Closing time for landladies’ group as city pubs shut

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A group of pub landladies is set to disband after 59 years in existence.

The City of Portsmouth and District Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Licensed Trade is poised to close after membership numbers fell following the closure of pubs across the city.

Since they began in 1954, the group has raised thousands of pounds for a number of charities.

These include The Lord Mayor’s Appeal, The Rowans Hospice, Naomi House and the Alzheimer’s Organisation.

Paul Saynor, landlord of The Rose in June pub, in Milton Road, Milton, Portsmouth, said: ‘The main reason the group is finishing is due to the number of pubs that have closed in the city.

‘There is now greater pressure on landladies to keep their businesses going and therefore they have little or no time to join the auxiliary and help in their fundraising.’

But all is not lost for the current members.

A new fundraising group has been set up for ladies who want to continue to raise money for charity.

They will meet monthly as they did before but on a much more informal basis.

Mary Saynor has been chairwoman of the City of Portsmouth and District Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Licensed Trade group for two years.

She said: ‘It’s been going for 59 years.

‘With the closing of the pubs we just haven’t got the support to carry it on. We’ve really tried.

‘A group of us are going to carry it on as The Rosebuds.

‘We are still going to raise money for charity.’

The members from ladies’ auxiliary will be handing over the chains of their office next week.

They will be given to the City of Portsmouth Museum for safe-keeping and to go on display.

The group is hoping to invite as many retired chairwomen and previous members as possible for the occasion.

Anyone who has been involved in the group and is keen to attend the event should meet at the museum in Museum Road, Old Portsmouth, at about 10.15am on Tuesday, November 12.