Friday, 14 December 2007

Queen's head - a sensible result?

I understand that the Queen's Head's appeal to magistrates this morning was successful. However, the original aim of a closing time of (I believe) 01.20 Thursdays to Saturdays was withdrawn at the original hearing, and today's success was for something in the region of 30 minutes for part of the week.
Why am I reminded of a comment below?


david said...

Paul - the original application was amended at the request of the Suffolk Constabulary, who wanted to harmonise closing times at the Queens Head with the Dog and Partridge less than 200 metres away along Bridewell Lane. Both will now close at 00.30 on Fridays and Saturdays and after the 'congregations' have dispersed, Officers can move up Churchgate Street towards those bars which close later. This includes the So Bar in Hatter Street at 01.30.

The recent So Bar review (more public expenditure) resulted in only minor changes to their consent and hasn't impacted on the viability of their business.

As you know, St Edmundsbury Borough Council didn't attend yesterday's hearing, thus saving the local taxpayers further expense. Their 'noise abatement officer' was satisfied with 01.00 as the end time for the playing of recorded music and that was amended by one hour on 30 August. There was, therefore, no reason for the borough to come along yesterday.

You were absent yourself and I know this disappointed those of your electors who look to you to lead them back into the Dark Ages.

One of the speakers yesterday referred to the 'Old Days' which mirrored my comment on your original post on this application in August, which was something like: The Good Old Days when the Sun shone every day, ice-creams were bigger, and the pubs shut at 11 o'clock.

In Cheshire 40 years ago that was 10.30, so anyone leaving The Bridge Inn in Dane Road, Sale, near the Lancashire border - are you reading this Ryan? - would need to move quickly if they were to arrive at Jackson's Boat (that's the name of a pub just over the river in Chorlton-cum-Hardy) before last orders were called at 11.

To complete the geography lesson, 'the river' is the Mersey, which marked the old border between the two counties until 31 March 1974. It's quite a narrow river here and nothing like the vast width it achieves before entering the Irish Sea between Liverpool and Birkenhead.

Back to the Queens Head. I'm pleased for Jan Rutherford. She is a kind person and doesn't deserve the treatment she has received from some people. I'd rather be on her side than that of the Minister of Vomit.

Paul F said...

David - I am puzzled by your suggestion that it was the police who reduced the QH application and not you on seeing your opposition. I seem to remember Sgt Henthorn being as surprised as the rest of us by your announcement. He was on duty elsewhere until 5am this morning and should be safely tucked up by now, so I'll have to wait to check. However, his letter of objection does seem to conflict with your harmonisation theory:

"It should be noted that the nearest Public House to The Queens Head is the Dog and Partridge and their opening hours are as follows:

Sunday to Thursday 11am - 23:20
Friday to Saturday 11am - 00:30

At the present time, due to the staggered closing time of licensed premises within Bury St Edmunds, appropriate policing can be maintained which allows the Police to reduce the potential of Disorder. Since November 2005 there has been a reduction in alcohol related crime within Bury St Edmunds."

It's not so much that I was absent yesterday, than there was no reason for me to be present.

Your "Dark Ages" reference is funny. It's good to know you recognise my leadership qualities. Now that this spate of reviews (what is the collective noun - 'round'?!) is over I can return to trying to convene a meeting between licensees and residents.

I have searched this site for the "Good Old Days" reference and cannot find it. Can you? My version was living in central London from 1969-1972, leaving the Queens Arms at 11pm closing time ( going with friends to eat at a Wimpy type cafe (avoiding Gloucester Road station's notorious WCs) before walking home across Waterloo bridge. During that time I saw only one ugly incident.

david said...

Paul - I didn't mention any police officer in particular but the Suffolk Constabulary as a body. I wouldn't have recommended an amendment otherwise but kept to the original hours and trusted to the Magistrates on Appeal.

I was only instructed 8 days before the original hearing and I spent the next week familiarising myself with the local situation overall - including a 05.00 site visit on the Saturday morning to observe the 05.30 noisy Biffa collection from the fish restaurant and the noodle bar.

It struck me as odd - and still does - that the CAA isn't seeking to persuade both to follow the good example set by the Queens Head and have their collections after 07.00 by SEBC. This could gain an extra 90 minutes shuteye for local residents.

The documentation had been distributed days before so my first opportunity to amend the Application was at the Hearing itself.

As I was reading from a written list, I'm not able to comment on any change in expression on the face of the craggy good-looking Steve Henthorn.

The issue for the police is Friday and Saturday and your recital seems to bear that out. However, I do agree that staggered closing hours is better but it would be logical for the Dog & Partridge to close first as it is the furthest away from the exact town centre. It is, in addition, outside the purple dotted line which donates the commercial central area whereas the Queens Head is inside this line.

Closing times for the remaing 5 days is largely theoretical but is there as an option. Harriets Tea Rooms, for example, is licensed to midnight although the pianist must cease at 17.30(17.00 on Sundays) even if wearing a white sport coat.

I'm pleased to hear that you weren't in hiding yesterday. You might have won the day with your eloquence and natural charm. Two of the three Magistrates were female and you are so much better with the ladies than I could ever be. I'm more at ease with the blokey-bloke stuff.

Collective noun - how about 'rash'? Even more appropriate: nasty rash of reviews. What a waste of money.

david said...

Paul - as you have removed your post of Monday 27 August 2007 titled 'The Week Ahead' no wonder you can't find all my comments.

I did at the time take the precaution of printing it off as many local bloggers have spotted your tendency to alter your posts. You are naughty!

Paul F said...

Try clicking on Previous Website Posts on the main menu. An early comment directs you to the comment you made. Its been there all the time.

I rarely censor, change or delete. I have had to a little because of complaints being made behind my back (isn't that feeble?). Very occasionally I temper one of my own rasher comments.

At least I get quoted in the Magistrates Court, so someone must be reading all this.