George Orwell's 'perfect pub' faces closure after neighbour complaints

George Orwell's 'perfect pub' faces closure after neighbour complaints

August 22, 2022

Fury as George Orwell’s ‘perfect pub’ the Compton Arms in Islington faces closure after four neighbours complained about noisy revellers and ‘piles of rubbish’ that pose danger to health

  • The Compton Arms pub in Islington inspired an essay by novelist George Orwell
  • He laid out ten points for the perfect pub including knowing customers by name 
  • Neighbours complained that the pub was a ‘public nuisance’ during lockdowns
  • Many regulars have fiercely defended the ‘class’ pub and ‘excellent’ staff online  

A 200-year-old iconic pub that inspired an Orwellian essay on the perfect boozer could face closure after four neighbours who moved in during lockdown complained about noisy revellers and ‘piles of rubbish’.

Four households living close to the Compton Arms in Islington, north London, have complained to the local council about the boozer being a public nuisance, a danger to health, it being poorly run and that licensees have no interest in communicating. 

This has resulted in Islington Council reviewing the Compton Arms’ licence.

The pub was the inspiration for George Orwell’s 1964 essay ‘The Moon Under Water’ published in the Evening Standard in which he described his perfect pub.

He laid out ten points for the perfect pub including Victorian decor, barmaids knowing the customers by name and a snack counter.

A spokesperson for the pub in Islington, north London, said: ‘I can’t begin to tell you how infuriating and frustrating these allegations are.

The Compton Arms in Islington, north London, a 200-year-old iconic pub that inspired an Orwellian essay on the perfect boozer could face closure after four neighbours who moved in during lockdown complained about noisy revellers and ‘piles of rubbish’

‘Our managers, Esther and Nikki have gone to extreme lengths for these guys, under duress, and worked their socks off to run the pub considerately and exceptionally – in spite of some more than challenging behaviour from some of the four complainants.

‘The pride these two and the rest of our team take is a joy for us as owners.

‘We are tremendously proud of them, as we are of Belly in our kitchen, and of course our loyal customers.

‘Post-Covid periods have seen a lot of pubs go through similar situations.

‘A minority get used to the quiet then decide the pub that’s been there since the 1800’s, that is an asset of community value, is now a nuisance… It makes me want to cry. We need your help.’

Furious punters raged about the nimby neighbours online, fiercely defending the ‘excellent’ staff and management of the ‘class’ pub.

Erasure’s Andy Bell said: ‘To quote my rather good email, “four neighbours who have got used to silence in the Covid lockdowns shouldn’t take precedence over an institution whose rebirth and good health we should all be celebrating”.

‘Don’t let the b******s grind you down guys.’

Marcella Mullen said: ‘My husband asked me to marry him in your pub! We have 4 grown up children – three live in the area!

‘They all go to The Compton… we all visit when we are down and it’s the very best pub!

‘I love your pub… good luck. I will definitely email the licensing department. Love and kindness.’

Andy Kelly said: ‘Live round the corner and never had a bad word to say about this pub and their staff.

‘To those making the complaints – don’t buy a house next to a pub if you don’t like it.’

James Dyson said: ‘Imagine moving in next door to a pub then complaining about the pub being there. Truly a cursed country. The Compton Arms is class and the staff/management are excellent.’ 

Victoria said: ‘I’m so sorry that’s awful news. Why move next to a pub if you are gonna complain.’

 

Furious punters raged about the nimby neighbours online. One said: ‘Oh, and don’t buy a house next to a pub and then complain about said pub’

Lydia Wilson said: ‘If you’re an Islington resident, please help save the Compton Arms! Genuinely one of the best pubs in London and the inspiration behind Orwell’s The Moon Under Water.

‘Oh, and don’t buy a house next to a pub and then complain about said pub.’ 

Sue Rogers spoke of her shock when hearing of the complaints: ‘What?! The pub was there waaaay before they were… why buy/rent whatever a property near a pub!?

‘The sense of some peoples’ entitlement is unbelievable. I have some advice for them… don’t like it? Move. Or better still don’t move their in the first place!’

Reva Kan said: ‘I lived very close, never had any complaints, just emailed. good luck.’

Peter Erskine: ‘I got you. Wouldn’t have gotten through Covid without the hospitality that you all showed the entire community.’

Henrietta said: ‘Haven’t been in for ages as I no longer live nearby but will pop in over the weekend and then email on Monday.’

Islington Council has been contacted by MailOnline for comment.

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