The community of Tebworth is fighting to buy its only village pub after its owners made the ‘devastating’ decision to sell it.
The Queen’s Head was hastily registered as a Community Asset by Chalgrave Parish Council after brewery, Charles Wells Ltd, gave notice of their intention to dispose of the village’s beloved drinking hole.
Determined residents set up the Tebworth Community Pub Ltd community benefit society, on a mission to receive pledges from caring locals in order to raise a bid matching or close to its £300,000 indicative value.
As a Community Asset, residents had a period of six months from the time of the brewery’s notification (in August) to make an offer to purchase the pub, with no other purchasers allowed to buy the pub before February 1.
Roger Masters, company secretary, said: “We will be devastated if someone buys it and then applies to the council for ‘change of use’, turning it into a site for housing development. The pub is the hub of the community.
“Colin Edwynn, 82, is the existing licensee and landlord who has been there 35 years. He remembers your name and treats you like a friend - a couple of villagers have even said they will move if the pub gets sold!”
A spokesman from Charles Wells Ltd, said: “We are passionate about running pubs, providing a safe and welcoming environment in which the community can enjoy. Closing any pub is not a decision that we take lightly. We are most appreciative of the commitment that Colin Edwynn has shown as the licensee of The Queen’s Head.
“However, we have a responsibility to make sure that every pub offers a long-term, profitable opportunity for the licensee who trades the site as their own business. Reluctantly, we have concluded that we can’t fulfil this requirement at The Queen’s Head. We look forward to receiving applications for consideration from the community to purchase the site.”