According to a recent CAMRA report, an average of 16 pubs a week closed in the first half of 2012 and while town pubs are holding their own they say, suburban pubs are suffering because of people stocking up on cheap booze from the supermarket.
It was good then to hear this week that the regulars of a pub in York, the Golden Ball in Bishophill, – not quite suburban as it’s within the city walls – but neither is it city centre either – have taken matters into their own hands and are taking over the lease on their local pub and running it themselves.
The idea was hatched when the licensees announced they wanted to retire. The regulars were dismayed but instead of resigning themselves to another boarded up local they decided to get together and buy it themselves. Shares of £500 each go on sale next week and they need to raise £60,000. If you are a York resident you can buy one or more shares. You won’t make a fortune they say, though it is a profitable pub, but you will get a say in how the pub is run and they already have some good ideas from Mums & Toddler sessions in the morning, food, music and naturally good beer.
The Golden Ball is a fine old pub and well worth saving, Grade II listed, built in the 1880s, redesigned in the 1920s and barely touched since.
If you want to be part of it, go along to the public meeting on Monday 2nd July, 7.30pm at the Denholme Room Priory St Centre.
For more information www.goldenballyork.co.uk