Campaigners are hoping their community pub has not enjoyed its last hurrah after it ceased trading on Monday (January 25) following a weekend of fun.
The Centurion Community Action Group is fighting proposals that would see The Centurion in Vicars Cross demolished, with a 64-bed care home built in its place.
The latest planning application is a resubmission after the original scheme was rejected by Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC).
Among the reasons for refusal last time was that it had ‘not been sufficiently demonstrated that the public house is financially unviable’.
Trevor Jones, chair of the action group, is suspicious Admiral Taverns’ decision to close The Centurion is to ‘add weight to their argument that the pub is not financially viable’. But Admiral insists it had no choice after the pub management company running the pub gave notice of their intention to quit the contract.
The last night of trading saw many locals gather at the pub to say their farewells.
And on Friday (January 22), regulars held an early celebration in commemoration of Burns Night (January 25).
A great night was had by all thanks to Scottish hosts Ian Dempsey and Ian Cook. The usual Burns Night fare was on offer and outgoing licensees Jamie and Sandra and staff did ‘a great job’.
The evening brought together the remaining members of Chester sixties pop group ‘Jeannie and the Big Guys’.
Pub lover Arthur Brighton said: “Sadly ‘Jeannie’ (Rita Hughes) and Geoff (Docker) Dawson are no longer with us but Owen Ricketts, Terry Lynch and Dave Jones and Geoff Dawson’s daughter Sharon Wallace joined us and swapped many memories.”
He said Sharon, herself a well known local singer, did a spot during the evening which was ‘enjoyed by everyone’. There was also a raffle with one lucky reveller winning a set of bagpipes.
Arthur added: “How this pub will be missed by the locals is hard to explain. It has been the hub of the community for 50 years this year and holds so many memories for the people of Vicars Cross and Chester but alas not for the owners Admiral Taverns, a so called community pub company who have sold it to another company subject to planning permission being granted to build a care home on the site.”