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Archive - Wednesday, 29 August 2012
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Pubs retain place at heart of community
THE Oxford branch of the Campaign for Real Ale has labelled Witney “unique” for managing to retain almost all its pubs over the past 30 years.
No other town of Witney’s size has retained a similar number of licensed premises over that time.
This is in stark contrast to the picture nationwide, where 4,500 pubs have closed in the past four years alone. It seems the impact of cheap supermarket booze, the recession and the smoking ban have not had such a devastating impact in Witney.
Many think it is because Witney’s population has grown so much in recent years, helping town centre pubs and bars to prosper.
People travel from all over Oxfordshire to do their shopping – and their drinking – in Witney.
But others suggest there may be something in the culture of Witney that has kept the pub trade going for so long.
It is certainly true that Witney has a strong tradition of brewing and is home to the Wychwood Brewery.
But whatever the reasons for the success may be, a thriving pub trade is certainly good news for the town.
Traditional pubs provide an important meeting place and are crucial to improving community relations. They are the soul of a town.
We hope the impressive record continues and Witney’s pubs thrive for years to come.