Villagers boycott ‘Wild Ox’ meeting

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Villagers have boycotted a meeting to discuss their protests against the ‘Wild Ox’ bike meets at the White Horse pub in Morcott, Rutland.

The meeting was arranged by landlord Barry Starkey to discuss complaints since he took over the pub around two years ago. Starkey previously ran the ‘Wild Ox’ bike meets at the Durham Ox pub, and when he moved to the White Horse, he took the meetings with him.

A group of residents are complaining about the number of bikes turning up, particularly on organised nights of Tuesday and Friday, and also on the weekends. However, they chose not to attend the meeting, on Wednesday of last week, stating that they would prefer a neutral venue, such as the village town hall.

The group claim bikers block roads and pavements, dump can and bottles and hold races around the area. They also claim the noise makes it impossible to sit in their gardens, and they feel too intimidated to walk past the pub due to the number of bikers.

However, Roy Barret, whose house backs onto the pub and who was present on Wednesday said that he had never been disturbed by the noise, and he continued to support the pub after 15 years as a regular.

” It’s been going on for two years now, and I’m tired of it, ” said landlord Starkey. ” Before I took over, not enough people used the pub to support it, and now some of them are complaining. They’ve complained to the police, environmental health, the county council and the brewery. It’s only the support I get from bikers that keeps me going. ”

Businessman Paul Johnstone is a councillor for a neighbouring parish. ” I’m incensed about it to be honest. I don’t mind if people could have a face-to-face discussion, but this campaign is all from a minority of one or two people. Most bikers here al well-behaved and the meet is self-policing, because we don’t want to annoy anyone or cause any trouble. ”

Starkey points to charity events such as the Peterborough Toy Run as some of the benefits of the pub, in addition to increased tourism and business for the whole Rutland area.

” I had a meeting of American cars here the other day, and no-one minded or batted an eyelid. It’s because it’s motorbikes. But my message to bikers is, keep the faith, I’ll keep going, and it’s your support that will keep me open for bikes. ”

Discuss this story on the News message board, or post your messages of support for Barry on the ‘Pub Meets’ board and we’ll pass them on.

MCN Staff

By MCN Staff