Support for Sussex village pub landlord after complaint to police on reopening night

Residents have praised their local pub as ‘the beating heart of the village’ after a complaint to police over its reopening night following lockdown.

Thursday, 15th April 2021, 12:03 pm

The complaint - about music being played at The Cricketers Arms in Wisborough Green on Monday night - led to a council licensing officer visiting the premises.

But the community has rallied behind the pub and landlord Craig Vit, thanking him for reopening and saying it ‘felt like the village heart was beating again.’

Craig himself also thanked those who had given him ‘emotional and business support’ during the pandemic over the past year.

The Cricketers Arms, Wisborough Green

“Seeing so many familiar faces this week has lifted my spirits no end,” he said, but added he was ‘saddened’ that a complaint had been made. He said he had always followed Covid regulations and urged anyone with an issue to speak to him.

He said the pub had a mixture of customers on reopening night, aged from 20s to 70s, who were enjoying a performance from local musician Thomas Holder.

“It wasn’t a full band,” said Craig. “We stopped the music at 10pm and Tom finished with Oasis’s Wonderwall and Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline which, of course, people wanted to sing along with.”

But following the complaint, villagers took to social media to announce their support for Craig and the pub.

One said: “I found it very heartwarming to hear the Crick’s music and voices throughout the evening ... “just like old times on Monday, felt like summer and reminded me of our village spirit.”

Another said: “It was lovely to see so many villagers back at the crix. Felt like it was something to celebrate.”

Another pointed out: “Seeing as the pub dates from the 16th century, I doubt there are many residents that were living there before the pub opened! In which case, don’t buy a house near a pub if you don’t want any noise!!”

And another said: “It was heavenly to see the faces of so many and share the warmth of a very special day.”

It’s the second time the community has rallied behind the pub and landlord Craig. In January he was falsely accused of breaking Covid regulations by having ‘gatherings’ outside.

“I have always followed all new regulations to the letter of the law to the detriment of my business, both for the safety of my staff and my customers,” he said.