Regulars launch petition to 'save' Coach & Horses pub
A petition has been launched by upset regulars to 'save' Harrogate's Coach & Horses pub.
Regular customer Jonny Hick set up the online petition asking for the license to be restored for this historic pub on West Park to Samantha Nelson.
The campaign follows the the stripping of John Nelson of his licence after the popular pub, which is believed to have first opened its doors in 1827, repeatedly broke lockdown rules by setting up tables and chairs on the roadside for customers buying takeaway drinks.
The decision to revoke Mr Nelson's licence was made at Harrogate Borough Council’s licensing committee meeting.
Coun Victoria Oldham said the pub made a “serious failure” and “blatant disregard” of the lockdown rules, which at the time allowed the sale of takeaway alcohol, but not for consumption on any pub premises.
North Yorkshire Police also called for the pub’s licence to be revoked.
The new petition has already attracted more than 200 signatures from people who believe that the council and police acted in a heavy-handed manner.
They argue that to close a well-run much-loved business and community asset which has raised many thousands of pounds for charity over the years is disproportionate and unfair.
Regulars say the problems across the Spring bank holiday weekend when crowds of up to 45 customers gathered outside had been nothing to do with the landlady of 18 months, John's daughter Samantha Nelson.
The online petition says: "Please support her totally responsible and professional stewardship of the pub during this time and her vision for the future of Harrogate's most popular "boozer".
"As the town's "Rovers Return", the Coach has a hugely important integral role in the community.
"The Coach & Horses is embedded in Harrogate culture and adds so much value to the town as a community hub.
"Furthermore, the Coach has raised circa £1million over the last 15 years for Martin House Hospice.
"Please support Sam and the wonderful Coach family."
PC Jackie Allen told councillors at the licensing meeting that the force had received 44 complaints about customers at the pub breaking social distancing rules.
Councillors also heard how council staff had faced verbal abuse from drinkers.
A lawyer for Mr Nelson said he accepted he made a “chronic error of judgement”.
He added the pub had been serving takeaway beer as part of a fundraiser for a local charity, Horticap.
The charity has since refused to accept the £3,000 that was raised.
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