Pub regulars in campaign to save the Fox on the A1 near South Witham
Regulars at a pub are campaigning to save their ‘home from home’.
Ever since plans were announced to demolish The Fox, near South Witham and close to the A1, and build a service station with budget hotel, a campaign to save the pub has gone national.
More than 1,600 people have signed a petition to save the pub, which is now a much-loved family-run truckstop.
In decades gone by, before drink-driving laws were introduced, the venue was well-known for weddings and dining, attracting customers from nearby villages, before being used as a
Six years ago, landlady and lease holder Sarah Cheevers took over and transformed the then run-down premises.
When the Mercury called last week, lorry drivers were enjoying their dinner with staff and customers who have become friends.
Manager Kevin Murphy said he was ‘devastated’ by the possible closure, saying the family-run pub has built up a business of many regulars. Its numbers of overnight truckers has increased from six to between 30 and 40, helped by it being the only ‘safe’ place on the A1 by having overnight on-site
Sarah’s mum Dee Cheevers said the venue six years ago was a ‘tip’ and ‘quite a seedy place’ but her daughter had removed all that.
Lorry drivers also stressed the safety of the stopover.
Steve Lake, 60, from Norfolk stops twice-a-week and says he was ‘devastated’ when he heard the Fox may have to go.
“The food is excellent and the staff are friendly. It’s a home from home. There should be more places like this.”
Rob Dawson, 35, from North Yorkshire was ‘shocked’ when he heard the news.
“It’s always welcoming.”
Another regular called Wayne from North Wales said he was ‘gutted’ and recalled how Sarah had worked hard to build up the business. If it had to close, it would be
Adam Freeman, 30, from Leeds agreed it would be ‘ridiculous’ to close a popular family-run business.
However, in their planning application, The Fox Roadside Services Ltd claims the pub is operating “well below its capacity”.
Redeveloping the site, would also improve facilities and create jobs.
The petition to save The Fox can be found on the change.org website.
More by this authorDarren Greenwood