Farmers Arms owners speak out against pub campaign
15:44 04 June 2014
Owners say they have been ‘living a nightmare’ as future of the pub in Woolsery remains uncertain.
THE owners of a pub in Woolsery have spoken out against a campaign to ‘save’ the Farmers Arms saying its future is still uncertain.
Last week, the Gazette reported how villagers had backed a campaign started on Facebook to push for the repair and reopening of the dilapidated pub.
But Allan and Jennie Lindsay, who bought the pub in 2004, said the past three years had been ‘a nightmare they wish they could wake up from’.
The couple ran the pub successfully for six years, before a turn in Mrs Lindsay’s health left them having to sell the Farmers Arms on doctor’s orders.
“Jennie worked a minimum of 80 hours a week, and only had three nights off in six years; she put her heart and soul into it,” said Mr Lindsay.
“But it got too much and the doctor told her she had to stop or it would finish her off.”
The pub was leased out on several occasions but was making no money, culminating in it closing its doors in December 2012.
Mr Lindsay, who left his job as an executive at BT in Liverpool to move to North Devon 21 years ago, said he felt people had boycotted the pub when it was open.
“We didn’t want this to happen – this was supposed to be our investment for our retirement and for our children,” he said.
“Why would anyone invest half-a-million into buying and refurbishing a business just to let it fall into disrepair on purpose? Logic dictates they simply would not.
“We have done nothing wrong; these were circumstances beyond our control.
“If people want their pub back so badly, why did they not use it when it was open?”
The couple confirmed work was ongoing to repair the building and they were in the process of raising funds to repair the roof.
As for the future, Mr Lindsay said he wanted the couple to focus on ‘getting better’ before making a decision on the outcome.
“We want to make the right decision and right now this has driven us to despair and we’re not in a good place to do that,” added Mrs Lindsay.