EDIT AT A LATER DATE: the Robbins’ Well is now definitely closed and seemingly being converted into luxury flats. Read our “in memoriam” post here.
A few days ago I wrote a blog post commiserating the demise of one of my favorite Leamington pubs after discovering the building was to be sold.
Fortunately for Well-lovers, it appears that the sale has fallen through, and this has been confirmed by pub staff. I’m pretty delighted by the news, albeit still concerned that a similar sale might go ahead in the future.
This whole affair has brought home for me how much I truly love Robbins’ Well. I think until now I valued it immensely, but also took it for granted – I had this idea that it would always be there, doing its thing. Reading the deluge of comments on the blog post and on Facebook, I got the impression this was the case for other people, too. There is a lot of love for the place, from people who have been going there to drink, eat, talk, and see bands, comedy, films, theatre…
I stand by everything I wrote in my previous post. The Well is not a perfect pub, but it is of great value, and not simply for nostalgic purposes. It’s a good place to go, and a great place to run DIY events. I’m concerned for the future of DIY culture in Leamington, and about the rampant gentrification of the town. “Progress” and “regeneration” shouldn’t come at the expense of local services and affordable entertainment.
This is something we have to be actively involved in – if we leave things up to the invisible hand of the private market, the entire town will be fancy flats and upmarket cafés in just a few year’s time. At the moment Leamington is a pretty diverse and exciting for such a small place (e.g. we must have the highest density of truly excellent Indian restaurants and Polish grocers of any town for miles around) and we need to support that. We need to defend and create space for affordable eating, drinking and partying.
A lot of us were very sad to hear that the Well was to close. Now that it’s had a stay of execution, I hope that we can perhaps rally around to support it for as long as it may stay open. I saw a lot of people saying that they’d miss it, but hadn’t been there for a while – why not drop by?
And I’m going to see about booking dates for those gigs.