Wednesday, 13 November 2013


 I want to tell you a story about a couple of ' street fighters' who it is alleged, fight and operate very unfairly. 

Firstly, in the blue corner, we have Enterprise Inns, who quite often are believed to use bullying tactics with their 'opponents'.

One recent 'locking of horns' involved a landlady, named Kirsty Valentine, who ran The Alma in Newington Green, North London. 

Kirsty was an award-winning licensee, who had transformed this pub into one of the finest watering holes and eateries in the area - in fact only last month she received an award from CAMRA, for the best cider destination in North London.

However, there had been a dispute over unfair rent increases and escalating beer prices, and Kirsty, quite rightly, was trading blows, toe-to-toe, and fighting back.

Over a period of time, Kirsty deflected the body blows from the Enterprise corner, as she defended her pub and livelihood - and the hostelry continued to be popular and successful.

Unfortunately, Kirsty had to take one 'blow' too many. As Enterprise deemed it necessary to evict a successful landlady from a thriving boozer, for rent arrears, that had accrued during the dispute - arrears, that had been offered to be paid, in full!

Kirsty was out for the count. Pummeled into submission. Chucked out on the street. Locks had been changed - and the poor woman couldn't even re-enter to get her all her possessions and items, that were rightfully hers.

Enterprise Inns have once again have shown their bullying tactics. They appear to fight dirty in these circumstances. Hitting 'below the belt'. Or perhaps applying a 'gouge in the eye', to force  their 'opponent' into submission!

I wish all the very best for Kirsty. No doubt her proven stoicism, passion and determination in business, will have her bouncing back soon - with interest!   

How ironic, that in the 'orange corner', we have the t'other 'street fighter', Punch Taverns, who are threatening the future of another boozer called, The Alma! 

This small, friendly, historical boozer is in Padiham, East Lancs. It is presently up for sale and a local builder has made an offer.   

However, pub landlord, Kevin Kirtland and his regulars, in the opposite corner, are still slugging it out. And Punch received a blow from 'the opposition',when a planning application for it to be converted into two dwellings, was refused.

The Alma is a unique building of significant, historical importance. A Victorian ale house, dating back to 1897 - and situated in a conservation area. 

But, the fight continues, and so far The Alma,Padiham is fending off 'blows' - or should that be a punch or two, from their opponents. In order for it to remain a local watering hole in the community.

I suspect the actions and tactics in the above commentary has not  really surprised you. However, I just thought it my duty to highlight the story of the two Alma's - as I thought it may be of interest to you.

Passionate about pubs and their continued existence, in our local communities and beyond.