The Compton Arms in Islington, north London, could be forced to shut after it was placed under “licence review” by the local council. It comes after four local households complained the pub is a public nuisance and a danger to health.
The pub in Highbury which has been serving pub goers since the 1800s was an inspiration for a fictional pub called the Moon on the Water described by novelist and essayist Orwell.
In Orwell’s 1946 essay, ‘The Moon Under Water’, he describes the perfect pub.
He says the ideal pub is a place where it was “always quiet enough to talk”, the staff “know most of their customers by name”, “you can get a good, solid lunch” and “drunks and rowdies never seem to find their way there”.
But four households nearby accused the owners of poor management and said rubbish piled up outside posing a danger to health.
Pub owner Nick Stephens wrote on Facebook: “We find ourselves in an unpleasant situation. Our pub, Islington’s Compton Arms, inspiration for Orwell’s perfect pub, is being taken to licence review by four households in proximity to the pub … our other neighbours have the opposite view.
The four have alleged that the pub is: A) a public nuisance, B) a danger to health, C) poorly run, D) That I am a less than licensee with no interest communicating.
“I can’t begin to tell you how infuriating and frustrating these allegations are. Our managers have gone to extreme lengths and worked their socks off to run the pub considerately (and exceptionally) – in spite of some more than challenging behaviour from some of the four complainants.”
“Post covid periods have seen a lot of pubs go through similar situations. A
“A minority get used to the quiet then decide the pub that’s been there since the 1800s, that is an asset of community value, is now a nuisance. It makes me want to cry.
“Should this minority of four succeed in their requests, this famous, historic pub will no longer be financially viable for us, or any other responsible operator. It’s that serious.”
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