Grantham Journal letter: Use village pub and keep it open

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Reference your article on April 29, The Blue Horse at Skillington and its recent revised changes, opening hours and proposed change of use.

It is a fact that rural village pubs have sadly been closing at a very fast rate in recent years. Thankfully Skillington has had the luxury of two very good and popular pubs. Skillington is a very small community and although it has had limited development over the past 15/20 years, the village has always offered a warm welcome to newcomers and to visitors.

Having lived in Skillington all of my life, the one outstanding quality that this little village has is that the community has always pulled together and united for the benefit of the village. Two good examples in recent years are the building of our wonderful new Village Hall, and also the fabulous three consecutive East Midlands in Bloom titles, culminating in the Gold medal certificate in the national 
finals.

The cost of living, the recession, changes in social interaction, more home gatherings, purchasing alcohol from the local supermarkets and the younger generation disengaging with the local community have contributed to the way we interact with our local pubs. Lifestyles are changing in the modern day world we live in and Skillington is no exception. With all of the above in mind, I have no doubt that The Blue Horse Skillington has conducted a thorough cost benefit analysis. If the way forward is to reduce the licensed area and the trading hours in an attempt to keep the pub open then we should welcome that and leave these decisions to the owner who has numerous year’s experience in running pubs.

The Blue Horse as I remember it many years ago was like many other pubs, struggling to get a seat, waiting at the bar to be served and opening hours dictated by the punter. People should once again socialise and interact more and enjoy the experience of their local country pub.

Is it really wise and realistic for us to think that a once thriving pub can continue in this way with the overheads and staffing issues running a pub comes with in the current climate? The landlord is making a decent attempt to keep the pub open. The local community should now be positive and use it more frequently, which will have a positive affect all round on Skillington as a whole.

What is the alternative to not supporting the revised changes? It’s very simple, either use it or lose it, and avoid having a boarded up pub on a picturesque village green. .

Jo Selby

Skillington