Independent.There has been much hoo-ha in the last 24 hours over Lymington, the Hampshire town that is “too posh for Argos” and its latest decision to prevent Wetherspoons opening a pub there. It’s been featured on the BBC and sparked a lively debate in the
Indeed, the Indy was so impressed that it welcomed the decision as some sort of stand against “chain store Britain”. Which it clearly isn’t. It’s simple snobbery. The excuses: it would spoil the character of the town, ruin other pub’s business and create drunken disorder.
Firstly Lymington isn’t some chocolate box village. It’s got a population of 14,000-big enough, one would have thought. to sustain a JDW. And it may not have an Argos, but it’s got Tesco in the High St, a 99p shop etc. One begins to wonder if it’s simply old-fashioned Puritanism and a dislike of pubs?
But no, they are worried about their existing pubs. Ah, quaint Free Houses catering for local demand. Not quite. A quick check reveals that many are owned by the likes of Enterprise and Punch anyway. So plenty of chain pubs there already. According to the article, some are struggling-high rents mean high prices, mean less custom. Time for some competition?
It seems it’s just the thought of the dreaded Wetherspoons selling cheap lout and pongy ale to the masses that is keeping opponents awake at night. Surely the pub-goers of Lymington and the laws of supply and demand should be the judge of if it needs another pub?
What’s the matter Hampshire boy, afraid of some cheap booze?