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Thousands fight to save Catford Bridge Tavern and Two8Six in Lewisham
THOUSANDS have joined protests against the closure of the Catford Bridge Tavern and Lewisham's Two8Six gay pub.
An incredible 1,933 people have signed a petition challenging the planned conversion of Catford's newest pub into flats and a supermarket, while a further 375 have made formal objections to Lewisham Council.
News last month that the venue, turned around from its time as a problem boozer, could potentially close led to an outcry and came as the Mayor of Lewisham Sir Steve Bullock was urged to introduce better protection for the area's pubs.
Even deputy mayor Councillor Alan Smith has voiced his support, saying: "We are doing everything we can, within our powers, to retain this valuable community asset."
And the Catford pub is not the only Lewisham boozer at risk. A meeting in support of Lewisham High Street's Two8Six, closed down by its landlord in a shock move, was attended by more than 100 people.
Currently the borough's only gay pub, the venue itself has been in action since the 18th century and forms part of the St Mary's conservation area.
Supporters are calling for it to be locally listed, remain open and for Sir Steve to block any change of use.
Councillor Liam Curran, who is leading calls to keep Lewisham's pubs alive, said: "Speakers from the floor expressed their total disbelief at the draconian action and gave emotional accounts of why the pub was an invaluable community asset.
"Several speakers stated that Two8Six was not only a pub but was seen as a place of safety for vulnerable members of the gay community."
To join the Two8Six campaign, visit the Keep Two8Six Open Facebook group.
Guidance for objecting to the Catford Bridge Tavern plans is available at on their website and the petition is at change.org
In more pub news, the New Cross Inn is being sold for £1.2m, but is expected to remain as a going concern.