Well it’s no laughing matter for Aged in Oak Wine Company owners Emma Bailey and Alex Buxton after they discovered a long-forgotten covenant which has halted their business.
Business in Garstang was going so well, the partners decided they wanted to buy 21 Market Place after originally renting. But after their solicitors dug into the property’s history they uncovered the hangover from hell.
Now forced to move out, the couple say they’re baffled by their discovery.
Emma said: “We’ve been here for four years and we’ve really been embraced by the community and have a really lovely customer base.
“Things were going really well so we thought it would be better paying in to a mortgage rather than rent and so looked into buying the place.
“That’s when we discovered the covenant.”
Other top stories - Pensioner not guilty of death by dangerous driving
Emma and Alex hired Blackburn solicitors Farley’s and one of its lawyers found the covenant after a “thorough search”.
“We had to stop trading straight away and closed two weeks ago as we look to move somewhere else,” Emma said. “It’s so strange - the one thing that could get in the way of our business just happens to exist over our building.
“We don’t want to move away from Garstang and we’re looking for somewhere else on High Street.”
Landlord of the property, 83-year-old Gerald Moore from Preston, says he wasn’t aware of the covenant.
He said: “It was a big surprise to me! I bought the property 40 years ago and used it as an opticians. I’m sad to see them go because we always got on really well and I wish them the best of luck in their new venture.”
Other top stories - Lancashire doctor found guilty of £24k NHS fraud