Villagers unite to save Gedney Dyke’s pub

Mary Garrett (front) with some of the people also opposed to The Chequers becoming two homes. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG310318-219TW
Mary Garrett (front) with some of the people also opposed to The Chequers becoming two homes. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG310318-219TW
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Gedney Dyke villagers are uniting to save their only pub, The Chequers, from being lost and converted into two homes.

Resident Mary Garrett, who once worked at the pub as did her mum, is worried the village will be left with virtually no amenities if the change of use planning application succeeds.

Mrs Garrett said: “We don’t have a bus service, we don’t have a shop, we don’t have a Post Office – if The Chequers goes, we will only have the village hall left.”

Residents are holding a public meeting in the village hall, starting at 10.30am on Sunday (April 8) to decide the best way to oppose the planning application, submitted by owner Gareth Franklin.

Mrs Garrett says The Chequers, in Main Street, closed in December and she believes its demise was brought about because of its transition over the years from being a traditional village pub to a “fine dining restaurant with a bar”.

She recalls the heyday of the pub when it was run by Judith and Rob Marshall, who left around 20 years ago, when you could buy a sandwich with your pint, and says it welcomed people including composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, now Baron Lloyd Webber, and the Queen’s late cousin, Lord Harewood, who called in on his way to Sandringham.

Mrs Garrett said: “Rob would welcome the rich people in and the same if a tramp was walking by – he would treat them all the same.”

She worked in the kitchen for the Marshalls and her mum, Phyllis Bailey, was a cleaner at The Chequers in the 1940s.

A statement submitted to South Holland District Council by agents the Robert Doughty Consultancy states that The Chequers has been on the market since 2015 via a succession of specialist property marketing companies, but no buyer has been found.

It continues: “The closure of the pub has resulted in the owner needing to find alternative uses for the site and premises.

“The building is in good order both internally and externally, is within a good sized curtilage and lends itself to subdivision into a pair of dwellings.”

• What do you think of the plan? Please email your letter to our editor: jeremy.ransome@iliffepublishing.co.uk

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