Murray Grove locals rue the closure of Hoxton pub “hub”

The latest casualty of the declining pub trade emerged in Hoxton on Saturday (February 25) as the last boozer on the Murray Grove estate closed its doors for good.

Pub regulars expressed their sadness to say goodbye to the Merry Monarch in Cropley Street and attended a farewell party that night.

Landlord Anthony Williamson, 55, who has run it for the past 21 years suffered a stroke a few months ago and needs a rest.

He had already put the unprofitable pub on the market months earlier, finding it hard to make ends meet.

“It’s the only pub within 500 yards and there’s not even enough trade to support that,” said Anthony who previously managed the nearby Wenlock Arms and The Three Crowns.

Pub regular Tanisha Simon, 31, who has been going to the pub since she moved to the area 20 years ago said it was popular for christening and funeral parties and you could always find a friend inside.

“You hear so many stories in there, my daughter gets to be told things about the war and people being evacuated, It was all in one, friendship a history lesson, all sorts,” she said.

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“I know pensioners who don’t have much to do in the day and they come in to break the day down.

“It’s not only about drinking, it’s about socialising and to get half their day over and done with because they are lonely or they live by themselves.

“I guess some elderly and vulnerable people will just stay in and won’t take the risk of going out and meeting new people in a new pub it’s going to be hard trusting people.”