For those of you who are not aware, something terrible has befallen our favourite watering hole... Dorbiere, the company that owns the Surrey, have decided not to renew Sam's contract and have not only relieved James and Sam of their duties, but given them 28 days to move out. As I'm sure you all appreciate, a pub is more than bricks and mortar: its character is derived from the people who drink there, many of whom drink in the Surrey BECAUSE of James and Sam. I know that a lot of us, myself included, rarely, if ever, stepped foot inside the Surrey before the Hardys took control. I followed them there from the Manor, and they not only oversaw the complete renovation of what was once a worn-out tip and is now probably the best arrayed pub in Glossop, but also changed the atmosphere, which is something I doubt many people thought they could achieve. The Surrey had a reputation that put people off. It was supposed to be a dive and not much fun. It was a dingy place in more ways than one, but with James and Sam behind the bar, and a real sense of community spirit installed, it has prospered during their tenure. Not only has the Surrey's appearance, atmosphere and reputation improved, but the business is booming in comparison to the trickle of trade it was able to muster before James and Sam took control. It is, in my mind and I'm sure most of yours as well, a travesty that they should be denied the opportunity to continue the good work they have been doing. It is farcical that a company operating in such a fragile industry is willing to dismiss a pair of hard-working individuals who have breathed life into a struggling business and put money in their pockets. I refuse to believe that this is a decision that has been motivated by business reasons. It is ridiculous to assume a 'fresh-face' would boost takings, when pubs live or die by the commitment of their landlords and ladies to their patrons and vice versa. James and Sam have succeeded in turning a failing business into a successful one. If the level of profit was below Dorbiere's requirements they would surely close the pub rather than have it re-staffed. For the above reasons I believe we have a chance to save the Surrey as we know it. We are not fighting against fact or a fiscal failing, but against an opinion: one I hope we can persuade Dorbiere to reconsider. I implore you to join me in what I believe to be an honourable effort. More than about the pub itself, this is about the injustice done to our friends, James and Sam. I think the only way we can truly fail is not to try at all. So get signing! Rob Nudds
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