This post is for locals really who might have read the Camden New Journal last week. The article states that I thought purchasing the pub was an opportunity too good to miss. Although it makes some other really valid points, I didn’t say this and it’s not how I feel. Doug and I have spent the last 5 months constantly questioning whether it is a good idea to try to buy the freehold following Greene King telling us they would be selling it. It is an insane amount of debt to get into, but at the heart of each conversation was the risk to us if we didn’t buy it; not the opportunity for us if we did. Pub leases are written on the side of the brewery, that’s a fact. Back in 2004, our lawyer warned us that the lease was heavily biased on the side of the landlord, but we knew it was accept the terms or walk, so we went for it anyway, as most people getting into the pub business in this way do.
If we don’t buy the pub, there is a very real chance that a new landlord could change the terms of our lease to make the business unviable. That is what has happened time and time again when freeholds have changed hands, with rent increases being untenable and the leaseholders being effectively pushed out. The Landlord and Tenants Act only goes so far.
The primary reason for us wanting to buy The Hawley is to protect the business that we have spent the last 14 years building. We have loved this pub from the beginning and want to keep creating new memories for years to come. This campaign runs alongside our continued efforts to raise more personal finance, on top of the loans we have already secured, to reach our ultimate goal of buying the freehold and securing the Hawley’s future. We are so grateful for the rewards purchased so far and all the notes of support, thank you so much.