Calls for Greene King to rethink pub closure after 180-year-old boozer shut down

A pub company has been urged to give one its bars a reprieve after it was closed down after serving customers after around 180 years.

The Grey Horse is a landmark building in the village.
The Grey Horse is a landmark building in the village.

Greene King has shut the Grey Horse in Whitburn after it said it had made the “difficult decision” to put the 1840 building up for sale.

The purchase has now been agreed with the new owner and is expected to be complete within days.

The Grey Horse in Whitburn has served customers since 1840.

But Councillor Tracey Dixon, who represents Whitburn and Marsden on South Tyneside Council, has now pleaded with the company to give the pub another chance and the investment it was promised, asking what consideration it gave to the community when it closed its doors.

She has also called for a meeting to be held between her, its bosses and residents to discuss what happens next.

The business shut on Thursday and had held a party for regulars last weekend.

It is rumoured the building could become a convenience store, although the Co-Op is not said to be in line to take it on.

The Grey Horse has been part of village life in Whitburn for almost 180 years.

Coun Dixon said: “I hope to get a response from Greene King and it’s the least I can do to let them know they need to respect the community’s feeling.

“If there had been real investment into the pub, Greene King would have seen some financial gain and it would have benefitted everyone.

“Our community supports local businesses, it is a historic building and it is an asset.

“I want them to take on board our views.

“The rumour that has been heard is that it could become a convenience store.

“We’ve already got three convenience stores and a paper shop.

“The trade is spread out, but what will the impact of this be?”

A petition has also been launched by resident Peter Scott campaigning to save the pub, which can be signed in various businesses around Whitburn.

In her letter Coun Dixon told the pub firm: “Your current managers have tried their utmost to attract customers back to the pub, which clearly they have done with an increase in foortfall, despite there being no investment at all from Greene King.
“As you are aware, the community, along with myself, are not happy at all with you taking away such a historic part of the village, alledgedly to house a convenience store and therefore I am requesting a meeting with a relevant representative of Greene King and members of our community to see what we can do to ensure that the Grey Horse remains a public house benefiting our community as it has done since 1840.”

A spokesperson for Greene King said: “It’s never an easy decision to sell a pub and we’d like to thank all the customers who visited over the years.”