A 39 year old woman from the Canterbury area was being comforted by friends last night after her plans to attend an office Christmas outing were left in tatters when it transpired that the Red Lion had shut. Melissa Hopkins-Wood took time off from talking about her children to her colleagues to casually mention she’d quite like to go to the once popular hostelry in the forthcoming festive period only to be dismayed to find it had ceased trading some three months ago.
Mrs Hopkins-Wood had only visited the Red Lion last Christmas and was deeply shocked to find that there would be no repeat trip this year. Talking to our Newsbiscuit reporter, Mrs Hopkins-Wood said “Christmas is the one and only time I get to go out and make myself look slightly foolish after a few glasses of wine. I’ve worked hard all year, and think it’s a sorry state of affairs that the Red Lion has shut its doors without due consideration for office workers who only go to the pub once a year”.
Mrs Hopkins-Wood works for a large government organisation and was informed of the pubs closure by Mike, a 45 year old ex-regular of the Red Lion and manager in the finance department. Mrs Hopkins-Wood went on to say, “Mike has a brilliant financial mind, but there have been rumours that it takes him at least a couple of cups of tea to get going some mornings and has been known to attend work regularly, having had a few glasses, of what can only be described as beer, the evening before. However, I can’t substantiate this rumour because I work between 10am and 2pm because I have to take the children to and from their school which is nearly a quarter of a mile from our home. Mike starts at about 7am so would have managed to disguise any hangover by the time I show up and have told anyone who will listen about my children. Moreover, there are rumours that Mike has stopped going out so much these days and has been spending more and more time at home working on a large DIY project. His actions have clearly had an impact on the sustainability of pubs, leaving us once a year pub goer’s limited choice of venue. It’s rather selfish of Mike. He even looks uninterested when I talk about my children”.
Bob Roper, who had owned the Red Lion as a free-house for over a quarter of a century told us “I’d reached retirement age and the pub game was becoming more and more of a struggle for survival as numbers dwindled in these challenging economic times and competition from larger pub chains. So I decided to call last orders when Tesco gave me a generous offer to turn the pub in to a Tesco Express”.
John Smith, spokesperson for pub chain giant, D.J. Wetherspoons said “I’d be delighted to welcome Mrs Hopkins-Wood and her colleagues to one of our premises this Christmas. It’s also great to hear we’ve forced another local pub to close its doors”.