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20-05-2014, 10:40
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We have all heard the stories of city dwellers who move out to one of the nearby villages and complain that the church bells which have been ringing every morning at 6am for the last 150 years are too loud and too early and try to get them stopped through official channels, or complains the road to their new residence suffers from cow dung when it has been a route between two grazing fields owned by the same farmer for the last 50 years.
So when you go to buy a flat above a pub which is well established for it’s live music, you’d probably go down a couple of evenings to see what you are letting yourself in for. **The pub in question is the Blind Tiger Club in Brighton and between this and its former guises of Hectors House and the Norfolk Arms, it has been a regular music venue for 160 years. **Until now that is, after a complaint from the new occupant of the flat above the pub, a noise abatement order has been issued effectively stopping live music at the venue. **This was off the back of this complaint and several others from around the area.
The venue relies of live music to bring in the customers needed for them to remain viable and are struggling like so many pubs across the country to cover all their costs at times and count on the support of local people and the artists who play there. *To meet the terms of the order, they would have to install soundproofing (which they cannot afford) or risk up to a £20,000 fine for breaching the order. *They have chosen a third way, after the 2 months period of grace to come into compliance with the order ended on 14th May they shut up shop. *Over 5,500 people have already signed a petition opposing the order, a handful of complaints or 5,500 people in support, judge for yourself what the area thinks.
I wrote that live music is and always has been a big part of the British pub scene and you must realise that moving above a renowned live music pub is not for you if you don’t want to hear live music two or three nights a week downstairs. **It is like hating football and then complaining about Saturday afternoons when you moved next to the Emirates Stadium at Arsenal, you should have known what you were getting into. **Don’t be a NIMBY, its not a good trait, especially when hundreds or thousands of people have happily lived with the cause of your offence for years.
Britain has many what would be called strange traditions when it comes to festivals and day to day life. *We are better for it, people may sneer, but ignore them. *Look at the famous Cooper Hill Cheese Rolling Event which has ran in some form for 500 years. *An official event event started in 1997 finished in 2009, but enthusiasts have run an unofficial events ever since. *The council tried to stop it last year by “strongly warning” the supplier of the 9lb round of cheese not send it as “she could be held responsible for injuries”, instead they used a plastic substitute. *This year the council are setting up an exclusion zone around the famous slope to try and stop the “unofficial event”
Surely people know that if you chase a 9lb cheese down a 40% slope which can get up to 70mph, you have a good chance of hurting yourself in some way, that is common sense. You know what you are getting into. *5000 people turn up to watch and it takes 4 races to accommodate all the people who are happy to risk their limbs chasing the “cheese”.
If we give in to everyone who doesn’t like something, we eventually lose our soul as a culture. *How would we feel in Halifax if the Puzzle Hall Inn was stopped from playing music because someone who had moved into a theoretical future housing development on the land next to the pub didn’t like the live music ringing out 3 days a week or tried to get the Sowerby Bridge Rushbearing Festival stopped because the were inconvenienced by the rushcart parade or offended by the morris dancing teams. **We’d not be happy, as the cheese rollers or the former gig goers at the Blind Tiger Club are not now.
And as a final aside I drove past the now boarded up Pump Room in Halifax town centre, two words came to mind “f*cking shame”, a nice pub being sacrificed for a shopping complex we don’t need and will struggle to fill.

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