Village mourns sudden closure of pub

Closed suddenly, The Chalk and Cheese pub in Maiden Newton

Closed suddenly, The Chalk and Cheese pub in Maiden Newton

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

ANOTHER popular Dorset country pub has shut its doors.

The Chalk and Cheese in Maiden Newton suddenly closed to customers on Sunday night.

A spokesman for owners Punch Taverns said: “The pub is closed temporarily and we are looking to reopen as soon as possible.”

It comes following the closure of a number of other rural pubs in the county in recent weeks.

A sign posted on the door of the pub reads: “Please note that The Chalk and Cheese is now temporarily closed until further notice.

“Mr Murray would like to thank all his regulars for the support given over the last few years and wishes you all well.”

Landlord Al Murray took up his role at the Maiden Newton pub in February 2009 after spending six years in the Royal Navy.

The pub has regularly supported the Help for Heroes charity over the years.

Residents have spoken of their shock at the loss of the renowned Dorset pub, which was considered an integral part of the Dorchester village.

Cllr Cherri Dyke, of Maiden Newton Parish Council, said: “It was as much a shock to us as it was to anyone else. I don’t use the pub myself but it is a loss to those people that do and for the village.”

Resident Gary Tippett said: “People just can’t afford to go out to the pub any more, pubs put up prices to survive and push customers away, who then stay home and drink cheaper supermarket alcohol.”

A staff member at the Maiden Newton Stores and Post Office said: “It closed quite suddenly and Sunday night was the final time it was open.”

Parish councillor Paul Valinksi said the issue would be discussed by the council at the next meeting.

The renowned Piddle Inn at Piddletrenthide recently called time and is now being sold, with the village community hopeful it can be retained as a pub.

This came shortly after the sudden closure of the Gaggle of Geese at Buckland Newton and became the third pub in recent years to close along the six-mile stretch from Piddlehinton to Buckland Newton after the European Inn closed around three years ago.

The European Inn at White Lackington has since been converted to housing while the future of the Gaggle of Geese remains uncertain.

The Piddle Inn is now being marketed for sale by Christie and Co, with anyone with offers of above £300,000 for the freehold invited before noon on Friday, July 25.

Anyone with enquiries is asked to email exeter@christie.com

Comments (22)

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10:00am Fri 4 Jul 14

annotater says...

These closures are all down to greedy breweries, hiking the price of drinks out of the reach of most people and charging extortionate rents.
Example; Frampton Arms, for a pint of blackcurrant and tap water £2.65.
Wyke Smugglers, £0.55p, The Crown, Bridport 0.20p.
Alcoholic drinks; The Boot, 49er £3.25, The Ship a pint of real ale £3.65.
Too much profit!
These closures are all down to greedy breweries, hiking the price of drinks out of the reach of most people and charging extortionate rents. Example; Frampton Arms, for a pint of blackcurrant and tap water £2.65. Wyke Smugglers, £0.55p, The Crown, Bridport 0.20p. Alcoholic drinks; The Boot, 49er £3.25, The Ship a pint of real ale £3.65. Too much profit! annotater
  • Score: 14

10:12am Fri 4 Jul 14

JamesYoung says...

annotater wrote:
These closures are all down to greedy breweries, hiking the price of drinks out of the reach of most people and charging extortionate rents.
Example; Frampton Arms, for a pint of blackcurrant and tap water £2.65.
Wyke Smugglers, £0.55p, The Crown, Bridport 0.20p.
Alcoholic drinks; The Boot, 49er £3.25, The Ship a pint of real ale £3.65.
Too much profit!
.....or too much tax?
[quote][p][bold]annotater[/bold] wrote: These closures are all down to greedy breweries, hiking the price of drinks out of the reach of most people and charging extortionate rents. Example; Frampton Arms, for a pint of blackcurrant and tap water £2.65. Wyke Smugglers, £0.55p, The Crown, Bridport 0.20p. Alcoholic drinks; The Boot, 49er £3.25, The Ship a pint of real ale £3.65. Too much profit![/p][/quote].....or too much tax? JamesYoung
  • Score: 10

10:17am Fri 4 Jul 14

Zummerzet Lad says...

Strange that a village the size of Maiden Newton finds it loses a pub for what can be put down to economics yet at Cerne Abbas there are 3 pubs within 'spitting' distance of each other and all open!?
Strange that a village the size of Maiden Newton finds it loses a pub for what can be put down to economics yet at Cerne Abbas there are 3 pubs within 'spitting' distance of each other and all open!? Zummerzet Lad
  • Score: 11

10:54am Fri 4 Jul 14

shy talk says...

Punch Taverns have a debt of 2.3bn with today’s share price of 9.9p. They plan to sell off 400 of their pubs this year, so expect more closures.
Punch Taverns have a debt of 2.3bn with today’s share price of 9.9p. They plan to sell off 400 of their pubs this year, so expect more closures. shy talk
  • Score: 13

12:21pm Fri 4 Jul 14

unexpected error says...

shy talk wrote:
Punch Taverns have a debt of 2.3bn with today’s share price of 9.9p. They plan to sell off 400 of their pubs this year, so expect more closures.
Well perhaps they should of thought through the impact of charging tenants inflated prices for their drinks. Unless these pubcos rethink their pricing and leasing more and more pubs will shut down and in the process so will their income stream. I think it is very sad that a good old fashioned pub is no longer viable unless it turns itself into a restaurant.
[quote][p][bold]shy talk[/bold] wrote: Punch Taverns have a debt of 2.3bn with today’s share price of 9.9p. They plan to sell off 400 of their pubs this year, so expect more closures.[/p][/quote]Well perhaps they should of thought through the impact of charging tenants inflated prices for their drinks. Unless these pubcos rethink their pricing and leasing more and more pubs will shut down and in the process so will their income stream. I think it is very sad that a good old fashioned pub is no longer viable unless it turns itself into a restaurant. unexpected error
  • Score: 7

12:35pm Fri 4 Jul 14

Wtfareyouon says...

Let's not forget that the biggest cost in a pint is duty/ tax - probably near on a third of it at least.

Funny how we're blaming the breweries then go on to talk about black currant and tap water being expensive. This has what exactly to do with a brewery?
Let's not forget that the biggest cost in a pint is duty/ tax - probably near on a third of it at least. Funny how we're blaming the breweries then go on to talk about black currant and tap water being expensive. This has what exactly to do with a brewery? Wtfareyouon
  • Score: 0

1:59pm Fri 4 Jul 14

Preston North End says...

A sad story redeemed momentarily by the pub landlord being called 'Al Murray'.
A sad story redeemed momentarily by the pub landlord being called 'Al Murray'. Preston North End
  • Score: 16

3:53pm Fri 4 Jul 14

weymouthfox says...

Mr Imins talks a lot of sense- use the pub or lose it. All the pub closures would not have happened if villagers had been using their local pub.
Mr Imins talks a lot of sense- use the pub or lose it. All the pub closures would not have happened if villagers had been using their local pub. weymouthfox
  • Score: 10

6:24pm Fri 4 Jul 14

westbaywonder says...

Chalk and Cheese pub, now known as the Rock and Hardplace.
Shut them all down,they have been too greedy for too long.
Most pubs thought they were being clever some time ago and concentrated on food,nice to see even that plan back-fired.
Long live the supermarkets and their (what its really worth prices)!
Chalk and Cheese pub, now known as the Rock and Hardplace. Shut them all down,they have been too greedy for too long. Most pubs thought they were being clever some time ago and concentrated on food,nice to see even that plan back-fired. Long live the supermarkets and their (what its really worth prices)! westbaywonder
  • Score: -20

6:47pm Fri 4 Jul 14

Get a grip says...

westbaywonder wrote:
Chalk and Cheese pub, now known as the Rock and Hardplace.
Shut them all down,they have been too greedy for too long.
Most pubs thought they were being clever some time ago and concentrated on food,nice to see even that plan back-fired.
Long live the supermarkets and their (what its really worth prices)!
Yes if you like getting drunk at home.

Many of us enjoy meeting friends having a chat about nothing in particular and pint.

Then going home to the loving arms of your partner.

Normally this part of the evenings entertainment fails.
[quote][p][bold]westbaywonder[/bold] wrote: Chalk and Cheese pub, now known as the Rock and Hardplace. Shut them all down,they have been too greedy for too long. Most pubs thought they were being clever some time ago and concentrated on food,nice to see even that plan back-fired. Long live the supermarkets and their (what its really worth prices)![/p][/quote]Yes if you like getting drunk at home. Many of us enjoy meeting friends having a chat about nothing in particular and pint. Then going home to the loving arms of your partner. Normally this part of the evenings entertainment fails. Get a grip
  • Score: 11

7:45pm Fri 4 Jul 14

cosmick says...

Get a grip wrote:
westbaywonder wrote:
Chalk and Cheese pub, now known as the Rock and Hardplace.
Shut them all down,they have been too greedy for too long.
Most pubs thought they were being clever some time ago and concentrated on food,nice to see even that plan back-fired.
Long live the supermarkets and their (what its really worth prices)!
Yes if you like getting drunk at home.

Many of us enjoy meeting friends having a chat about nothing in particular and pint.

Then going home to the loving arms of your partner.

Normally this part of the evenings entertainment fails.
So when you get home to your partner, i hope shes done the iorning, washing up and made the bed.
Or better still left you a note "GONE OUT WITH MY MATES" dont wait up.
[quote][p][bold]Get a grip[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]westbaywonder[/bold] wrote: Chalk and Cheese pub, now known as the Rock and Hardplace. Shut them all down,they have been too greedy for too long. Most pubs thought they were being clever some time ago and concentrated on food,nice to see even that plan back-fired. Long live the supermarkets and their (what its really worth prices)![/p][/quote]Yes if you like getting drunk at home. Many of us enjoy meeting friends having a chat about nothing in particular and pint. Then going home to the loving arms of your partner. Normally this part of the evenings entertainment fails.[/p][/quote]So when you get home to your partner, i hope shes done the iorning, washing up and made the bed. Or better still left you a note "GONE OUT WITH MY MATES" dont wait up. cosmick
  • Score: 2

8:18pm Fri 4 Jul 14

oldbrock says...

westbaywonder wrote:
Chalk and Cheese pub, now known as the Rock and Hardplace.
Shut them all down,they have been too greedy for too long.
Most pubs thought they were being clever some time ago and concentrated on food,nice to see even that plan back-fired.
Long live the supermarkets and their (what its really worth prices)!
HOBGOBLIN in ALDI £1.25 in the pub £3 odd, NO CONTEST
[quote][p][bold]westbaywonder[/bold] wrote: Chalk and Cheese pub, now known as the Rock and Hardplace. Shut them all down,they have been too greedy for too long. Most pubs thought they were being clever some time ago and concentrated on food,nice to see even that plan back-fired. Long live the supermarkets and their (what its really worth prices)![/p][/quote]HOBGOBLIN in ALDI £1.25 in the pub £3 odd, NO CONTEST oldbrock
  • Score: 5

8:44pm Fri 4 Jul 14

I'mavoter says...

Wtfareyouon wrote:
Let's not forget that the biggest cost in a pint is duty/ tax - probably near on a third of it at least.

Funny how we're blaming the breweries then go on to talk about black currant and tap water being expensive. This has what exactly to do with a brewery?
Simple mate .... The breweries charge tenants (landlords)' extortionate rents.
[quote][p][bold]Wtfareyouon[/bold] wrote: Let's not forget that the biggest cost in a pint is duty/ tax - probably near on a third of it at least. Funny how we're blaming the breweries then go on to talk about black currant and tap water being expensive. This has what exactly to do with a brewery?[/p][/quote]Simple mate .... The breweries charge tenants (landlords)' extortionate rents. I'mavoter
  • Score: 5

10:13pm Fri 4 Jul 14

Get a grip says...

cosmick wrote:
Get a grip wrote:
westbaywonder wrote:
Chalk and Cheese pub, now known as the Rock and Hardplace.
Shut them all down,they have been too greedy for too long.
Most pubs thought they were being clever some time ago and concentrated on food,nice to see even that plan back-fired.
Long live the supermarkets and their (what its really worth prices)!
Yes if you like getting drunk at home.

Many of us enjoy meeting friends having a chat about nothing in particular and pint.

Then going home to the loving arms of your partner.

Normally this part of the evenings entertainment fails.
So when you get home to your partner, i hope shes done the iorning, washing up and made the bed.
Or better still left you a note "GONE OUT WITH MY MATES" dont wait up.
Well at £3.95 for a pint of cider I can afford to take her out as well as me.
[quote][p][bold]cosmick[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Get a grip[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]westbaywonder[/bold] wrote: Chalk and Cheese pub, now known as the Rock and Hardplace. Shut them all down,they have been too greedy for too long. Most pubs thought they were being clever some time ago and concentrated on food,nice to see even that plan back-fired. Long live the supermarkets and their (what its really worth prices)![/p][/quote]Yes if you like getting drunk at home. Many of us enjoy meeting friends having a chat about nothing in particular and pint. Then going home to the loving arms of your partner. Normally this part of the evenings entertainment fails.[/p][/quote]So when you get home to your partner, i hope shes done the iorning, washing up and made the bed. Or better still left you a note "GONE OUT WITH MY MATES" dont wait up.[/p][/quote]Well at £3.95 for a pint of cider I can afford to take her out as well as me. Get a grip
  • Score: 3

10:16pm Fri 4 Jul 14

rural pride says...

After reading this article and all of the above comments I feel I must give my opinion as I have been a regular of this public house for many a year.
1. quote local parish council rep " I don't use the pub"
2. yes punch taverns charge stupid rents and tie the landlord to buy from them.
3. probably one of the cheapest pubs to drink in and the food prices were fair and you got real food not microwave rubbish.
4. the closure of this pub and many like it has a knock on effect as jobs have been lost and suppliers have lost a customer.
5. some of the above comments have no reason!
I know for a fact the landlord did everything he could to keep this village pub going over the last five years, free music, bingo,quiz's and lots of fund raising for local groups. I know when he closed the door he felt he had let the community down when it was the community that had let him and their village down.
After reading this article and all of the above comments I feel I must give my opinion as I have been a regular of this public house for many a year. 1. quote local parish council rep " I don't use the pub" 2. yes punch taverns charge stupid rents and tie the landlord to buy from them. 3. probably one of the cheapest pubs to drink in and the food prices were fair and you got real food not microwave rubbish. 4. the closure of this pub and many like it has a knock on effect as jobs have been lost and suppliers have lost a customer. 5. some of the above comments have no reason! I know for a fact the landlord did everything he could to keep this village pub going over the last five years, free music, bingo,quiz's and lots of fund raising for local groups. I know when he closed the door he felt he had let the community down when it was the community that had let him and their village down. rural pride
  • Score: 19

11:01pm Fri 4 Jul 14

westbaywonder says...

A lot of seemingly insider knowledge rural-pride any one would think you are or related to the ex bar man.
So where were all the locals and what were they doing ?
As for saying the community let this man down, i have never heard such a stupid remark!
Pubs have let their local communities down and now people have walked away. Tough, LONG LIVE THE SUPERMARKETS, GIVING PEOPLE A WIDE RANGE OF DRINKS AT THE RIGHT PRICE!!
A lot of seemingly insider knowledge rural-pride any one would think you are or related to the ex bar man. So where were all the locals and what were they doing ? As for saying the community let this man down, i have never heard such a stupid remark! Pubs have let their local communities down and now people have walked away. Tough, LONG LIVE THE SUPERMARKETS, GIVING PEOPLE A WIDE RANGE OF DRINKS AT THE RIGHT PRICE!! westbaywonder
  • Score: -17

9:48am Sat 5 Jul 14

annotater says...

shy talk wrote:
Punch Taverns have a debt of 2.3bn with today’s share price of 9.9p. They plan to sell off 400 of their pubs this year, so expect more closures.
At the selling price of their supplied tied drinks ... bad management comes straight to mind.
[quote][p][bold]shy talk[/bold] wrote: Punch Taverns have a debt of 2.3bn with today’s share price of 9.9p. They plan to sell off 400 of their pubs this year, so expect more closures.[/p][/quote]At the selling price of their supplied tied drinks ... bad management comes straight to mind. annotater
  • Score: 5

12:04pm Sat 5 Jul 14

smhbcfc says...

When I was young(er) Maiden Newton had 3 pubs - I think the White Horse and the Castle were the others? Sad it's now got none.
While the supermarkets do offer a cheaper alternative, surely the pub still has it's place - it's a place to meet others etc
When I was young(er) Maiden Newton had 3 pubs - I think the White Horse and the Castle were the others? Sad it's now got none. While the supermarkets do offer a cheaper alternative, surely the pub still has it's place - it's a place to meet others etc smhbcfc
  • Score: 4

9:32pm Sat 5 Jul 14

bigfatlad says...

As a sometime customer, I am sorry to hear of the closure of the place - have always had a fondness for Maiden Newton ....
As a sometime customer, I am sorry to hear of the closure of the place - have always had a fondness for Maiden Newton .... bigfatlad
  • Score: 3

4:20pm Sun 6 Jul 14

theresmoretolife!! says...

I have been to this pub for a function in the back room, the ladies toilets never worked properly and were not pleasant and there always seemed to be sport on the tv, not really welcoming for people who just want a drink / food. And the decor left a lot to be desired!. I grew up in this village and remember 4 pubs, the station, white horse, castle and the brewery the now chalk and cheese they all had good amount of customers , the sign of the times now as to the cost of drinking, not allowed to smoke inside and having to watch the pennies
I have been to this pub for a function in the back room, the ladies toilets never worked properly and were not pleasant and there always seemed to be sport on the tv, not really welcoming for people who just want a drink / food. And the decor left a lot to be desired!. I grew up in this village and remember 4 pubs, the station, white horse, castle and the brewery the now chalk and cheese they all had good amount of customers , the sign of the times now as to the cost of drinking, not allowed to smoke inside and having to watch the pennies theresmoretolife!!
  • Score: 3

2:46pm Wed 9 Jul 14

cj07589 says...

Very sad the Chalk & Cheese was great pub under AL's management, fingers crossed somebody takes it on again the community will not be the same without it.
Very sad the Chalk & Cheese was great pub under AL's management, fingers crossed somebody takes it on again the community will not be the same without it. cj07589
  • Score: 3

9:17am Thu 10 Jul 14

cj07589 says...

theresmoretolife!! wrote:
I have been to this pub for a function in the back room, the ladies toilets never worked properly and were not pleasant and there always seemed to be sport on the tv, not really welcoming for people who just want a drink / food. And the decor left a lot to be desired!. I grew up in this village and remember 4 pubs, the station, white horse, castle and the brewery the now chalk and cheese they all had good amount of customers , the sign of the times now as to the cost of drinking, not allowed to smoke inside and having to watch the pennies
I'm glad smoking inside has been banned, not everybody has a death wish and wants to smell like a disgusting ashtray!
[quote][p][bold]theresmoretolife!![/bold] wrote: I have been to this pub for a function in the back room, the ladies toilets never worked properly and were not pleasant and there always seemed to be sport on the tv, not really welcoming for people who just want a drink / food. And the decor left a lot to be desired!. I grew up in this village and remember 4 pubs, the station, white horse, castle and the brewery the now chalk and cheese they all had good amount of customers , the sign of the times now as to the cost of drinking, not allowed to smoke inside and having to watch the pennies[/p][/quote]I'm glad smoking inside has been banned, not everybody has a death wish and wants to smell like a disgusting ashtray! cj07589
  • Score: 0

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