April 23 2014 Latest news:
By Matthew Gooding
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Christmas partygoers could be left out of pocket after the closure of a Royston pub.
The Old Crown in Baldock Road closed its doors last week after its parent firm, the Bramwell Pub Company, went into administration.
Pauline Sansom had booked a Christmas dinner at the pub with her colleagues from Curwens solicitors.
But having paid a £55 deposit, they have now been left to find an alternative venue.
Mrs Sansom’s husband Colin, of Newmarket Road, Royston, said: “They put the deposit down in September, and when they did so were told it would have to be paid in cash.
“Now the pub is closed and in the hands of the administrators, so they are not going to get that money back.
“I think there are probably a lot of people in the town who are in the same boat. I know from speaking to people I work with that the staff at the Post Office and a group from Kneesworth House were meant to be going to the Old Crown, but now they won’t be able to and are unlikely to get their money back.”
The pub was renamed The Old Crown in 2010, having previously been known as The Old Post Office and Barracuda since the former post office closed.
The Bramwell Pub Company, which employed 3,300 people at its 185 pubs across the country, reported a pre-tax loss of £117.7million in its latest accounts and had completed a major restructure in 2012. The losses were put down to costs incurred when settling outstanding debts last year.
Administrators Zolfo Cooper are seeking a buyer for the pub, along with 67 others that were owned by the Bramwell Group, and they are being marketed by property group Christie and Co.
Neil Morgan, director and head of pubs at Christie and Co, said: “The package encompasses pubs of a very good quality. The sites would suit existing pub and restaurant operators and are available as group or individual assets.”