I am at a complete loss to describe my feelings at the closure of the Lamb & Flag in St Giles.

It’s a complete disgrace that a college of the standing of St John’s has called last orders on a public house that has been a hostelry since 1613. Those who made this decision clearly have little or no idea about the hospitality or pub trade in this country and the circumstances that has befallen it and its long suffering customers.

Covid-19 has basically closed pubs throughout Oxfordshire and in running two of them, I should know.

Read again: Historic Lamb & Flag pub is to close

The past 10 months have been abysmal but I have not thrown the towel in just yet because we have time on our side. So why are St John’s calling time gentlemen please?

High on their agenda will be a conversion to flats and the lucrative rent from students which is probably five times the value of the existing pub tenant who cant afford to pay his rent like many of us that have zero income just now.

Oxford Mail:

What of course the Governing Body of Professors and Honorary Fellows of St John’s College have failed to recognise is the quote from CAMRA’s Dave Richardson that St John’s will need planning permission for change of use and there is a national government edict lodged with Britain’s planning offices that licensed premises must be protected at all times in order to save Britain’s ailing pub industry.

So like many of Oxfordshire’s pubs that have closed in the past, I expect the Lamb & Flag to be boarded up for the foreseeable future which will see the college gain absolutely nothing from this prized location.

I predict this is not last orders at the Lamb & Flag and the doors will in time reopen at this historic drinking venue. Lets raise a glass to it?

Nick Duval

The Highwayman Hotel