VILLAGERS are urging people to join them in their fight to keep a 500-year-old pub open.
Former punters of The George in Maulden have launched a campaign to keep the village pub open after it was sold to a developer last year.
The building is a Grade II listed building and is in a conservation area, but villagers now fear it is going to be turned into housing.
Phil Allen, who is leading the battle with fellow campaigner Philip Davies, said: “The pub was a real hub of the village. It was a great place to meet and have a drink in a safe environment and pass the time of day or evening.
“As we all know a lot of pubs are closing around the country, which is a shame, but it being put up for sale didn’t come as a huge surprise.
“The owners Enterprise Inns was selling off a load of their pubs and The George was one of them. They were going to hold an auction, and there were a few people in the village who were going to bid for it. But before it went under the hammer it was purchased by a local developer.”
The pub has now been boarded up and all the signs have been taken down. The group of around 30 people have started to write to planning authority Central Beds Council asking them to oppose the plans from the developer.
Phil, of The Broche, Maulden, added: “It was really disappointing to find out it had been sold to a developer, especially as there were a few people in the village interested in buying it.
“We are now waiting to see what the developer is planning to do with it, and we are trying to get it to remain as a pub.”
He added: “It used to be such a bright and lively place, but it now just looks like a building site. It’s now rundown and quite frankly an eyesore.”
The campaigners have also been in touch with Maulden Parish Council and English Heritage, as it is a listed building, who say they are monitoring the situation. The group is now asking for more people to join in with the campaign and help them to come up with ways to save the pub.
Phil added: “We were going to just wait and see what happens with the developer, but there hasn’t been any noise for a while. So we thought we might as well start doing something now, so that they know the strength of feeling in the village.
“We now need as many people as we can to help us save the pub.”