'Save our pub'

HUNDREDS of regulars at a pub in the heart of Brixington have signed a petition over fears they could lose their local forever.

HUNDREDS of regulars at a pub in the heart of Brixington have signed a petition over fears they could lose their local forever.More than 300 regulars of The Farmhouse Inn, Churchill Road have put pen to paper, appealing to the brewery, The Hungry Horse, over a planned 'child-friendly' revamp.The Farmhouse Inn is a popular haunt for sports fans who watch events on the big screens and has a growing reputation for poker nights.But some pub customers fear the changes, which include gaming machines, the relocation of the pool table possibly into the restaurant and the transformation of much of the floor space to cater for family eating would have 'a devastating affect' on its atmosphere.One regular, who did not wish to be named, said it was the only pub for 8,000 people and should cater for everyone - not just families.He said: "The Farmhouse is a local community pub and restaurant, not an arcade. "The noise that the banks of gaming machines would produce would not be conducive to a relaxing atmosphere, but quite the opposite."It would limit the pub's ability to comfortably cater for those wishing to have a quiet drink with friends, deter supporters coming in to watch sporting events and also the growing number of drinkers frequenting the pub on Poker Thursday."He said the 'most damaging' change would be to make the entire pub child-friendly by encouraging children to 'support your local team' in a drinking environment. "Despite the fact that I have three children and use the child-friendly restaurant, I feel... that by allowing children into the lounge area, up to the bar, access to the lower bar and encouraging them into the main sports event would have severe and irreversible ramifications. "The lounge area is used by the more elderly patrons and those enjoying a quiet drink - 'quiet' and 'children' are words rarely used together. "The public bar is used primarily by slightly younger drinkers - maybe like myself - looking to escape the 'kids' for a time and to enjoy the banter and passion generated in the pub during major sporting events."Town manager Tony Collins said: "While I have had no direct communication with the brewery, I support the fact that The Farmhouse is a very community-based pub catering for the whole community, people of all ages."The Hungry Horse, were contacted but, at the time of going to press, had not responded.The landlady also declined to comment.l Have your say at www.exmouthjournal.co.uk