‘The only pub left North of the Kennet in the East Ward – we must give it every chance to survive’ was the rallying cry from Councillors at Monday’s (13 January) Planning Committee meeting of the Town Council as Councillor Nick Fogg proposed that it be registered as an ‘Asset of Community Value’.
If successful (Wiltshire Council will have to agree first) and The Queen’s Head is accepted on to the register of Community Assets there will be a period of six months whilst possible buyers / tenants could re-establish it as one of the town’s diminishing band of pubs.
The only pub surviving in the East ward is currently The Roebuck on London Road, with the rest of the dwindling number all in the West ward. Many have disappeared over the years, such as ‘The Five Alls’ (adjacent to Sumbler’s Butchers on London Road), and at one point (in the seventies?) Marlborough could boast well over twenty pubs. Now there are just eight (including the recently re-opened ‘Oddfellows’ in Manton).
“An old coaching inn (the stable block is still there), the Queen’s Head has been an important part of Marlborough’s life for centuries. There’s a list of landlords going back to the Eighteenth Century. Now it’s closed. If it goes, it means that there will only be one pub in the whole of the East Ward, which contains over half the population of the town.” noted Councillor Fogg, whilst adding that “Hopefully, this won’t be necessary and the owners will reveal their plans for keeping this lovely old pub as a continuing hub of the town’s social life.”