Last night I visited my brother who lives in Leicestershire. He lives in Littlethorpe but we walked across the railway line into Narborough. The Narborough Arms is a large imposing pub with a large outside drinking area. Inside it has many nooks and crannies with a TV visible from most areas. Being a darts fan I did not object to watching some of the Betfair World Matchplay Championships but I did object to the beer quality. Firstly, I had a pint of Charles Wells Bombardier. This was clearly off and the barman insisted it was fresh on yesterday. He sampled it and grudgingly agreed it wasn't very nice but still insisted it was fresh on whilst pouring me an alternative choice (Sharp's Doom Bar). This was OK but far from a perfect pint. The whole pub was scruffy though and unwlecoming. It had the Cask Marque sign which is usually an encouraging sign but with the poor beer quality I wonder how recently this was awarded to them. Altogether, not a very nice pub.
CAMRA constantly quote how the pub industry is suffering and cite the number of closures to back up their case. I always wonder how many of the closures are pubs such as the Narborough Arms. Badly run businesses will always struggle to survive and clearly this is one such example. Pubs are closed for a number of reasons but in most cases it will be because they are deemed to be economically unviable. Why is this though? Some pubs can be revived simply by a change of ownership. Pub companies are often to blame though. They increase rents on a regular basis until it becomes impossible for anyone to make a decent living from it. What is important is to campaign against people or companies who apply for a change of use. A pub is bought as a pub and if someone cannot make a profit from it then they should sell it as a pub and let someone else try. Eventually we will hopefully have a few less pubs like the Narborough Arms and a country full of pubs where it is a pleasure to visit and enjoy a pint in. Let's all drink to that.