Ship of Fools pub manager proud of Croydon tenure
The manager of a pub crowned Croydon's best two weeks ago has spoken of her sadness it is to close to make way for a Sainsbury's.
The Ship of Fools, which is situated in London Road, was opened as a JD Weatherspoon pub in 1999 but will now be replaced by a Sainsbury’s Local subject to necessary planning approvals.
It was named Croydon’s best pub at the Best Bar None Awards two weeks ago and bar manager Liz Tuffey has been an active force in the community since she started the role, with the pub being named a safe haven by JD Weatherspoon.
Staff will not lose their jobs and instead they will be relocated to other pubs from the chain in the area.
The bar manager, whose ‘Have Hope’ sign became synonymous with the positive community spirit to come out of the Croydon riots last year, said she was happy with her contribution to the area.
She said she was still in shock from the news, especially after the pub had won such a positive award a week earlier.
"I am probably in limbo the most as I could be put anywhere once a pub becomes vacant," she said.
"I will miss this place so much. I didn’t see myself leaving here to be honest, I love it here.
"I have got to know so many people and everyone in the community has been great. I don’t live in West Croydon but it is like a second home.
"I am very proud of the work we have done here."
Julie Agbowu, vice-chairman of the London Road Business Association, said it will be sad to see the pub close and its arrival could negatively affect the trade of other businesses.
She said: "Liz has been an intricate part of the London Road Business Association and the West Croydon Forum in moving the road forward and having a positive feel about it.
"We are also worried at the impact it is going to have on the shops in the area."
A Sainsbury’s spokeswoman said: "This new Local would serve the area around West Croydon Rail Station and Tramlink, as well as the surrounding residential areas.
"Sainsbury's used to trade a supermarket in this location up until 1969 and so we would really be returning to our roots."