Star campaign boost as pub re-opens after four years

New landlord Jimmy Singh has re-opened the Horse and Jockey pub on St Sepulchregate West, Doncaster
New landlord Jimmy Singh has re-opened the Horse and Jockey pub on St Sepulchregate West, Doncaster

The Star’s Save Our pubs campaign has received a boost after a historic Doncaster inn was brought back to life by an off licence boss.

The Horse and Jockey on St Sepulchre Gate West had been closed for four years, one of a number of sites in the borough to close.

But today it is back in business after a borough businessman stepped in to buy it out and re-open it again.

Jimmy Singh, who has bought the site, has previously run off-licences and had been originally looked at the site as a possible site for flats.

When he looked around it he decided to bring it back into business as a pub.

It had previously been owned by a pub company.

He said the bar had been closed in 2010.

He said: “My son David is a property developer. We saw the building as we passed by and saw it was up for sale. We initially wanted to develop it for accommodation and the bar was a secondary thought.

“Now we’ve got accommodation upstairs, a function room and the bar in front.

“It’s a beautiful old Edwardian building and we are keeping a lot of the character. There was a lot of water damage and it had been neglected but we have got it up and running.

“It was a beautiful building and it was sad to see it neglected.

“It’s now going to be run as a free house, as we can buy our own beer and are not toed to any brewery or chain.

“I’m a big fan of the traditional local. There used to be so many pubs in the area. I used to go to places like The Vine at Balby Bridge, and the Prince of Wales in Balby, but they have closed down .

“It was sad to see the building neglected. There was water damage and damp, and the roof needed mending, but the cellar was bone dry.”

He plans to have bands playing the venue in future.

The Doncaster branch of the real ale and pubs pressure group CAMRA is pleased with the news.

Its community pubs officer, Pete Kennedy, said: It’s really good news to hear of another pub re-opening. We’re still right bening the Star’s campaign and there is still more needing to be done.”

It is the latest boost for pubs in that part of the borough. The Star recently reported that talks were ongoing over the possibilty of a take-over of the Leopard, on West Street, by the company which runs the bars and catering and concerts at the Doncaster Dome. The Leopard closed earlier this year.

The Doncaster Star launched its Save Our Pubs campaign earlier this year because of concerns over the number of community pubs in the borough which have closed down.

The Horse and Jockey re-opening after four years represents a success for the campaign.

We have also been calling for a changes in the law to help pubs. Hundreds signed a petition we ran with CAMRA at the Doncaster Beer Festival this year, which was handed to business secretary Vince Cable by Doncaster MP Rosie Winterton, who is also backing us.

Following that move, the Government announced in the Queen’s Speech that it planned to bring in fair rent tribunals for landlords who felt they were being over charged by pub companies.

A number of Doncaster’s best known landmark pubs have closed in the last few years. They include The Drum, in Bentley, The Park, in Belle Vue and The Moon at Carcroft.

CAMRA is currently trying to get two pubs in the borough, The Corner Pin and the Little Plough, both in the town centre, listed as community assets, which would mean if plans were drawn up to change the use of the building, they would have to be informed and given the chance to put in a bid for the premises.