Wednesday, October 18, 2006


The following letter has been sent to the Chief Executive of Green King and the Joint Managing Directors of Harveys on behalf of the Friends of the Lewes Arms

18 October 2006

Dear Mr Anand and Mr Jenner:

I am writing to you as a representative of our newly-formed campaigning group Friends of the Lewes Arms. I am sure you are aware of the considerable concern and antipathy to the news that Greene King is planning to remove Harvey’s Bitter from the Lewes Arms. The issue has already received considerable local media coverage and we are now geared up to make it into a national story.

We are writing you this letter, which we also intend to make public, with a proposition which, we believe, could resolve this thorny issue in an elegant manner that would reflect well on both parties. It is simplicity itself:

Greene King recognises the importance of the Lewes Arms to the town as a genuine community pub. It also recognises that Harvey’s Bitter is the preferred brew of the vast majority of the patrons and that removing this beer would severely damage the numerous community activities that the pub shelters as the existing clientele would be dispersed as a result. Therefore it is willing, in this specific instance, to continue to serve Harvey’s Bitter as a genuine gesture to the community.

It might then be that Harveys would feel able to stock some Greene King products as a reciprocal gesture. This, of course, would be a matter for Harveys, and we are acutely aware that with just 47 pubs they are not on a level playing field with Greene King.

However, some form of amicable agreement between the gentlemen of the trade would reflect well on both companies and would save an outstanding community pub. Its intensely loyal band of regulars would not disperse and thereby kill off the Lewes Arms’ traditions.

We are as keen as you are to see the end of what has already been dubbed by the press a “beer war”. We hope our proposition meets with your favour

Yours sincerely
John May
For Friends of the Lewes Arms


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