Determined Tebworth villagers are claiming their community spirit is stronger than ever, after a last-minute bid dashed their chances of buying their only village pub.
The Queen’s Head, Tebworth, was sold at Cheffins, Cambridge, on behalf of brewery Charles Wells Ltd for £272,000, as the pub was bought by an 11th-hour bidder on September 27.
A consortium of investors from the village attended the auction, described as a “nerve-wracking experience”, along with three of the campaign supporters.
One investor claimed: “We don’t know who bought it!
“We bid up to £220,000 and we thought we had it, but at the last moment another bidder started bidding against us and the price rose.
“We were pragmatic about it; at the end of the day - we’d got what we’d got and for a village to raise so much was quite an achievement.
“However, we feel aggrieved that Charles Wells said we had not supported landlord, Colin Edwynn.
“We had tried to work with them to improve the pub and spent time and money.
“The LPG gas supply was declared unsafe and cut off in 2015 due to a faulty valve.
“Since then there has been no heating in the pub except open fires - and the villagers still went - sitting in winter coats and Colin, in his 80s, had no heating! Surely they could have paid for a new gas valve?
“It also had a dilapidated kitchen and the interior was poor.
“We feel that if Charles Wells had any community commitment, they would have entered into a dialogue with the village; we would have been happy to work with them to improve the pub.
“We are now regrouping to look at what we can achieve; we’ve got our village show in December and we also hope to open a micro-shop.
“What we’ve got out of this is a tight sense of community - worth more than buying bricks and mortar.”
Charles Wells Ltd had no comment to make, but confirmed that the site had been sold to a private buyer for £272,000.