Troubled pub shuts down
A TROUBLED Malmesbury pub that was once notorious for underage drinking has shut down suddenly.
The Guild Hall Bar in Oxford Street, which had its licence suspended twice because of complaints about antisocial behaviour, closed its doors last Wednesday and it is believed the bailiffs were due to go in this week.
Owners, the Warden and Freemen are now considering the next step.
Current Warden Dave Ashford confirmed the closure. “It is because the tenancy has not been renewed and there is no licensee,” he said this week.
“I don’t know what is going to happen to it. Obviously that is down to the trustees and the Warden and Freemen. At this stage it is too early to tell.”
The Standard attempted to contact landlord Colin Pike for a comment, but he is believed to be abroad.
Last year the pub, once known as Malmesbury Youth Club because of the issue of underage drinking, had its licence suspended for a second time and its hours cut after residents complained about vandalism, harassment from drinkers and brawls in the street.
At a licensing hearing in January 2012 police said they had logged a sex assault, fights, criminal damage, drug possession and calls for ambulances to collapsed customers. The panel was told officers had to babysit the pub rather than concentrate on the rest of the town.
After the licence was suspended for staff training, a new premises supervisor was brought in and opening hours were cut. Both the Guild and the Borough Arms next door, which underwent a similar hearing, had to employ door staff.
Wiltshire Councillor Simon Killane, who gave evidence, said: “I never ever want to see any pub closing in Malmesbury. A pub closing is a tragedy.”
But he said it was a lovely building and he hoped it reopened soon “as a pub, a shop, a restaurant or whatever.”