PUBGOERS have grouped together and rallied against a pub’s closure. 

Some 600 customers of the Wetherspoon pub Nightjar, in Victoria Road, Ferndown, have signed a petition to Tim Martin asking him to reconsider shutting their favourite watering hole. 

The pub is scheduled to shut in September when the chain’s lease for the building runs out and is reported to be over a £25,000 rent increase imposed by the landlord. 

Linda Polley, who set up the petition, said: “We go there quite a lot and people are really friendly there. You gel with people, everybody says hello to each other.

Bournemouth Echo: Residents want to save the NightjarResidents want to save the Nightjar (Image: Daily Echo)

“We have a couple of meals there a week and we love the atmosphere.  

“Since starting the petition, we have been speaking with a lot of people and they are all devastated about it.”

Read more: JD Wetherspoon to close The Nightjar pub in Ferndown

Graham Gruer’s stepson became disabled and he had multiple job changes, but one thing that hasn’t changed was the welcoming presence of the Nightjar. 

The postie said: “When I finish work, all I want to do is unwind and relax and I come in here, meet with nice people and have a good time.”

Bournemouth Echo: Postman Graham Gruer has been coming to the pub for more than 20 yearsPostman Graham Gruer has been coming to the pub for more than 20 years (Image: Daily Echo)

Susan Toogood, whose elderly mum is in a care home, said: “Whenever I take her out I bring her to here and she will have a soup and a coffee. 

“She absolutely loves it and it’s one of the easiest places to bring her.”

Read more: Wilko addresses rumours it will shut Ferndown shop later this year

Punter Ray Caple said: “This is a local amenity and it is the hub of our village. This is our lives here. It's a lot more than a pub – the pub is a hub.” 

Krissy Stamp, mayor of Ferndown, described the Nightjar as the “beating heart of Ferndown”, adding: “I understand that the pub industry is struggling, but Wetherspoon has always been a thriving business.

Bournemouth Echo: Wetherspoons in Victoria RoadWetherspoons in Victoria Road (Image: Google Maps)

“Dorset Council say the lease here is roughly £54,900. Yes, there are a few repairs including the aircon, but that doesn’t cost a lot of money."

Cllr Lawrence Wilson said: “This pub serves cheap food and drink and there isn’t a worse time to be taking that away from people.” 

Cllr Stuart Fleetham added: “You look at the few local establishments that are around this area and you could pay £18-20 for dinner, but in here it is for less than a tenner.” 

Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “We understand the disappointment of customers and the local community, regarding the Nightjar, which is operated by Wetherspoon under a lease. We are very grateful for their custom over the last 24 years.

“All that we can really say is that we have a number of pubs in the general area, albeit not as convenient for Ferndown locals.

“Our closest pubs are  the Man in the Wall, in Wimborne and the Blackwater Stream in Broadstone. We also have two pubs in central Bournemouth. We hope that some of our customers will be able to visit us there.”