Hi Aunty Pat,
We don't sell Shepherd Neame beers at present, but maybe we should get one in for old times sake! We have been in touch with SN to see if they had old pictures etc of the pub and they sent a few which I put up on our Facebook page, very interesting to see what it used to be like. /www.facebook.com/pages/Simon-the-Tanner/111870152222764.
We've lived next door to the pub for ten years now, four of which were when the pub was shut. Julie and Nigel have done a great job so far and any issues coming from the late night license wouldn't really be coming from them, but all those that congregate outside it. For instance, the windowsills of 237a's ground floor flats are mistaken for seats, which not only infringes on the owners' privacy but causes unnecessary disturbance and upset to them.
Julie and Nigel are doing everything in their power already to stop people from congregating outside the flats but have had limited success. Their commitment to running a pub that not only serves a local community but is sympathetic towards it, is being let down by a few people who fail to recognise that Long Lane is not just about pubs but homes too.
Onions would like to see a genuine commitment to resolving this issue before plans to extend the pub's opening hours are granted. In that way, Onions can continue to drink in the pub as well as live next door with happier neighbours!
So, in short, Onions thinks that STT should go ahead with the application, but delay it until enough trust has built up with the immediate community (including the residents to be of Lions Gate). By the sounds of things, a late night license isn't exactly needed as yet anyway...