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Published on August 18th, 2013 | by Nottingham Drinker

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Save the New White Bull

The Charge of The New White Bull Brigade

The New White Bull, on Nottingham Road, Giltbrook, is under threat of being sold for redevelopment.  The Broxtowe MP, Anna Soubry, has written to Greene King Chief Executive, Rooney Anand, and a reply has been issued by GK, with the possibility of opening dialogue between the two parties. After further correspondence, Greene King wrote back to Anna Soubry informing her that they have: [Quote] “…recently received an offer from another party at a level significantly ahead of the pub value, which they are now pursuing.  This party is not a pub operator…” [End Quote]

In the meantime, locals at The New White Bull formed an Unincorporated Body of 21 people, and an application to list the pub as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) was made to Broxtowe Borough Council.  Sadly, the initial Nomination Form was rejected by the council, however, the locals were determined to do all they could to fight off any and all threats to close their beloved pub, and a second, revised, Nomination Form has been submitted.  We are very pleased to report that this was accepted.  The Council now has 8 weeks from 21st June 2013 to decide whether or not to include the above asset in their register of Assets of Community Value.  We wish the locals the best of luck and we are all keeping our fingers crossed for a positive outcome.

The New White Bull has existed since the turn of the 19th century and is an impressive red brick building situated on Nottingham Road, Giltbrook, near to the Ikea Retail Park.  It has a large function room which hosts live music and charity events, with an even bigger rear garden and a secure children’s play area.

The New White Bull is not without history, particularly being situated on what was once a major thoroughfare into Nottingham city. As an original and untouched old coaching inn, it still has the original stables and horse trough. The Pentrich Luddites, on their route to Nottingham in June 1817, were passing through Giltbook and woke the landlord for beer, bread and cheese, and as they left were caught by a small force of Dragoons.  40 of the luddites were sentenced to be hung, drawn and quartered, however it was later reduced to just hanging and beheading! Furthermore the coaching inn of The New White Bull is featured in D H Lawrence’s short story “Strike Pay”, first published in 1913.

The pub is very close to celebrating its bicentenary and all those associated with it are keen that it should be able to do this in a strong and healthy position within its community.
The New White Bull has been up for sale for several weeks and there are now concerns because it is believed to have now been sold by owners Greene King. Indications are that it may be being converted by developers for residential use despite other parties having been said to have put in bids to retain it as a pub. This is the sort of community local that most people will not want to see lost for ever, the local community is determined to fight back and in doing this they are intending to use new legislation.

Under the Localism Act 2011 people living in England can nominate a pub to be listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV). Listing your local as an ACV provides communities with the power to stop the clock when faced with a pub going up for sale, earning valuable time to explore options for saving the pub. If a listed pub goes up for sale, its ACV status has the power to postpone the sale for up to six months. That’s just enough time for pub campaigners to gather together a suitable bid to buy the pub and run as community-owned. Of course, listing your local means property developers who are keen for a hassle free purchase are less likely to show interest.

As has been stated above, the local community around the New White Bull applied to their local council, as what is known as an unincorporated group, to list the pub as an asset of community value. This requires 21 signatories from the local community; in fact in this case over 400 such signatures have been received.

If you think your local pub might be under threat then you can do the same, if you are sure there are at least 20 other people who live in the community who will support you. CAMRA as an incorporated body can’t become directly part of the process but we will do all we can to advise and guide you and where appropriate provide supporting publicity. To help protect pubs from closure or architectural vandalism, Nottingham CAMRA is in the process of helping establish The Nottingham Pubs Group which will aim to keep a closer eye on developments in this area and will seek to help fight to save the fight. This is not a CAMRA group as such, although we support it, as it is aimed at the wider community and seeks to involve both interested individuals and also groups such as the Civic Society. If you are interested in getting involved with this group, or are just interested in their activities then you can email: nottinghampubsgroup@nottinghamcamra.org
Or come along to their next public meeting on Wednesday 30th October, 8pm at Fellows, Morton and Clayton – everyone is welcome.

A last word from locals who use the pub:

Here are some comments written by locals and those who live in the community in support of retaining the New White Bull as a community asset:
“We in Kimberley are reminded every day of the damage inflicted on our community by Greene King. The old brewery (ex: Hardy & Hansons) is an embarrassing blot on the landscape. Good luck.” Name withheld by request.

“I’ve been a local drinker in the New White Bull since 1968; the loss of this pub for me would be the end of an era. I have shared many happy memories with my family and my friends at the pub”. Peter Walters.
“The New White Bull is without doubt a major part of the history of Giltbrook. If you Google the New White Bull, you will find Gavin Gillespie’s page and you will see that since being built, various landlords have dedicated 20 – 30 years of their lives to ensure the pub opened its doors every day, and through two World Wars. We owe it to these gentlemen and ladies to ensure that all of the nice people of Giltbrook have a nice, friendly community pub to frequent. Hopefully by the time this goes into print, the real fate of the New White bull will be known to all and all the fictitious nonsense being written can be put where it belongs – in the trash.” Les Moreland, current landlord of the New White Bull.

“The New White Bull is the only true community pub in the Giltbrook area, where all groups are made welcome and you can get excellent real ale.” Name withheld by request.

“All three of us have recently been widowed and we would like to make the following collective statement:

“At such sad times that we have all recently experienced, a strong community spirit is needed – and each of us has found that in one place, here in the New White Bull. The staff and customers have rallied round for each of our sad losses and in every sense of the word offered us comfort and ensured our husbands names live on. We have had real ales brewed and named after two of our partners, with many thanks to the Full Mash guys; these beers were “Mr May” and “Gretton’s Gold” and both were delicious beers.

“The last bank holiday of May, a beer and music festival was held here in aid of the Hayward House Hospice and was a fantastic success. Seven bands offered their services for free and in all £1160.22 was raised.
“A Five’s Long Alley Skittles trophy was purchased and engraved in the name of Bill Thorley following a collection in the pub. An annual competition is held to win this trophy and is supported by many local skittles teams; the first competition being won by the team from the Foresters at Newthorpe.

“The New White Bull also has a Pool Team which is predominantly young adults with learning difficulties, all of whom are welcomed by the locals and encouraged to participate in all of the other activities which take place at the pub; for example fund raising, kiddie’s parties, Easter egg hunts and bonfire night spectaculars.” Ann Gretton (widow of Barry Gretton); Pauline May (widow of Alan May); Sue Thorley (widow of Bill Thorley).

“I have been using the New White Bull for over 30 years and the fact that there was a friendly local pub just around the corner, was part of the reason I moved to Giltbrook in the first place. The locals have always been friendly and welcoming. Losing the “Bull” would be a tragedy to the community.” John Whistler – a ‘local’ since 1981.

STOP PRESS: The pub has now been listed as an Asset of Community Value by Broxtowe Borough Council.



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