Covid related issues and trading problems have combined to force the closure of The Plough Inn for January and February. The pub is planning to re-open in March.
Trade in the pub and restaurant trade has been hit severely during the Covid-19 pandemic. Businesses have suffered alarming drops in trade and an estimated five hundred pubs throughout the country have closed their doors.
Increases in the price of food and drink, combined with rising energy prices have added to costs. The Plough belongs to the Wellington Pub Company. The website says it’s the largest free-of-tie pub estate in the country with eight hundred pubs.
The company is owned by David and Simon Reuben who are among the country’s wealthiest people. For a period in 2020 the company offered to scrap or lower rents for nine months but only if tenants agreed to extend leases by five years. It created a protest among some pub tenants.
The Plough is run by Julie Carberry, but her son Liam and his wife Kim run the business.
Sixty years ago Long Wittenham had four pubs: The Plough Inn, The Vine (now Vine and Spice), The Machine Man and The Three Poplars. The Greene King owned Barley Mow pub and restaurant near Clifton Hampden bridge is within the parish of Long Wittenham. In the early 1960s the Three Poplars closed and is now a house. The Machine Man is also a private residence.