Local Pub News
The results of the Maldon & Dengie Pub of the Year awards have been recently announced. The Branch Pub of the Year for 2019 is the Farmers Yard in Maldon; the Maldon Brewing Company’s diminutive taproom is a firm favourite amongst locals and visitors alike. Joint runners-up were the Hurdlemakers Arms in Woodham Mortimer and the Station Arms in Southminster. The Branch Cider Pub of the Year is the Carpenters Arms in Maldon; the community backstreet local usually offers more than 20 ciders at any one time. The runner-up was the Hurdlemakers Arms. Congratulations to our award winners; we are looking forward to presenting the awards in the very near future.
Here’s some good news. The owners of the Mitre in Wickham Bishops plan to reopen the pub in April or May; they have listened to the concerns of the villagers and reversed their decision to rename it as the Mulberry Tree. They are leasing out the pub, which they say will be open for normal pub hours (lunchtime and evening), and several real ales and food will be available. The pub will also operate as a tearoom during the day to attract families.
There have been changes at the Rose Inn in Southminster. Jackie Ainger and Peter Chambers (who also own Dengie Taxis) have recently taken over as tenants of the charming roadside Gray's pub. Apparently they have some interesting plans for the future.
Gray’s have also announced that they are submitting planning applications to Maldon District Council for the development of residential properties on the site of the Sun & Anchor in Steeple. The pub has been closed since June 2017, and the pub company has reluctantly decided to take this step, because they did not think the pub would be commercially viable if it was reopened. CAMRA’s default position on public houses is to prevent closure wherever possible. However, after carefully considering the special circumstances in this case, Maldon & Dengie CAMRA decided to support Gray & Sons with their application. The village of Steeple has one well-run and popular public house, the Star. In the currently difficult trading environment, Gray & Sons needs to make decisions of this nature in order to sustain and develop their business. We believe that it is in the long-term interests of local pubgoers that Gray & Sons remains a major pub owner in our Branch area.
The Mill Beach, on the Goldhanger Road east of Heybridge Basin, has been closed since November 2018 after the tenants decided to quit. The lease has recently been advertised for sale at less than £50,000 - it is hoped that a decent tenant/pub company will decide to take on this attractively located pub, which is adjacent to the River Blackwater.
The extension to the Wibblers Brewery Tap Room and Kitchen in Southminster has been open since December, and there is now lots more room and a variety of seating in the airy bar. They recently showed the Six Nations rugby on a big screen in the brewery, which has been very successful.