So it’s eventually happened, The Ship is now a Co-op.
Despite the buyer’s assurance that it would remain a pub and thanks to no planning permission being needed, the whole thing was cut and dried before anyone knew about or could do anything about it.
Gone is a seventeenth century coaching inn.
Gone are several centuries of history.
Gone is a jail house used to house prisoners in transit to Lewes assizes.
Gone is the local pub for Whitemans Green.
Gone is a meeting place for local clubs, societies, etc.
Gone is the Thursday night quiz.
Gone is a place to pop in for a quick drink and natter after work.
Gone is an information and community centre.
My granddad, Arthur Hatfield ran the Ship in the 1950’s, my parents were married from there and were living there when I was born.
Now all that’s left is a shell of the original with blacked out windows. So what might the consequences be?
The loss of Wealden Stores and/or the garage due to increased competition?
An increase in traffic in Whitemans Green?
Increased parking in the surrounding area?
The closure of the Co-op in the High Street to make room for another “boutique” shop?
And for what?
A Co-op that I, and several others in Cuckfield, have made clear that they do not want and will not patronise.
Whitemans Close, Cuckfield