Popular village pub closes
Popular village pub The Three Tuns at Great Bedwyn called last orders for the final time on New Year's Eve, despite a campaign to save it.
Residents were shocked an dismayed when, it September, owners Jason and Amanda Gard announced their intention to seek to decommission the pub and convert it to residential use.
In a statement, the couple said: “We accept that this is a real blow to those who use the pub regularly and those who have been great supporters.
“The simple facts are that that pubs are finding it extremely difficult to survive. Thousands are closing all around the country as recession bites.
“The smoking ban, drink-driving, cheap supermarket booze all contribute to the reasons why less people are going to pubs but the overriding reason is that, in this economic climate, people just do not have the spare cash to spend it going out.
“We have put tens and tens of thousands of pounds every year for the last four years into keeping The Three Tuns afloat – we simply cannot continue to do so.
“We have tried to sell it as a pub but again nobody is buying them and at the present time the banks will not lend against pubs. People will fund loss making businesses for a while but, depressingly, the prospects look worse and not better for the next few years.”
The pub, which has been selling beer to thirsty residents since 1756 and was named by the Daily Telegraph as “One of Britain's best pubs”, remained open until New Year's Eve and closed as the last revellers left in the early hours of New Year's Day.
A campaign to stop conversion at GoPetition, started in November, attracted 207 signatures.