[With thanks to Jonathan for the photo]
Vikki posted this information about The Talbot on a separate thread, but it takes the story several steps further and therefore deserves a thread of its own. She wrote:
I've now had a couple of responses from Punch about The Talbot that may be of interest to people.
First response was roughly along these lines -
Agree that it is badly in need of a facelift.
They are looking to develop the pub by redecorating inside and out and also introducing food.
The current two bar operation will stay intact allowing for a bar and lounge.
The plan for illuminated signage is just bringing the current outside lighting and signs up to date.
Basically they are looking to keep a 'community pub' but presenting a better offer of food and drinks which seems to be what the community is looking for.
The improved outdoor area is a response to the need for such a facility so people can eat and drink "al Fresco" weather permitting and the need to provide outdoor facilities for smokers who won't be able to smoke inside after July.
The pub is owned by Punch but leased to someone who runs their own business on the premises. Clearly the pub needs the support of its local residents and should aim to supply them with the sort of facility they need. Therefore the best line of approach would be to talk to the landlord and ask him about his plans.
At present they don't have a start date for the works.
And then second response is from Michelle Matonti, the Business Relationship Office, who is happy to be contacted by local residents on 07770 584703.
There are no immediate plans to undertake the investment at The Talbot as they are currently carrying out essential structural works to the property and will need to complete these prior to revising what was initially proposed and subsequently submitted for planning permission.
Due to these works the overall scope of the scheme will need to be reduced to a financially agreeable level. They hope to be able to give their designers the budget that will be left by the end of next week.
They are glad that the Honor Oak has been mentioned in positive terms and they will endeavour to deliver a similar feel, albeit at a vastly reduced budget.
The comments from Punch are broadly in-line with the hopes expressed by people on this site (and others, such as Andrew Brown's), with the Honor Oak seemingly a popular precedent. The lack of commitment on timing is disappointing, but in line with what we'd already been told.