RESIDENTS have shown their support for publicans after they were forced to permanently close two pubs due to the coronavirus lockdown.

The Griffin in Parsonage Street, Halstead, and the Three Horseshoes in Church Road, Fordham, have been forced to call time for good after the lockdown restrictions meant they were unable to break even.

The owners of pubs Darran and Caroline Lingley were devastated when they were left with no choice, but to shut the pubs down in what they described as their “hardest week in business ever”.

However, their spirits were buoyed when news of the closures sparked a wave of support from residents.

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On Facebook posts, the owners received thousands of likes and comments along with 188 messages of goodwill.

Darran and Caroline ran the Griffin and the Three Horseshoes for eight and three years respectively.

The couple also run the Five Bells pub, in Colne Engaine, as well as Earls Colne’s The Lion.

Darran said: “The Horseshoes was a beautiful pub and I even helped to build it myself, but the current restrictions mean we’re operating at about 40 per cent and we won’t break even.


“This is one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make to close the pubs down.

“The Griffin was a tiny boozer and it mainly only had one member of staff at the bar.

“It simply couldn’t have served people with protective measures in place without having three staff to police it.

“We’re definitely going to offer them back out as pubs because we believe that’s what they should remain as.

“An owner-operator system would work fine in a place like The Griffin.”

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Darran added: “The Government’s guidelines have been clear in what you can’t do, but ambiguous in what you can do.

“There is no doubt that with restrictions it is an inferior product.

“This is my hardest week in business ever when I personally built them up.

“We’ve had about 188 messages of goodwill from people, although there have been a few trolls.

“It’s heart-breaking, but it’s good to see people and couples saying things like ‘We met at the pub’.

“I think it really is a loss to the town.

“Fortunately a lot of our staff have found jobs straight away because they’re a good team.”