Southern Hampshire CAMRA Press Release

For Immediate Release 04/04/2003
Not So Jolly Sailor: Disastrous Plans Approved For Historic Pub

The grade II listed Jolly Sailor public house, Land's End Road, Old Bursledon was yesterday dealt a devastating blow when plans for the destruction of its historic interior were approved.

Despite a campaign by the pub's locals together with CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, officials at Eastleigh Borough Council recommended that the proposals be approved, and last night the Bursledon, Hamble and Hound Local Area Committee voted in favour of this recommendation.

The pub's owners, Dorset brewers Hall & Woodhouse, now have permission to rip out the two existing bars and replace them with a new single bar in another part of the building. This will result in the complete destruction of the pub's character and traditional feel. The front (riverside) room of the pub will have its bar completely removed, destroying its atmosphere totally.

South Hampshire CAMRA branch chairman Ian Black said, "This is devastating news. Nobody other than Hall & Woodhouse wants these changes. The local residents don't want it; the pub's regulars don't want it; the Parish Council voted unanimously against it; over 800 people have signed a petition saying they don't want it; there were at least 40 letters of objection to the council about these plans and not one letter in favour; Government guidelines on listed buildings show that these plans should never have been accepted - yet somehow the planners and the local committee, who are supposed to represent the people, have reached a different conclusion. I am at a loss to explain how such overwhelming opposition to such destructive plans can produce this result."

He added: "The plans for the interior amount to ripping the heart out of the pub. It's part of the local heritage and, particularly given its listed building status (which includes the interior), the owners and the planning authorities have a duty to preserve it in its current form. They have failed utterly in this regard. The case officer's presentation was biased; the councillors were clearly not interested in what we had to say and appeared to have made up their minds before the meeting even took place. One councillor even made a joke out of the situation, and the case officer said that government guidelines that should have prevented this travesty were "quoted out of context". It was a depressing farce."

Mr Black continued, "This appalling decision makes a mockery of the planning process and of the idea that listed building status confers any sort of protection. The rape of our country's heritage is being allowed to continue in the pursuit of a fast buck despite extremely strong local, national and international opposition. Two bar pubs are becoming increasingly rare and the Jolly Sailor is a particularly special example known the world over. This is a very sad day indeed."

Background Information

The Jolly Sailor is located on the banks of the River Hamble. It was built in 1713, has been a pub since 1845 and is a Grade II Listed building. The pub is in the Good Pub Guide and has been listed in the Good Beer Guide. The pub is also located in a conservation area. The Jolly Sailor's reputation is widespread, greatly enhanced in the 1980s when it featured prominently in the highly popular BBC TV series "Howard's Way".

For Further Information

Southern Hampshire CAMRA website:

The website contains all campaign details and digital photos of the inside of the Jolly Sailor. Please feel free to make use of these photographs and/or the high resolution (2400x1800 pixels) versions that are also available there.