Councillor laments closure of Northampton watering hole as 'a village pub like you don't see anymore.'

The King William IV, often called the King Billy, closed down shortly after Christmas.
The King William IV, often called the King Billy, closed down shortly after Christmas.

A Northampton pub has closed its doors for the last time.

The King William IV pub, often called the King Billy, ceased trading shortly after Christmas and its owners, Enterprise Inns, have put the lease on for sale and it is highly unlikely to reopen as a public house.

The King Billy, in Green End, Kingsthorpe, struggled for regular patrons for several years, and shut and reopened on a number of occasions, but has now closed for good.

Sally Beardsworth, councillor for Kingsthorpe, said: "The King Billy was a village pub like you don't see anymore. It had skittles and a quiz every week. It was the focus of our village fete every June, and all those other things that make a community.

"It was in the heart of the village and has been going for years. I couldn't go to it often, but it was still my local and it had a certain ambience.

"Enterprise Inns did send someone to run it temporarily but they were only there for three weeks when they closed it down and puts its lease on for sale.

"We hope to see it open again if someone with a bit on inspiration who know what people want can take it on and make it a place everyone can enjoy.

"If it doesn't open as a pub again it will be sorely missed.

"It seems like these days a pub can't survive unless they have some specialisation, like a good eating house or special beers. The King Billy was a wonderful pub but it needed a facelift in its later years, and I think its landlord struggled in the last few years.

"It's such a shame. We're lucky, though, to still have the nearby Queen Adelaide and the Cock Hotel, but every village needs its local."

The King William IV pub was listed by property consultants Drake & company for £295,000 plus VAT. The closing date for offers was January 27.

Speaking in February 2016 after temporarily closing, Mrs Melanie Clare, the landlord, said: "We’re all gutted, absolutely, but we just weren’t making any money.

“From October [2015] especially, it’s just got harder and harder.

“Overall, its a lack of footfall that has done it, but there are a few things that don’t help that.

“The rates from the brewery don’t help. The trade is down but your bills just stay the same.

“It really has broken my heart.

“I’d like to thank my customers for their support over the years.”

A spokesperson from Enterprise Inns publican partnerships said: "We can confirm that the King William IV, Kingsthorpe, is currently closed due to the publican’s decision to cease trading and leave. As part of our on-going business, we do from time to time identify a pub that may no longer have a long-term future in our estate. After careful consideration, the decision has been made to sell the freehold of the King William IV and the pub is currently being openly marketed. Anyone interested in the opportunity to purchase this site should contact our agents on 020 7495 7500.”