Village to lose its only pub as Hutton says farewell to the landmark Anchor Inn

A village is to lose its only pub after 200 years because locals failed to support it.

By Brian Ellis
Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 3:47 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 3:48 pm

The landmark Anchor Inn at Hutton will shut down at the end of October as a victim of Covid.

The Post understands the traditional alehouse is to be replaced by an American-style restaurant.

Landlord Peter Sutcliffe blamed the pandemic and a reluctance by villagers to return after lockdown as the primary cause of the shock closure.

Landlord Peter Sutcliffe outside the Anchor which will close at the end of the month.

"Covid hit us hard - it's had a huge effect on our business," he told the Post.

"Since lockdown people just haven't returned in sufficient numbers to make it profitable. It's the classic case of if you don't use it you lose it."

Peter broke the news on Facebook saying: "It is with a heavy heart we have to announce that the pub will be closing permanently at the end of October as the brewery are changing the site. We would like to thank everyone who has supported us over the past two years."

Speaking at the pub later he added: "To be honest the pub hasn't made the brewery any money for the past five or six years really.

The pub has struggled to make ends meet since Covid.

"When we took over two years ago it was doing only £2,000 a week and was on the bones of its backside. But we spent £20,000 on renovating the place and we built it up after the first lockdown to between £10,000 and £12,000 a week.

"Eat Out To Help Out helped us a lot, as it did with other businesses. But I'm sorry to say people in Hutton only want something if it's half price or cheap - not on the drink side, but certainly when it comes to food.

"The only time we filled the pub was when there were offers on. We had one where we knocked a third off and we had 70 people in. When it was full price there would be about six.

"We kept thinking things would get better once things returned to near normal, but instead it's just gone down and down.

How the Anchor - originally called the Blue Anchor - used to loo.

"We talked to the brewery and they did a few things to ease our pain. But we all came to the conclusion that it's unsustainable as a public house."

There has been an Anchor pub on the site since at least 1824 - it was originally called the Blue Anchor. The current building was put up in the 1930's.

At one time the owner built a dance hall next door - now the site of an Indian restaurant - and also constructed two rows of terraced houses in Anchor Drive for staff.

"It's such a shame the village of Hutton is losing its only pub," said Peter. "A pub is a community asset. But I'm a great believer that a community gets the pub a community deserves.

The pub could be demolished, or refurbished to make way for a new restaurant.

"I don't mean that in a nasty way. I know people's habits have changed since Covid and if we hadn't had the pandemic then I honestly think we wouldn't have been in the situation we're in now.

"We've made some great friends here and it will be sad moving on. But we just couldn't have carried on."

Peter is in the process of refurbishing the former Santander bank premises in Kirkham to open as the Kirkham Bierhaus.