A LANDLORD has thrown his support behind The News’ campaign to save local pubs, fearing that community spirit will die if they were to close down.
Bob Forster has been landlord of the Queen’s Head in Titchfield alongside his wife and two sons for almost four years.
As well as having a restaurant, his pub is a meeting point for regulars, with whom he has built a healthy relationship over the years.
Now, he is showing his support for The News’ Love Your Local campaign, insisting that pubs are a focal point of local communities.
He said: ‘We are a shoulder to cry on, a place to celebrate and a place to let off steam. It would be a crying shame if that went.
‘Because we are off the beaten track, people have got to come into Titchfield. So we do rely on local customers.
‘There are people who come in nearly every night for a swift one on their way home.
‘People come in and do their crosswords of an evening.
‘The pub is more of a community centre where people can get together and have a chat.
‘We are successful because we take time with the customers.
‘We build up a rapport and they build up a rapport with us.’
Mr Forster said people, particularly in villages, needed to get out and support their local pubs more.
‘If you lose this then I think the village would die,’ he said.
‘It becomes just a suburb of Fareham.
‘All the time that we have got a local pub we have got community spirit and that’s important.
‘The pub is a focal point of the village.’
Mr Forster also said that he supports his fellow businesses in the village, buying his vegetables from the local greengrocer and his meat from the local butcher.
‘I’m a small businessman and it’s the small businesses that need our help,’ he said.
‘We need them as much as they need me. My business is precious to them. We are helping the community.’