Portsmouth’s Golden Eagle soars again as pub reopens with new lease of life

NEW ARRIVALS Landlady and landlord Louise Bastable, 46, and Cliff Charter, 54.    Picture: Sarah Standing (112576-4067)
NEW ARRIVALS Landlady and landlord Louise Bastable, 46, and Cliff Charter, 54. Picture: Sarah Standing (112576-4067)
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A community has been given its pub back after new managers worked to get rid of violence.

As previously reported in The News, the Golden Eagle in Southsea had its licence suspended for seven days last month after a fight left a man with potentially life-threatening injuries.

Its closure followed a string of incidents at the pub in Delamere Road, which owners attributed to it ‘falling into the wrong hands’.

But it has now been given a clean bill of health by Portsmouth City Council after new tenants took over, CCTV was installed, and staff were retrained.

New tenant landlady Louise Bastable runs the pub with her partner Cliff Charter.

She said: ‘We have had lots of really positive feedback from customers. They keep commenting on how the pub changed before and what it’s like now.

‘We want to be a community pub and so we need local people to enjoy coming here and be happy with how we’re running things.’

PC Keith Hall, from Portsmouth’s licensing team, who called for the emergency licence review, said that the previous managers had stopped caring about the community.

‘My impression was that the pub was not being run by the people who should have been in charge,’ he said.

‘It had been left in the hands of managers who did not know how to run a pub properly and so were experiencing a lot of peer pressure from certain regulars.

‘Over that period it looks like the clientele changed and many local people stopped using the Golden Eagle.

‘Now thanks to the swift action by police and the brewery the community has been given its pub back.’

Solicitor James Anderson acted on behalf of Fuller’s brewery, which owns the Eagle, and admitted the pub’s atmosphere had completely changed in recent months.

He said: ‘The manager started running it for his friends, who were not very nice people. They did not adhere to the conditions of the licence and managed to offend the community.

‘Now many of the old regulars have come back and thanked the new tenants for restoring the pub to its former glory.’

In addition to the measures demanded by the licensing committee, the new managers put up signs reminding customers of the rules, started a pub newsletter called Eagle News of the World, and have started work on a beer garden.