Friday, October 07, 2011

RE: Punch lessee case goes to full trial

Stories such as George's only help push the balance of awareness towards the Tipping Point at which the pub sector will experience major reform, be it forced by legislation or by economic circumstance. Evidence of the widespread cancer in British society that is the symptom of pubco's meddling with the nation's pubs has become inescapable.

The activities of the likes of Punch, Enterprise, S&NPC, Admiral and the tenanted sides of Marston's, Greene King and slavish mimickers such as Shepherd Neame are more and more understood by the general public, just because their impact is so widespread. Get these examples:

ON the day of leaving 'my' pub before S&NPC's bailiffs came to change the locks:

1) the lorry driver who came to remove the shipping container that had the lease company's bar, fixed seating and other equipment in it, was moonlighting from his first job which is... YES! Full time hard working Tied Lessee of a Shepherd Neame pub!
2) the removals men who came to move my modest personal belongings, like the bathroom cabinet and bed said one of their best mates was a Tied Lessee of a pub in south east London - for 33 years - and last year he was evicted, bankrupted and made homeless - 'Terrible isn't it? Just like what's happening to you' is what they said.

A few days pass and I get pulled over by the police, basically because my car is falling apart, and they do an MOT inspection at the roadside and condemn it. Fair enough I thought, as I was - ACTUALLY in all honesty - going to take it to a garage to have it scrapped after going round to my ex's to do breakfast for the kids and take them to school. Funny thing about this one is I was in sight of the pub and when they asked to see my driving license the policeman asked "where is this address then?" - because they had stopped me on Coldharbour Lane and the address is the same street. I pointed at the building and said: 'see that place with the boarded up windows? That's where I lived until ten days ago when I got evicted and that's why mine is a tale of woe.' WELL we got talking about pubs and why they're closing down everywhere and the second policeman got in the car to fill in the Vehicle Condemnation Form - then told us about his best mate, in a Bedfordshire village tied pub, who's working 90 hours a week and has just started doing early morning breakfasts to get more money in because he's struggling to pay the rent. 'They treat him like shit' said the copper about the pubco.

Tales of everyday folk are beginning to abound with the ramifications of the sleazy pubco business model.

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