ONE of Waterlooville’s most popular pubs has been closed and seen its landlady turfed out.
Kathy Birmingham was told by Enterprise Inns last week she had to leave The Green Dragon in Lovedean Lane.
She was forced to say an emotional farewell to loyal customers on Monday night.
The pub occupies a prominent position at the centre of Cowplain, Lovedean and Wecock. It has left 55-year-old Kathy devastated.
She said: ‘I’m so upset about it. My business partner left in October and I was just about to sign on the dotted line to become the landlady on my own when I was told a big firm had bought it on a 20-year lease and I had to leave.
‘I’ve been in that pub since January 2009 and when I started there were a lot of ruffians in there and I got rid of them. It was always busy, we did a good trade and I absolutely loved that pub.
‘The customers were great and the staff, especially Helen Grainger, were amazing.
‘It wasn’t just my business – it was my home. I’m staying with a friend until the New Year while the pub is sitting empty. It wouldn’t have hurt to keep it open over Christmas.’
Kathy hit the headlines earlier in the year under her stage name Kathy Kay when she got through to the third round of auditions for this year’s X Factor.
She was a popular landlady and would belt out big numbers to the delight of regulars at the pub, which is on the corner of Lovedean Lane and Milton Avenue.
‘We had a wonderful party on the last night,’ added Kathy. ‘They were all singing to me. I couldn’t sing to them because I was too upset. It’s been very hard and I will miss everyone.
‘I feel so guilty about it.’
Kathy has set up a meals on wheels business called Hotline Food Delivery.
It’s aimed at the elderly and infirm – or anyone who wants a tasty hot meal.
She said: ‘It’s different but I’ve got seven customers which is keeping me going.’
Enterprise Inns did not respond to requests for a comment on the closure.