Special status awarded to Nottingham pub ‘which missed out on Beatles gig’


A Nottingham pub famous for narrowly missing out on hosting the Beatles has been awarded a special protected status as part of a real ale campaign.

The local branch of CAMRA chose nine pubs around Nottingham to become ‘assets of community value’ – including The March Hare, on Carlton Road.

A pub awarded the status is protected from being converted into a different business and is harder for big companies to buy and demolish.

A total of 18 other pubs have already previously been given the protection.

The Hare is one of nine announced today – and is known locally for its management once turning down a gig from the Beatles in 1958 – because they were deemed too expensive.

Owner and landlady Margaret Dove said she was pleased and surprised about receiving the status, approved by Nottingham City Council.

She said: “It is nice to receive this after all these years we have been here, I got a letter in the post saying we had been nominated but it is good to get the status.

My husband said no to the Beatles

“The regulars sometimes ask what they would do if we closed down, so now we have this status it will be harder to demolish the building which is really good news.”

The pub is known to some for turning down the Fab Four as they toured the UK while building their fame in the late 1950s.

Margaret added: “My late husband George said no to them playing here because they wanted £25 but he wanted to only give them £5 because he gave every band that amount.

“This was all before they were famous but we had a lot of press about it at the time and he was known as ‘the landlord who turned down the Beatles’.”

The pub instead hosted Engelbert Humperdinck, who also went on to become a world star.

Picture Gallery: Inside of The March Hare, one of the pubs awarded the status

Another pub nominated by CAMRA for the status was turned down – The Portland on Portland Street.

Nottingham City Council said the venue thought it paid ‘no important social and community function to the local community’, apart from being a pub.

City Council planning portfolio holder Councillor Jane Urquhart said: “Designating pubs as assets of community value recognises the important role they can play as community hubs and puts in a level of protection against them being lost to redevelopment or demolition.

“Not all pubs necessarily meet the criteria outlined by the Government to merit this special status, but I’m pleased we have been able to grant it in nine of these ten cases.”

Cheers for the memories: The chosen nine pubs

  • The Pheasant Inn – Continuous community use of about 180 years and hosts regular quizzes, card nights and DJ sessions
  • The March Hare – Hosts regular bingo nights as well as darts and pool teams, and has been used by the local community for weekly meetings
  • The Horseshoe Inn – Continuous community use of about 160 years and hosts weekly card games, disco/karaoke sessions
  • The Horse and Groom – Has served the local community for over 100 years. Hosts several groups, including the Nottingham branch of CAMRA
  • The Trent Navigation Inn – Hosts live music several times a week and is used by the local community for events such as private parties and celebrations
  • The Plough – Hosts live music and weekly events including quiz nights, and its function room has been used by the local community for events
  • The Rose and Crown – Has a beer garden, darts board, pool table and function room which are enjoyed by the local community, and hosts quiz nights, private parties, celebrations and meetings
  • The Three Wheatsheaves – Hosts live music, televised sporting events and quiz nights, as well as having a pool table, darts board, beer garden and is  used regularly by the local community

The protected status was enabled by The Localism Act 2011 which allows voluntary and community organisations to nominate premises which communities value.

The new status also means a pub’s sale after going on the market must be delayed for six weeks, to allow any community groups who are interested in buying it to register an interest and raise funds.

Community value pubs can no longer automatically be converted into shops and planning permission must be sought.

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