600 sign petition to save landmark Smethwick pub

A campaign has been launched to save a landmark pub which is to close after being sold.

600 sign petition to save landmark Smethwick pub

The Abbey Hotel in Bearwood is due to shut at the end of February – but regulars are not giving up on their favourite pub without a fight.

More than 600 people have already signed a petition injust a couple of days. People who drink there are desperate not to see it close.

Details of who is taking over the pub in Abbey Road and what the future holds for the building have yet to be disclosed.

Sean Crutchley, who set up the petition, said: "As a community of locals at the Abbey pub, we were extremely distressed to hear that without any prior notice or warning our beloved pub was to close without negotiation.

"It subsequently leaves a fantastic manager and his family without a home, brilliant staff members without jobs and loyal customers without their second home which they have spent years building within our small community.

"We understand that this is a business but it is a lot more to us – it is our family, friends, times of joy and sadness that we have all shared and supported each other through. We are appealing to save the place that has become a second home and family to us all."

James Emery, an Abbey regular for around 20 years, said the news had come as a 'total shock to staff and regulars alike' and that it was a 'great, old traditional pub' which needed saving.

The announcement means the Abbey is the latest Bearwood pub to face the axe after the Thimblemill was demolished to make way for a care home.

The former site of the Thimblemill is currently fenced off with work on the care home yet to begin and residents fear another drawn-out process at the Abbey.

Josie Fenton, who signed the petition, said: "I have lived here for 30 years and watched the Thimblemill pub be pulled down.

"There was nothing we could do as it stood empty for a long time but people still drink in the Abbey and it's a listed building," she added.

"The Mill remains a rubble eyesore – please help us to stop this happening to the Abbey."

Management at the Abbey announced the pub's sudden closure on its Facebook page and said it was 'a very sad time'.

The pub's owner Stonegate confirmed a bid for the pub from an unnamed party had been accepted. Staff are expected to be offered positions at other Stonegate pubs in the area.

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