I found the contents of Mr Ward's letter absolutely incredible, indeed almost every statement made concerning the village was diametrically opposed to the truth.
When Roger Ward and a business partner bought the pub in the early nineties they did so in the clear knowledge that the village was prepared, and had put the money together, to buy the pub to ensure its continuation. This was only after a lot of hard work by a number of people in the village, superbly led by the late John Augar. I was the District Councillor at the time the pub was closed and called a public meeting, which was the most heavily attended public meeting in the village during my more than 33 years' residence. At that meeting John Augar was appointed to lead out campaign to save the pub and it was agreed that the planning application made by Charles Wells to change the pub to a house should be universally opposed. Such was the strength of that opposition that the District Council refused Charles Wells' application out of hand.
I believe Roger is correct in that there were three offers for the pub including the one from himself and his colleague, but the others were from a former pub owner who was looking for new premises, and from the village itself. I believe that the village offer was the best, but after discussions within the village it was felt better that the pub should be owned and run by an individual wholly committed to its success, rather than a manager appointed by a village committee. The village therefore withdrew its offer, leaving Roger and his colleague a clear run.
I could go on and respond to the rest of the points made in Roger's letter but this would just be invidious and serve no useful purpose. Suffice it to say that Roger, although generally declining to take part in village life, always seemed to expect that villagers had an obligation to flock to his pub, no matter how rude he was to them and despite whatever barriers he put in the way of them enjoying themselves when they did go there for a drink.
David Easthope, Thriplow