Shock as village pubs close doors
THE abrupt closure of two village pubs near Stroud have left holes in their communities' lives.
The Ram at South Woodchester and The Stirrup Cup in Bisley have both just shut leaving residents worried about the future of both businesses.
The Ram had closed its door "until further notice" a sign there said yesterday morning
Licensee at the inn Tim Mullen declined to comment.
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Coun Peter Lead, deputy chairman of Woodchester Parish Council, said it would be a "huge loss" if The Ram were to close permanently.
"Tim the landlord was hugely supportive of local events, donating vouchers for meals for raffles and coming to our fetes and running the bar," he said.
"I don't know any details of what is going on and why Tim has had to close. The Ram was a vibrant and, we thought, successful pub."
He added: "It is a huge loss to the village, a massive hole. We have lost the South Woodchester Post Office. It is sad."
The Ram is understood to be privately-owned.
In Bisley, the Stirrup Cup owners' Enterprise Inns confirmed the pub's last operators had left. But Enterprise would be re-opening the inn as soon as possible, a spokeswoman said.
"We have a lot of interest in this pub," she said.
"The plan now is that we will be carrying out all the necess- ary works so it can be re-opened again.
"We are interviewing at the moment and we are confident it will be open in two to three weeks."
Coun Roger Utley, chairman of Bisley Parish Council, said: "The thing that keeps villages alive is economic activities.
"We really don't like to see businesses closing."
The pubs' closures come hard on the heels of the campaign to save the Halfway House at Box after it shut.
Villagers there are still keeping up a campaign to persuade owners the Novalis Trust charity to re-open it.
However Novalis, which runs the adjoining Cotswold Chine School, has said firmly it intends to convert the Halfway House into a cafe where its older students could undertake catering industry training and experience.