Regulars at a Fylde pub are up in arms after their landlord was ousted by the brewery company.
A petition has been started by regulars at the White Bull in Great Eccleston after landlady Beverley Notman was dismissed by Star Pubs and Bars, which told her that she and eight-year-old son Ethan Wingnall had two weeks to leave.
Angry customers said she had turned the pub around from a “dirty and neglected building” into a place for the community.
Beverley, 52, said she was shocked to find out she had been dismissed by the pub chain, owned by Heineken’s pub chain.
She added: “I just don’t feel I have been given a justified reason why they no longer want me running the White Bull.
“I came into this business blindfolded and I have self taught myself to get the pub where it is now.”
Beverley was formerly a midwife at Blackpool Victoria and Lancaster Infirmary but decided to get into the pub sector after she had been successful at a cricket club.
She took over at the White Bull in February with a fellow midwife who later decided to pull out. This is one of the reasons Beverley said she was told to leave.
She added: “My business partner never worked in the pub. I have been the one who has put in all of the work and redecorated the pub.
“Even the Heineken representative told me a few weeks ago I should go it alone and then all of a sudden I have been told to leave.”
Another reason Beverley, known as Bev to her regulars, is upset about the decision is the fact her son has settled into the community.
She said: “Ethan has Asperger’s Syndrome and finds it difficult to fit in but he has developed so much by being here and made a lot of new friends.
“He has been crying because I had to tell him we need to leave.”
Beverley previously lived in Freckleton but she has put her house up for rent on a 12-month contract and is unsure if she can go back yet.
Now, locals in the White Bull have started a petition to keep her in the job.
Great Eccleston businessman Robert Marsden said: “Bev has nurtured this pub better than a new born baby.
“If I could find staff like Bev I would crawl over broken glass to employ them. She’s a great manager and she has a great team of staff with her.
“I just don’t understand why the brewery cannot cancel the contract and then reinstate Bev with a new contract as the sole landlady.
Another elderly customer, who didn’t want to be named, said: “Bev has brought a new lease of life into this pub and at her own expense.
“It was a neglected building but she has improved it so much and has made it part of the community again. Both her and Ethan are marvellous and everybody loves them.
“But all of a sudden when the business is doing well the brewery want it back off her. It stinks.”
An email has also been sent to the chief executive of Heineken from the Friends Of The White Bull however they have not received any reply.
Beverley said she has been “overwhelmed” with the support from the locals.
She added: “I am shocked at the amount of support I have had. Everyone has been lovely and giving me hugs. It’s honestly like losing a family.”
When contacted by The Gazette, a spokesman for Star Pubs and Bars said: “We are not in a position to discuss details of the commercial relationship we have with the licensees of The White Bull in Great Eccleston.
“However, the decision to give notice is not taken lightly as we are aware of the impact a change of management has on the individuals concerned, the pub and the local community. Sadly it was felt necessary on this occasion.
“Our intention is to reopen the pub under temporary management as soon as possible whilst we find someone to take it on permanently.”