do without it.’
The building will be sold without restrictive covenants, so could operate as a pub if the new buyer wishes.
A spokesman from Punch Taverns said: ‘We have a duty to ensure that our pubs create an acceptable level of return for our licensees and shareholders. Unfortunately, the level of investment required for The Alexandra would mean a return for shareholders that the projected sales in these pubs cannot support.
‘A decision was therefore taken to market the pub for sale. The pub will remain open and trading until it’s sold.’