ALE Easter 1996 No. 283


Real Ale Mecca Goes West

Real Ale devotees have been shocked by the news that The Prince Albert, Stow-cum-Quy, has been forced to close. Publicans of high regard and wide renown, Ian and Anita Henderson, have been kicked out! The pub actually closed on Sunday 25th February despite widespread indignance, local fury, a 600-name petition and a general sense of futility and grievance.

Over 2000 different beers in 8 years

The Hendersons took over he pub mid-87 and it has been a Good Beer Guide regular since 1989. It was essentially a road house - very few customers lived within walking distance. It hadn't a great interior although it was cosy enough round the open fire. It was a pub to enjoy life in, with much more conversation, Often between complete strangers, than is usual in these parts. The beer range, from mostly small independent breweries, provided the catalst for the opening remarks, while Ian and Anita could be relied upon to chip in with a merry quip. "Ian's Last Stand", his last Festival in mid-Feb, featured 14 Festival Specials!

Change for the Sake of it, Without Thought or Sense

This is the idyllic piece of English heritage which has been wantonly destroyed. The pub is privately owned by the Francis estate who employ estate managers, Deans of Regent Street, to manage their property. It was apparently in an attempt to maximise profits that this Company refused to offer the renewal of the lease to the Hendersons; rather the Company sought a short-term influx of cash without regard to the consequenees either for the community or for the in-coming tenant. This is a thoroughly anti-social way to do business, typical of the grasping policies encouraged during the Thatcher years and continued since.

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