Cambridge locals have reacted with sadness and anger to the news that The Flying Pig pub is being forced to close after 24 special years.
Justine and Matt Hatfield announced yesterday (June 7) what they had known for five weeks: that landlord and developer Pace Investments has given them six months to vacate the business which is also their family home.
A petition begun a decade ago to resist the pub’s demolition is now nearing the 15,000 mark, as residents continue to show solidarity with the couple, and question whether another chapter in the Pig’s rich history is possible.
The Hatfields said they were “deeply saddened” by the news which means they must relocate in October before the lease end date next year.
“We can’t regret a moment of the last 24 years, and as soon as we know what the future holds for us, we will let you know.”
Hundreds have voiced their outrage at the decision on social media, while they shared precious memories of days and nights at the boozy institution.
“Terrible decision” commented Christine Loft-Wright, “We are losing far too many pubs in the UK. Traditional pubs are the hub of a community and essential in keeping the community alive”.
“Spent many a lunchtime in the Flying Pig pool room – was a great hour of escapism before returning to the office. So sorry to hear this,” said Harriet Panter.
A common theme was the value locals placed on the pub’s ‘melting-pot’ status as a place where people could meet, mingle and form important relationships.
One man told CambridgeshireLive: “I met my wife of nearly 7 years there in January of 2011. We’d both (separately) sworn we weren’t going out that night, and neither of us can explain why we changed our minds, so we’ve always thought of the Pig as a serendipitous spot – maybe that’s its breed?
“We’ve followed the campaign to save it for a few years now, voted in every petition we’ve seen to save it. Despite moving out of Cambridge, we always make an effort to stop in when we’re in the area. We’ll be very sad to see a piece of our family history gone.”
Another underlined why the Flying Pig has such a treasured place in locals’ hearts: “So much history… so many people have met others … made friends… met lovers and future wives and husbands…. wonderful music and an atmosphere that creates smiles….”
“It is a sad day but I feel it will rise again,” he added. “Peace, love and happiness to Justine, Matt and the children… onwards and upwards.”
Pace investments has been contacted for comment.