Sadness as two Portsmouth pubs bow out in quick succession

SHUT The Lanyard public house in North End, which has closed. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (133201-2)

SHUT The Lanyard public house in North End, which has closed. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (133201-2)

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PORTSMOUTH’S beer lovers have been dealt a fresh blow following the closure of a popular North End pub – and another nearby is bowing out as well.

The Lanyard, in London Road, was shut about two weeks ago after its owners The Bramwell Pub Company went into administration.

Administrators Zolfo Cooper says it is now looking for a buyer to take over the premises, which used to be North End Baptist Church before its £500,000 conversion in 2005.

Ken Moore, 52, who was the pub’s manager, said he was delivered the devastating news via a video conference call.

‘I am gutted,’ he said.

‘We had just started to regain our old momentum and customers and then the decision was made to close us.

‘It’s really sad. I’ve got lots of good memories down there unfortunately.

‘I don’t know what the future holds for it.’

Jade Holmes, acting caretaker, said: ‘I have only been here once for a drink, but it’s always looked busy every time I passed it.

‘It’s a lovely, big pub. It would be a waste if it gets taken away and not left as a pub.’

A spokeswoman for Zolfo Cooper said: ‘The decision was taken to close The Lanyard. Zolfo Cooper is still marketing it for sale and is trying to find a new tenant.’

Meanwhile The Fountain pub, which is just up the road from The Lanyard, will close on Sunday night.

Landlord Pat Wears, 71, who has run the pub with his wife Rita for nearly 20 years, said he’s walking away because he’s run out of cash and can’t afford to pay for maintenance work which owners Enterprise Inns wants him to cover.

‘I am devastated about the route we’ve got to go,’ he said.

‘I have got a great base of loyal customers. We have had them for years.

‘We are almost what you call a trouble-free pub. Any lady can come in this pub and feel like she won’t get molested and have any bother.

‘I was going to put £50,000 towards my retirement fund and now I am walking away with nothing.’

A private farewell party will be held for staff and specially-invited guests on Sunday evening.

An Enterprise Inns spokesperson was unavailable for comment.

BEER CAMPAIGNERS SPEAK OUT AGAINST MORE CLOSURES

THE Fountain was built at the turn of the 20th century and it replaced an pub of the same name.

The grade-II listed building was formerly part of The Pike Spicer Brewery, which was later swallowed up by former Portsea brewers Brickwoods Brewery.

Nigel Firth-Penney, of the Portsmouth and south-east Hampshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale, said: ‘We are always sad to see any pub close. Once they are gone, they are gone.

‘Camra has been fighting for years to reverse the decline in the British pub stock.’

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