altMy favourite story of the last week was without doubt about the punters who hada £300K whip around to save The Cross Inn in East Sussex.
There was a lot to love about this; a pub being saved from potential closure, a group of people rallying around and putting their money their mouth is, and the fantastically named landlady Molly Monk who just refused to give up on her pub.
And this is not an isolated case by any means. In the same week a customer in Llanelli offered more than £250,000 to save The Royal Oak after it was bought by a local school which, understandably, was looking to change its use.
This is not to mention the growing case list of community co-operatives that have stepped in to save their locals from closure.
Stories like these have become more common as pubs have been forced to board up the doors and people have fought hard to hang on to a sense of community.
The stories usually feature pubs rather than other types of retail businesses such as say shoes shops, restaurants, florists or indeed butchers, bakers and candlestick makers.
For me, the reason for that is not because more pubs are closing or because they are more vital businesses than the ones listed above.
No, people want to save pubs because they are so much more than ‘retail units’ – and hence why my blood boils when some suit refers to pubs (often in their own estate) in such a corporate manner.
Yes of course pubs need to be professional and make money, however the reason people want to save them is because of the extra services that are provided free of charge above the food and drink – the advice, the conversation, a place to meet with old friends, the events for charity, the feeling of belonging.
The list goes on but it is what makes pubs a key part of the fabric of our society and it is the reason why generous communities and individuals will continue to do what they can for the pubs that have done so much for them.