2,500 regulars in plea to end Blackpool pub sale

Pub regulars at The Auctioneer have handed over a petition of 2500 names to keep the pub as a Weatherspoons
Pub regulars at The Auctioneer have handed over a petition of 2500 names to keep the pub as a Weatherspoons
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More than 2,500 people have pleaded with a pub company not to sell up and to keep their local the way it is.

Regulars at The Auctioneer on Lytham Road were shocked when its owner Wetherspoons put it on the market in November.

The pub, which underwent a huge revamp last year, was said by the company to be one of 34 nationally worth £40m it wanted to sell for commercial reasons.

But customers at the South Shore watering hole decided to appeal to the owners and launched a petition the following week.

Now members of the group have travelled down to Wetherspoons’ head office in Watford to hand in the thousands of names.

Regular Mike Turner said they were hoping the company would have a change of heart.

He said: “There were 2,500 names on the petition so it shows the strength of feeling.

“We like it being a Wetherspoons, with the food and the range of beers on offer.

“It is a heart of the community and very important for so many people. A real meeting place for people from the area.

“When they handed the petition in at Watford the company people there were gobsmacked at the number of names. They said they did not realise how much it was loved.

“People are worried it might be sold and then be turned into a shop.”

The pub used to be the premises of an auctioneer and prior to that a Kwik Save shop.

It is one of four owned by Wetherspoons’ in Blackpool, the others being, the Layton Raikes, the Albert and the Lion and the Velvet Coaster which opened this year and is the biggest pub in town.

Wetherspoons’ spokesman Eddie Gershon said he was stunned by the number of names on the petition.

He said: “It is phenomenal. The fact there are 2,500 names on the petition is amazing and a testament to the fact that the regulars really love this pub.

“And that they even bothered to take it personally to head office was phenomenal.

“The pub is still on the market at the moment and still trading, but I can say that the people’s views will absolutely be taken into consideration by head office.

“They will have to consider carefully what action to take and I would like to thank the staff and the regulars for their efforts.”

The Auctioneer’s sale is part of the biggest sell-off by Wetherspoons since it was founded 36 years ago and follows the offer for sale of 20 leasehold pubs.