Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Penpont Pub


Now


Then



“Few things are more pleasant than a village graced with a good church, a good priest and a good pub.”

John Hillaby

By such definitions Penpont is now a poorer place. I have been told that the Leasks who own the village pub, the Volunteer Arms, have written to the village council informing it that they now do not intend to re-open the Volunteer Arms. Indeed, the pub sign has been taken down and the optimistic notice implying reopening after alterations has been replaced by a bolder one simply stating 'Closed for Business'.

The Volunteer Arms has been trading in Penpont for many hundreds of years and has always played a vital part in the life of the community. I would have made few friendships in the village if it wasn't for the pub and I am sad for others who might come to the village and not have this opportunity.

I have little idea what reasoning has led the Leasks to abandon previous commitments and promises made in print and person to reopen the pub. There are many stories of incidents, accusations and counter-accusations, but I cannot speak as to the truth of any of them. I think it would be safe to say that the Leasks' stewardship has witnessed many dramas but, more importantly, a steady leakage of support in the village. In a sense what has happened is a logical conclusion to what has gone before: the pub, it seems to me, has been closing for a long time. Perhaps the owners who are, after all, property developers with no extended experience in the hospitality trade, made a poor decision taking on the running of a village pub. I would hope they might find a buyer for it, so that it might be reopened.

In the meantime speculation is rife. The latest rumour to reach my ears is that the Vollie is to be sold to a family from Glasgow and converted to an Indian Restaurant. It's probably not true, but it would be an improvement on the current situation.

9 comments:

hope said...

Sometimes change is a sad thing.

But you keep getting famous, Mr. Poet, and perhaps you and your poetic pals could claim it and reopen it yourselves. :)

I know, I keep seeing the glass as half full. ;)

Danish dog said...

You should start a petition on Facebook, Shug. I'd sign anyway.

Titus said...

Oh pants. I might not have used it much but it was always good to know it was there.

I can't actually see a good outcome for this other than the family from Glasgow. I rather like the sound of an Indian restaurant in Penpont. Though not right now, as I fear the virus has blown up from your place to ours.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps they are more clever than you think!!! Lot of house for the money, some say it was their agenda all along............

Anonymous said...

whit a wee shame, must be pure deid horrid to be the centre o so much dislikit bad feelin. Well Penpunt will soon be nae mare than a dormitory for thornhill or even Dumfries fur tha matter!. We are left wi a wee village shop, a garage that disnae sell petrol. tea room recently under new management, a post office till the government get their way and shut them aw. An dinae furget the global "Business Micros" Computers arnay the only thing that uses windaes. Prey they folks dinae decide to relocate as weel. Aye Shug thou can be sure o this - Sad times fur Penpont. I maybe didnae use it (Yon Pub that wus) but am sure sad tae lose it.

Anonymous said...

Bring on the curry hoose fae the curry capital o europe. At last a decent takeaway in the area. Ma mooths waterin awreedy

Anonymous said...

Dark days for the village, total collapse of the community sad times have come to a village that is famous for its hospitality .

douglaspatterson said...

When we first thought about coming to Penpont we were told not to buy our house (why) that there would be nothing for us the locals are hard work to much hassle, noise, no parking at your door, drunks and also the gala was a nightmare etc. Being a local lad and born and bred in Thornhill and having worked for a Penpont company and for Penpont folk and also playing for the local football team then Glenmarlim AFC and also having attended many of the galas myself I knew that this was not the case.Penpont and its folk have always been held in the highest regard wherever you go .We as our own wee family moved into penpont after living in dumfries for sixteen years and yes we could be known as outsiders!!! it has been quite the contrary .We as a family have worked hard to be part of the community of this humble wee toon as I like to call it.My own approach to living in penpont is that if I want to live here and really enjoy all the attributes that come with it, then you!! have to make the effort from helping put up the gala tent,having your tea at the church and also the tearoom,supporting the local shop etc, talking to people !!! too them not at them,embracing the local folk and who they are and from whatever walk of life its a simple approach and a honest one.
As for my own experience being part of the local football team and making friends for life has for me been a privilege .The support that the community has shown my wifes business has also been nothing short of fantastic you just cant expect that to happen you have to make the effort.Now I am not telling anyone how to suck eggs here I am far from perfect myself !!! but for me the closure of the pub has been a very sad loss to us all. As for myself I was never its best customer but I feel that I did my bit as did everyone right from when we first came here and the pub then under the ownership of the Anderson family and then onto the leask family.It is now a shame to see people against each other and who has done what,said what,claims and counter claims bla bla bla and also a community split down the middle . All this I ask you when we as folk from our community and our country should be sticking together people are loosing their jobs and their homes,paying to much for oil,gas, fuel taxes etc fighting cancer and other illnesses its doom and gloom but there is or should be one place to air your views express yourself have a debate,have a laugh and make you feel better!!!!! Where your local pub. Well I have said my piece!!! and do hope that I have not offended anyone I am also not taking sides . I would just like everyone to get on appreciate what we have and who we have and make the most of it life is short to short for some!! good luck

fontico said...

As regular visitors to Penpont We've got to know most of the villagers through only one point of call - The Pub - and a good cosy one it was.
We will now meet no one, know nothing about village life - which was fascinating and will probably stop going to Penpont altogether.
This whole affair is a disgrace - and no, an Indian is not an alternative - I want a drink not a bloody poppadom!
Signed an ex-tourist.