A pub with no beer

The village square is on its knees.

Tumbleweed drifts slowly by the old village stores, where the blinds have been pulled for a couple of years now.

Across the road, the shop last used a few months ago by the church on Saturday mornings, as a gathering place for coffees and a natter, has its windows whitened out.

The jackdaws gather. Ominously.

And not a drop of water comes out of the old pump under the signpost.

In a new development, the downstairs windows of the pub were boarded up on Monday. Six workmen waited outside for an hour until they could get in and seal off our hostelry from the outside world.

In the last sixteen years, I’ve never seen that happen in between landlords (and we’ve had nine of them in that time). Let’s hope it signals a refurbishment and not closure.

We need our pub.

In the meantime, the community spirit that is so endemic in this village is alive and well and living in the village hall. There’s all sorts of stuff going on here, including a pop-up bar three nights a week to bridge the gap.

wine

But we need our pub.

Today, the Union Flag waves defiantly above the pub’s front door. All pomp and circumstance, but signifying nothing.

There is a strange feeling of deja vu when I recall the village poem written en masse when the pub was between tenants five years ago. It was sent as a love letter to the brewery. Maybe we need to send it again.

AN ODE TO THE WHITE LION

In the bar the lion sleeps tonight

They say the White Lion roams on Lewesdon Hill

‘Is anybody there?’ said the traveller

The open pub will have to do good grub

I went there once and had a pie

One landlord with more than eyes for the ladies and another one who was as miserable as Hades

We need people to cheer where there is beer

Like Shipton Gorge’s New Inn, the Lion will be a-brewin

Ruling the world from Compost Corner

Warm and welcoming, friendly to dogs

T’was the White Lion in Lush Places where I did want to dine

Miss the hairy sofa

I have never seen a white lion

Fuggy, muggy air seeps through, contaminating passers-by

The Lion is closed, the Lion is dead, long live the Lion

Oh to be in the White Lion now that winter’s here

Endless possibilities

A warm glass of Chardonnay from a fridge too far

After a few wines I too roar like a lion

Don’t lean on the wall Fred

Come back John and Sue

An inviting place of comfort and warmth

I’d like ice with mine…

The White Lion has joined the other myths of Dorset, such as the black dog of Common Water Lane

Squishy, squashy dog-hair sofa. The pub with no beer or any other cheer

That Palmers is rank again, like making love in a punt – near water

The garden is full of frogs

Last orders…pleeease

Tricky Dicky and Domestic Pam

Please give us basic pub food e.g. local sausages and mash

The lion is white with fright at the beer here

We miss our pub which we should use for happy evenings, food and booze

Road safety, don’t tear round the White line/Lion

New Year conga round the village

All we’re left with is a lonely pub and no beer

‘What do you mean there is no Guinness?’

We miss the cheer. The clink of glasses – the bubble of voices

The White Lion lives with my husband under the kitchen table

Open again soon.

The White Lion, dream of the hunters? Where oh where is all the beer?

A giggling group gathered in Compost Corner. A pub of dwindling renown

Palmers, re-open our long dark pale pussy cat

The White Lion lost its roar and customers galore, smiling, laughter, no frowning or scowls.

The buzz and banter of a pub in the community

Come back, come back, the hunt is here

The weather vane on the roof spins round and round

Lots of jolly people, great expectations

We had a pleasant jar served up by landlord ex-QPR

The White Lion is closed

Will rise like a Phoenix

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