MORE pubs in Whitby will close down because of crippling brewery costs and rises in tax, warns the former landlord of a town boozer.
Tim Darrington spoke out as he planned to move out of the Little Angel pub in Flowergate after declaring himself bankrupt.
He and wife Rose, who has been involved in the pub trade all her life, owed £75,000 after ploughing their savings and credit cards into the ailing pub.
They went to court at the beginning of last month and the pub was closed down but re-opened a week later with temporary management.
Mr Darrington said when he and Rose, a former receptionist at the Whitby Gazette, took over the pub in August 1995 under Tetley it was a good earner but changes in the pub trade over recent years were too much to overcome.
He said: “There have been lots and lots of changes since 1995 – tax, VAT, everything has conspired.
“I still believe the Government is trying to kill the pub industry.
“The price of beer will be up 50 pence by Christmas and the smoking ban certainly hurt everybody and supermarkets don’t help because beer is so cheap.”
The Little Angel, under the Darringtons, was instrumental in the establishment of the Goth weekends and was thriving with a darts team, racing syndicate and football predictors.
Mr Darrington said: “The Goth weekends started at the Elsinore but it got that big there were too many for them to cope with.
“The next port of call was here.
“The previous licensee didn’t want them but we welcomed them with open arms.
“We have had 5,000 hits on the website from the Goths when they found out we were coming out and the number of cards we have got is ridiculous.”
The other hits with customers during their time at the Little Angel were the monthly parties which saw them having a barbecue in January when it was snowing and Harry Potter parties with people getting dressed up.
The one thing he regrets not doing was throwing a Christmas lunch with the tree, turkey and trimmings in June.
But despite the good times the increasing running costs became too much and the couple had to admit earlier this year enough was enough.
He said: “We haven’t kept the bankruptcy a secret, it has happened over the last couple of years as trade has gone down.
“We put all our money back into it, credit card money and we couldn’t afford to pay out and we just said it is time to go to court – they wiped £75,000 off just like that in three minutes.
“It has been hard these last 10 days and I just hope the right people get the pub.”
Despite leaving the pub, the Darringtons will be staying in Whitby.
A spokesperson for Punch Taverns said: “The Little Angel is currently being run by a temporary operator, while we actively recruit a new licensee who we look forward to working in partnership with.”