IAN HART: Bright future ahead for our pubs

Ian Hart
Ian Hart

One of the things the much-missed and often much-maligned Margaret Thatcher is allegedly responsible for is the wholesale changes to the brewing industry which, in turn, saw a number of pubs close.

In the past few years Worthing has unfortunately seen some closures, with the likes of The Dolphin, The Wigmore, The Clifton, The Jolly Brewers, The Globe and most recently The Elms shutting their doors for the final time.

While there is a tendency to get all dewy-eyed, pubs close quite simply because people stop using them, and that can be for a multitude of reasons.

Thankfully, that trend has been bucked, firstly last year with Greg Grundy re-opening the Egremont in Brighton Road, which within in a year has become one of Worthing’s most popular pubs and a key venue in the local music scene, and now one of the town’s most iconic pubs has re-opened its doors after a long period of closure.

As a boy growing up in Worthing, The Castle was the epitome of what a proper English pub should be.

Nothing fancy, nice and clean, a decent landlord, the late, great Michael Brennan, and a loyal customer base.

Since turning 18 in 1982 I’ve probably only drunk there sporadically, but each times it was everything a pub should be.

It closed its door a couple of years ago and the future looked bleak, but, like the Eggie, that has all changed.

Under the ownership of Steve Bennett, who has a tried and tested track record in the industry, and the managership of Chris Pobjoy, who like Steve, has seen it, done and got the T-shirt in the pub game, the Castle is now back open for business, with a bright future.

Real ales, live music, good food. Well worth a visit.

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