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Home > Hampshire > Totton > Red Lion

Red Lion

Picture source: Barry Taylor

The Red Lion was situated at 97 Commercial Road. This pub was unexpectedly and suddenly closed by owners Enterprise in July 2010 amidst rumours that the site was to be developed for housing. It was known at the time as a late night, live music venue. A planned last night party was stopped by police. A few weeks later the closed pub was badly damaged by fire. It has now been demolished and by August 2011 only the pub sign remained.
During the 1980's it became a wine-bar with an alternative name. It then reverted to a more traditional style pub, with its original name, and appeared to be thriving.

The Echo reported:
Thursday 22nd July 2010

Mystery surrounds the imminent closure of a popular pub that has stood at the entrance to a Hampshire town for generations.
Enterprise Inns is refusing to explain its sudden decision to call time on the Red Lion pub in Totton, which is due to shut next Tuesday.
It had been claimed Linden Homes was buying the site but this has been denied by the developers.
Billed as Totton’s only late-night venue, the Red Lion is renowned for its live music nights and fundraising campaigns.
Now, regulars have been left reeling after being told that the watering hole is shutting in just a few days’ time with the loss of ten jobs.
Landlady Jacqui Clapp used to run the business with her husband Roger but the couple separated last year. She believed Enterprise Inns was selling the Red Lion to a developer and named Linden Homes as the prospective new owner.
In an e-mail to customers she said: “I really have tried everything to ensure that I kept this very busy venue open but was beaten by the bigger guys who want to build houses on the land.
“All I ever wanted was to make people happy – but sadly now many people are crying.”
Town councillors said they had heard rumours that a developer was interested in acquiring the pub, which occupies a prime site opposite the railway station in Commercial Road. But Linden Homes denied it was buying the building.
Mrs Clapp, who said she had been given only ten days’ notice of the impending shutdown, fought back tears as she announced the pub’s demise.
She said: “Totton will lose its only late-night venue. Most pubs close at midnight but the Red Lion can stay open until 2am.
“The pub is well known all over Hampshire for live music. Customers are horrified it’s closing and are asking what we can do, but there’s nothing we can do.
“Couples who were married here have been coming back to say goodbye before it goes. It’s not just a pub, it’s people’s memories.”
Totton councillor Chris Lagdon said pubs were suffering in the current economic climate, partly as a result of supermarkets selling cheap alcohol.
Linden Homes is currently building more than 100 flats and houses in Southern Gardens as part of a multimillion-pound plan to provide new housing and sports facilities at three sites in the town.
But managing director Pat Feighery said: “We can confirm that Linden Homes Southern is not purchasing the site of the Red Lion.”
New Forest District Council said its licensing officer had no information relating to the pub’s closure. Enterprise Inns refused to comment.
Barry Taylor (Aug 2011)

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Other Photos

Picture source: Stephen Harris

Picture source: Barry Taylor