Once again, bad news dogs our community…
Uncertainty reigns regarding the current and future status of the Kings Arms, one of the main public houses serving our village.
I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to be shocked by the news that Karl – the last manager of the pub – had been sacked. Sacked for flimsy, trumped up reasons after a ‘ninja style’ stock take. Or by the sudden sacking of Liam, Gav, Rachael and Damien (Karls replacement). Or the equally sudden last minute reinstatement of Damien, who promises us that he will run the pub singlehandedly, and service will not suffer(?).
It’s been wonderful to see the comments develop on Facebook, to see the community coming together to commiserate about the crap situation and to celebrate what the Kings Arms means to us all.
The Kings Arms isn’t just a pub to me. It’s the place where I go to see my friends, it’s a place where I’ve met many of my friends. And not just ‘pub mates’ – I’m talking full on lifelong relationship stuff here. It – and the Delvers, are where REAL community happens. Sorry Heaton Woods Trust, Allotment Society, Heaton Township et al., while you may feel you have the communities best interests at heart, I don’t think you understand what community you are ‘working’ for. Simply because I rarely see you, let alone know who more than a handful of you are.
Communities communicate where they meet. Not where they ‘go to a meeting yawn yawn’.
At the watering hole, the place where the fun is. We do our dancing there, our romancing. Hell, we sometimes do our business there! We mourn our losses and celebrate our gains, sharing the news good and bad. The place you go and at least one person knows your name.
It would be a travesty if the Kings were to close – apart from anything else, I doubt we’d all fit in the Delvers! We are in uncertain times – I have it on good authority that there MAY be a 10th April deadline to the end of the current holding companies contract with Enterprise. In which case god knows what will happen if Active Pubs hand it back to Enterprise. What I do know is this though – our Community will live on.
Since then, it all seems to have got a bit weird at the Kings:
- Karl was swiftly replaced once he’d been given the news. Almost too swiftly. The replacement (Damien) had been waiting outside until the dirty deed had been done. He was all packed and ready to move in (with his own deep fat fryer!). It’s ALMOST as if the pub co had KNOWN that Karl would be
fitted upfail somehow on the stock take and had everything prepared and ready to move him out.
- Gav, Rachael and Liam managed to hang on to their jobs, thanks to Karl. This was a bonus for Gav and Rachael, as they were living above the pub and would have been rendered homeless as well. As was Karl come to think of it…
- The area manager said that all bands booked would be honoured, even though he had previously told Karl that he would have to stop booking bands. So far they have.
- The area manager – about halfway through the first week of Damiens tenure – informed Gav that he should get his personal licence sorted out so that he would be able to take on the pub. He was told categorically that Damien would NOT be taking the pub on permanently.
- Then, all hell broke loose. Last week, during a meeting with the area manager, Damien, Gav, Liam and Rachael were informed that their services were no longer required as the pub was being handed back to Enterprise