According to a recent press report, 52 Public Houses are closing every week. Most of these are being sold to convert either to Housing or Retail. The remainder are being re-opened as Restaurants – not neccessarily under the same trading name.
This week, the story came close to home. ‘The Golden Ball’ at the end of the Lane and on the main A28 road between Ashford and Canterbury, closed it’s doors for the last time.
The Pub had been there for over 100 years and along with the small House opposite once served as the Towns Toll Gate.
The large lush Garden at the back was once used for Farmers to rest their Sheep on the night before Market. All in all a fine history.
In recent years the Garden was enjoyed for it’s Bat and Trap ‘wicket’. Bat and Trap for non-Kentish people is a game played through the summer month’s. To save a 3,000 word explanation of the rules Here’s a Link!
Up to only three or four years ago, the Pub played host to a Pool and Darts Teams, the Ladies Team being the best in the District.
Fair enough, it wasn’t the most luxurious interiors and if you drove at more than 30mph, you’d miss it. Nor will I not miss the occasional sound of Cars revving up and Car Radios booming mega bass at midnight – but it’s still the end of another part of our heritage.
So, where are we going wrong. Obviously two things come instantly to mind, the more sensible approach to driving and secondly, the recent total ban of smoking.
Both I have sympathy with, but do feel the latter should be down to the individual Public House. The National Health is now saying that obesity is the largest cause of loss of life in this Country, but we’re not banning kids walking the Streets with Hamburgers and Sweets in their mouth’s!
It seems to me it was all done in PC format for the flavour of the month.
The Golden Ball is now to become a Restaurant. This will mean we have three Restaurants within half a mile along the A28. Surely, are they to make a living, especially when there was need to put the sign above left up. If you did see it at the last minute, by the time you got to the Roundabout to turn round, the other two Restaurant / Hotel / Pubs came into view.
But the main thing is the loss of an English Constitution. No more soon, the Village Green with Church, Post Office, Shop and Pub. Everything to do with this green and pleasant land seems to be diminishing into oblivion and history – and it’s through no fault of exterior reasons, we ourselves are doing it.
Wouldn’t it be nice to pay a visit back here in 100 years. What would we find? I’m all for European and Global unity, but are we to lose all our trademarks?
I just hope we don’t sell off the Village Green itself.