Campaigners gather to mark year since closure of town pub

PUBLISHED: 07:38 18 January 2018 | UPDATED: 07:38 18 January 2018

Campaigners outside the Railway Arms pub in Saffron Walden. Picture: CONTRIBUTED.

Campaigners outside the Railway Arms pub in Saffron Walden. Picture: CONTRIBUTED.

Archant

Campaigners gathered outside a pub in Saffron Walden to mark the first anniversary of its closure and to continue a bid to bring it back into use.

Dozens of people met at the Railway Arms, in Station Street, on January 6, to renew their commitment to opening the venue up to the public again, a year on from its closure.

The pub has stood since the 1860s but is at risk of bring sold on to developers unless enough money can be raised for campaigners to purchase the property from its owners, the brewer Charles Wells.

“It was sad to see the old pub in the state that it’s been allowed to become,” said Dave Kenny, chairman of the campaign group Save the Railway Arms Pub (STRAP).

“The pub has been there since the days of the Franco-Prussian and American Civil Wars and now, sadly, is falling into a state of disrepair.

He said: “To date more than £225,000 has been raised from local residents to support the future of this local community asset and there have been further grants and loans from various organisations such as The Plunkett Foundations ‘More Than a Pub’ scheme.

“We’re now in discussions with the owners about the future of the Railway Arms as a pub and a social hub for the south side of Saffron Walden.

“We’re expecting to meet soon to press our case for community ownership and a More Than A Pub ethos and business model. We’ve made it clear we’re able to negotiate on price and on other fronts.”

Anyone wishing to own a share in the pub can still make purchases via www.strap.org.uk. The share offer has been extended to January 31.

Mr Kenny added: “We’d like to thank everyone for their support over the past year and to be patient whilst ongoing negotiations take place.”

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