Save The Red Lion Campaign Patrons

  • Sidbury Community Enterprises' community share offer launched to buy the Red Lion
  • Save The Red Lion Campaign Patrons - Rt Hon Hugo Swire MP & The Reverend Susie Williams
  • Campaign's company - Sidbury Community Enterprises - has made an offer to buy the Red Lion
  • East Devon District Council has listed the Red Lion pub as an Asset of Community Value - a significant Campaign milestone

Thursday, 20 June 2013

I support the Campaign - join me! Poster now available

A new Save The Red Lion Campaign poster is now available at -,

Please download the poster & display prominently to raise awareness of the Campaign.

If any of your friends, family or neighbours want to become a Campaign Supporter & receive direct email information about the Campaign they can either send their details to our email address or download the form that they can complete & return  at -,

This is what the poster says -

      I SUPPORT      
 Save The Red Lion Campaign

Join Me & Become
A Campaign Supporter TODAY!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Vote NOW for Red Lion in Express & Echo Pub of the Year competition!

The Exeter Express & Echo newspaper is running its first Pub of the Year competition and the Red Lion has been nominated by some of  the paper's readers which is great news! However, so have another 62 local pubs! It would be great publicity, not only for the pub, but also for Save The Red Lion Campaign, if the Red Lion was to win the competition. We have enough Campaign supporters to achieve this if we all vote NOW!

Unfortunately the Express & Echo have identified the Red Lion as being located in Sidford! But don't let that distract you it is really the Red Lion, Sidbury - honestly!

Supporters of their nominated pub are able to vote in the Pub of the Year competition in two ways. Firstly, you can vote for the Red Lion by voting on-line by following this link to the competition's page at the Express & Echo  -

Once you are into the Express & Echo's on-line page headed "Vote today in the Pub of the Year competition" you need to scroll down past the story about the competition, past the list of pubs which have been nominated & past the various comments left by readers, until you reach the foot of the page. Here you need to vote in the box headed "Add your comments". Please insert "No. 63 Red Lion, Sidbury". You have then voted on-line for the Red Lion!

Alternatively, if you go to the Express & Echo's website & type in "Echo Pub of the Year" into the search facility it will take you directly to the relevant page to allow you to vote.

Secondly, please purchase the Express & Echo, published each Thursday. Fill in the voting coupon in the paper by identifying your Pub of the Year competition choice to be " No 63 Red Lion, Sidbury". Having completed the coupon you need to return it to the newspaper at the address on the coupon.

You can vote both on-line & by completing & returning the coupon. Your on-line & coupon entries need to be received by midday on 1 July.

Please take the time to vote both on-line & by coupon. It would be a wonderful vote of confidence in the Red Lion if it won & it would show its owners Punch Taverns, that local people care about the pub. It would also show any potential buyer(s) who might be thinking about taking on the pub that there is local support for it.

The winning pub will have an in depth article written about it in the Express & Echo. That really would be great publicity for the Red Lion. It would also allow the Camapign to showcase the local support that there is for the Red Lion.

Please vote today for the Red Lion, both on-line & by coupon. Ask your friends & family to also vote for the Red LionAs the old adage goes - vote early, vote often! Vote to support the Red Lion!

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Cycle track can give Red Lion a lifeline

An excellent letter in the latest edition of the Sidmouth Herald (14 June) which on page 10  highlights the need for urgent action to be taken to create a cycle track/footpath between Sidbury & Sidford. Follow the link to the letter from Campaign Steering Group member Andy Webb (he of vintage bikes fame!) -

Andy argues that not only is the A373 from Sidbury to Sidford dangerous for perestrians and cyclists, and therefore much needed for safety reasons, but he also makes the case that a cycle track/footpath would benefit the trade at the Red Lion in Sidbury. It would allow cyclists and walkers to come into the village & its environs more readily.

Correctly, Andy's letter also makes the point about the problems of parking in the village. Elsewhere in the Herald on page 9 in an article "Sidbury speedsters subject for concern" the paper reports about local concerns about the high speed that many drivers go through the village at. This article's link is -

So, not only would a cycle track/footpath between Sidbury & Sidford make sense from a safety point of view, it would also make economic sense to the Red Lion & Drew's the butchers in the village. As Andy Webb says in his letter "..there seems to be a lot of promises but no action". More power to Andy's elbow!

Friday, 14 June 2013

15 June - Sidbury Village Fete

Tomorrow, Saturday 15 June, sees the annual Sidbury village fete taking place in the village school grounds. The fete starts at 2.00pm, and get there early to beat the rush! The fete is an important event in the village calendar which raises much needed funds for the village church - St Giles- as well as the village school - Sidbury Primary. See the article in today's Sidmouth Herald which publicises the fete -

The village fete is a fun packed afternoon for all. Make sure that you go with a few pence in your pocket to buy from a stall one of those things that you never thought, until tomorrow afternoon, that you wanted or needed. You can also try your luck and/or skill in picking out the winning pigs in the pig races. Save The Red Lion Campaign is proud to be a sponsor of one of these pig races.

Save The Red Lion Campaign also has a stall at the fete, for which we are grateful to the organisers for allowing. If you have not yet signed up to be a Campaign Supporter then tomorrow afternoon's the time & the place to do so! All your friends & family are welcome to sign up too!

Fingers crossed that the weather is kind to the fete & to our Campaign Supporters who will be running our stall. Have a flutter in our Campaign sponsored pig race! Enjoy your afternoon out.

Latest local news reporting of Campaign

The free local newspaper Pulman's view from Sidmouth has caught up with the Campaign and published  a good report on the Campaign. To read this article, which is on page 4 of the 11 June edition, follow the link -

Monday, 10 June 2013

Punch Taverns to demolish 18th century village pub

A worrying & cautionary tale about a Punch Taverns owned pub near Selby, north Yorkshire has been reported in the press. According to Punch Taverns the pub, the Odddfellows (yes, with three D's!) Arms, is no longer viable due to a lack of custom & it has therefore decided to demolish it & replace it with new build homes.

The Odddfellows Arms is situated on the main street of Goole village and is an 18th century property. Punch Taverns application to the local authority to demolish the historic pub & to replace it with new houses looks set, apparently, to now obtain planning permission for their proposals.

These proposals to demolish the old pub looks certain in spite of local opposition from residents. To read the press article on this story -

This story shows the opportunities that owners of pubs will look for if they think that it is more financially beneficial to them to close a pub (and even demolish it) rather than to work with a community to retain it & look at ways to make a pub more viable.

It may well be that the Red Lion's curent owners, Punch Taverns, or any potential future owner, would not seek or obtain permission from East Devon District Council to demolish it. However, we have to be alert to the lengths that owners of pubs who no longer want to run them can go to.

This is why the Campaign is determined to retain the Red Lion as a pub in the heart of the village.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Is David Cameron's timing right for the Campaign?

Save The Red Lion Campaign would prefer that an investor purchased the Red Lion with a vision for it to be a successful pub in the heart of the village. But we have to be mindful that this such a person may not come forward & so the possibility of having to consider a community purchase of the pub has to be an option that is considered.

Two financial hurdles would need to be got over in any attempt to turn the Red Lion into a community pub. Firstly, obtaining sufficient funds to develop a business plan & prepare a viable bid for the Red Lion. Secondly, putting in place a funding structure to both buy the pub & get  it operational. We have to bear in mind that the asking price for the pub is £295,000 + VAT, and that a considerable investment would be required to modernise the property.

So the headline in an article in the Daily Telegraph the other day caught our eye - "David Cameron pledges £250m for local communities to buy pubs & shops".

The Prime Minister is reported as saying "Everyone knows how vital institutions in our towns & villages, like village halls, playing field, local pubs. And everyone knows how - despite best efforts of parish & local councils - these can face closure. I want our social investment funds to give people the opportunity to take them over & run them".

The Prime Minister said that Big Society Capital & the Big Lottery Fund will make a long-term commitment of £250m to "communities with amitions to own local assets like pubs, shops, community centres & affordable housing". Of this money £50m will go into a community asset fund to provide grants & loans to help get projects off the ground which could go on to be commercially viable over the long term.

The Daily Telegraph article can be read by following the link -

It looks as if the Prime Minister's announcement could be just the thing to allow the Camapign to develop real plans to purchase the Red Lion should our dragon/fairy godmother not materialise. It is said that in life timing is everything. That could be so right in this case!

Today's Sidmouth Herald article

So, no news is good news. Today's Sidmouth Herald contains a report about the fact that the Campaign came very close to being included on ITV's Daybreak programme this week. So whilst the Campaign was not news on Wednesday, it is on Friday!

You can read the Sidmouth Herald article by following this link -

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Fair Deal for Your Local

Fair Deal for Your Local campaign group held a rally in Westminster today. Fair Deal for Your Local campaigns against the unfair relationship that pubcos - companies that own their pubs & tie landlords into uncompetitive rents & purchasing arrangements - have with their landlords. This is supporters of Fair Deal for Your Local at Westminster outside the Houses of Parliament today -

The Red Lion pub, that The Pub In The Village is championing, is currently owned by Punch Taverns. Punch Taverns is a pubco.

  • Has Punch Taverns done right by the pub whilst it has owned it?
  • Has Punch Taverns done right by the landlord whilst it has owned the pub?
  • Has Punch Taverns done right by Sidbury village whilst it has owned the pub?
  • Has Punch Taverns done right by those who use the pub whilst it has owned it?
If you answered NO to any of the above questions then you should be interested in supporting the Fair Deal for Your Local camapign. Go to the campaign's website at -

#FAIRDEAL4YOURLOCAL  We are all campaigning for the same thing - pubs that can be allowed to be viable without being made uncompetitive by pubcos. The Pub In The Village is confident that the Red Lion can be a viable & successful business away from being owned by a pubco.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

TV plug pulled!

Regretfully, due to competing reporting demands on the ITV Daybreak breakfast programme's schedule for tomorrow morning, it is unable to provide a reporter & crew to put on the live reporting from the Red Lion involving Campaign supporters.

These last minute changes to television reports is not unusual, but is none the less disappointing. However, it is good to note that the Campaign was even on the programme researcher's radar, and that until it became logistically impossible, the live link up into the village was being planned for.

Perhaps ITV regionally will follow up our story.

Monday, 3 June 2013

STOP PRESS! Campaign to feature on 5 June ITV Daybreak Programme

It is just over 3 weeks since The Pub In The Village - Save The Red Lion Camapign was formally launched. We are proud to have achieved good local publicity & have 112 Facebook friends, as well as being followed on Twitter by 111 regional businesses & press/media.

But now the Camapign is about to go national! On 5 June the Fair Deal for Your Local campaign - which seeks a fairer deal for how pubcos - pubs that own pubs - operate their pubs, has a rally in Westminster. Their pubs are tied to them  - meaning that their pubs don't have the same freedoms that free houses have.

Being tied to a pubco can lead to a lack of investment in a pub & higher drink prices. This can lead to pubs become unprofitable. This can lead to a lack of customers. It can lead to pubs being closed or sold as they don't bring the money in for the pubco.

Do you recognise this in our local?

So, the Save The Red Lion Campaign is totally in tune with the campaign objectives of Fair Deal for Your Local. Which is why on 5 June ITV's Daybreak breakfast time programme, which will have a piece on the Fair Deal for Your Local rally, is giving the television piece a real life example of a pub under threat. That is why the ITV Daybreak programme will speak to Save The Red Lion Camapign Supporters live from the Red Lion  pub.

Don't just turn on to  watch the ITVDaybreak programme. Come down to the Red Lion pub & become part of the story.

Save The Red Lion Campaign now has national attention!