Goodbye, Goodbye We're leaving now, goodbye...we wish you all goodbye - Nigel Marsh says goodbye after eight eventual years at March pub
PUBLISHED: 10:59 03 June 2019
Publican Nigel Marsh who won £25,000 compensations from Cambridgeshire Police for an incident that happened when he took over Georges in March is quitting the pub after eight years.
"It is now time to say 'goodbye'", said Mr Marsh who will close the pub on Saturday with the group Whiskey Twist as his "swansong".
In 2011 police got involved in a dispute over control of the pub and as Mr Marsh went to take over, they forcibly stopped and arrested him. He was subsequently cleared and later received an apology and compensation.
Now Mr Marsh is heading off to Norfolk where he has completed refurbishing a small seaside complex of holiday rentals.
He said: "I have laughed, cried, listened, been agony aunt, mourned and loved Georges and Georges' people," he said.
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"I have had the best eight years ever. I have loved and will miss the many, many personalities that made Georges a community pub regular and non-regular faces that brought a silent smile as they walked through the door many of them sharing their heartaches and life's turbulent experiences with Georges.
"I set live music and quality food as Georges USP yet music and Food, in the end, was the death of us as poor attendance and increased costs resulted in Georges losing its edge based on my inability to give Georges the time it demands as I can no longer afford such luxuries."
Mr Marsh said it seemed to be an ongoing fight throughout his time at the pub with "battles of: eviction, arrest, re-arrest, application to remove my license, FDC health and safety, electrical notices, noise safety notices, planning validation notices, DPPO violation, battles with the Summer Festival, Battles with St Georges Fayre committee and food safety risk scores.
"These were just a few battles I fought on a regular basis, many of them carrying financial and possible imprisonment risks. Trying to run a business in March is simply too much of an uphill struggle."
He said the financial risks to a publican from the authorities, from the police, from the council and physical risks from individuals in the high street "were too great, I'm told by my children and they are probably right".
Mr Marsh added: "A publican has to work hard to sell the drink/food we promote. We interact, we sell, we clean, and we create theatre and all for a few pence per customer. I bow to all independent publicans as the skill set required to succeed is huge and our pubs just take and consume any spare time we have."