Shock closure of Axminster pub

Axminster pub closes

THE sudden closure of another Axminster pub has left locals shocked and saddened.

Landlords Dan and Lyndsey Ecclestone called time at the Castle Inn last week – and treated their regulars to cut price drinks throughout their farewell day.

It is understood that opposition to expansion plans needed to keep the business viable prompted them to quit.

Regular Kerry Burke, a local carpenter and joiner, said they had been hounded into giving up.

Their plans to stage live music, run discos and have entertainment in the beer garden had brought complaints from neighbours, despite them bending over backwards to do what was asked of them.

“At the end of the day, they had had enough and decided to throw in the rag. I don’t blame them,” he said.

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Mr Burke paid tribute to the popular couple who had turned The Castle into a “friendly and welcoming” environment since taking over four years ago.

He said: “They worked all the hours God sends, but have been banging their heads against a brick wall, because of the noise restrictions, while other establishments have been getting away with much worse.

“They really worked so hard and I am sorry they have gone – they will be sorely missed. But, in the end, they have a young family to think about and it is probably better.”

Another regular said: “The closure came out of the blue.

“But looking at the number of people they got in there, you knew it was going to shut at some time. They have had declining numbers over the past couple of years when they started trying to increase the entertainment.

“But they imposed such stringent conditions it was not worth putting anything on.

“Neighbours even objected to noise from the beer garden.”

A spokesman for Punch Taverns who own the Castle said: “Our priority is to re-open the Castle Inn as soon as possible. We are actively recruiting a new licensee, and have received some interest.

“We look forward to working closely in partnership to build a successful, sustainable business.”