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Campaign to save much-loved Holloway boozer

PUBLISHED: 12:39 20 August 2014 | UPDATED: 12:39 20 August 2014

Patrons of the Admiral Mann show their support for the boozer

Patrons of the Admiral Mann show their support for the boozer

Archant

Loyal punters have pledged to fight hard to save their much-loved watering hole which is in danger of closing after 133 years.

The Admiral Mann, in Hargrave Place, Holloway, is set to be sold by the brewery and will serve its last pint on Sunday.

But Richard Lewis, 32, of the nearby York Way Estate, has set up a Save the Admiral Mann committee and collected 500 signatures on a petition to protect his local pub.

He said: “The Admiral Mann has a vibrant customer-base.

“It supports various clubs and organisations – and even a vegan festival. Its closure will hit the local community hard as it will have lost an important part of its fabric.”

The pub is currently owned by Hertfordshire brewers McMullen’s, whose website describes “respect for its customers” as being at the centre of its philosophy – but Mr Lewis feels that could not be further from the truth.

He said: “We sent letters to McMullen’s but they haven’t even acknowledged us.

“Their only response seems to have been to fast-track the closure from November to this weekend. We have been treated quite shabbily, especially by a supposedly traditional family business.”

Mr Lewis added: “The Admiral Mann represents quintessential London, it serves a variety of people with nowhere else to go, especially elderly customers who live alone and don’t get a lot of other contact.

“It’s a place for the community to come into contact with each. It will be a cruel blow to lose it.”

Peyvand Sadeghan, 27, also from the York Way Estate, said: “This friendly local is a public house in every sense of the word, and genuinely serves the community.

“Whilst there is the need for more homes in London, getting rid of a vital hub in which we can get to know our neighbours is nonsensical and a huge disservice to those who live, work and invest their hearts into the area.”

John Cyrne, of the north London branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), said: “The Admiral Mann attracts customers aged 18 to 80. Tucked away on a quiet residential street it sponsors local charities and is home to sports teams. It does everything that a community pub should; it does what pubs used to do.”

The Save The Admiral Mann committee has applied Camden Council to make the pub an Asset of Community Value (ACV) which gives the community a chance to bid for the pub if or when it gets sold.

Peter Furness-Smith, managing director of McMullen’s Brewery, said in response: “We are passionate about pubs and go to a lot of trouble and expense to make sure they are well operated and maintained in good condition.

“It is also fair to say that we regularly receive offers for our pubs which we usually decline but decided to accept this offer for a number of reasons.”

He listed the Admiral Mann’s long-term declining income, government taxation and legislation undermining the traditional tie between pub and breweries as key reasons in the decision to sell.

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