Minister’s praise for Golden Ball community pub in Bishophill

Community pubs minister Kris Hopkins chats with customers during his visit to the Golden Ball in Bishophill, York

Community pubs minister Kris Hopkins chats with customers during his visit to the Golden Ball in Bishophill, York

First published in News
Last updated

A pub taken over by its punters has been praised by a minister tasked with helping to revive the industry.

Community pubs minister Kris Hopkins visited the Golden Ball in Bishophill to glean information from the dedicated owners who took charge of the Grade II Listed bar two years ago.

The popular watering hole, found on the corner of Cromwell Road and Victor Street, made history in 2012 when it became the first of its kind in York to be run by a co-operative of drinkers.

The newly installed minister following July's reshuffle spoke to members as part of the Government's efforts to give more communities the chance to take over their struggling locals.

He said: "Pubs aren't just about drinking beers, it's about the community, and if you walk into a pub you know straight away if it's a nice place and has a good atmosphere.

"If you find a place that's being run by its community, is trusted and successful, it's really important we do try and support them.

"There are some 500 community pubs and there are lots of MPs across the country who have lobbied the chancellor about them.

"He has repsonded by giving pubs a bigger rate reduction this year and last year, and beer is now 8p cheaper."

About 180 investors raised more than £75,000 by investing £400 each in shares in return for a say in the pub’s running and an annual dividend of up to five per cent.

Most of those in charge live in Bishophill, but some come from across York and some ex-pats now living in India, China, Peru and Norway heard what was happening and decided to get involved.

Robin Wooffitt, 52, is on the board of the Golden Ball's co-operative.

He said: "The previous landlord had wanted to sell-up for many years and the pub was bobbling along.

"The concern was that someone would come in and change the character, so we wanted to preserve its identity and subtly transform it so it would become an engine of community activity.

"We are a success story.

"We have massively improved our takings and increased the use of the pub by community groups."

Manager Beth Maguire added: "It's good he's coming to see what we do.

"The starting point is taking an interest and he is demonstrating he has an interest by getting out and meeting people."

Comments (16)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:16am Fri 15 Aug 14

Fat Harry says...

Pubs should be for the whole community I suppose, but allowing Tories in might be stretching it a bit.
Pubs should be for the whole community I suppose, but allowing Tories in might be stretching it a bit. Fat Harry
  • Score: 21

11:54am Fri 15 Aug 14

eeoodares says...

Fat Harry wrote:
Pubs should be for the whole community I suppose, but allowing Tories in might be stretching it a bit.
What a silly comment, its a shame that people like you turn a good news story negative.
[quote][p][bold]Fat Harry[/bold] wrote: Pubs should be for the whole community I suppose, but allowing Tories in might be stretching it a bit.[/p][/quote]What a silly comment, its a shame that people like you turn a good news story negative. eeoodares
  • Score: -15

12:05pm Fri 15 Aug 14

Ignatius Lumpopo says...

What's in that pint glass on the right? "This horse should be shot"?
What's in that pint glass on the right? "This horse should be shot"? Ignatius Lumpopo
  • Score: -10

12:21pm Fri 15 Aug 14

razor08 says...

This is the way pubs should be run, offering what locals want. The politicians of all colours have let the large Pub Companies like Punch Taverns get away with murder. These companies are only interested in profit all way by tying them into one source for all their beers through themselves at unrealistic prices to the tenant and will even bankrupt the tenant to meet their targets. Just look what price Weatherspoons can sell beer at make a profit.
This is the way pubs should be run, offering what locals want. The politicians of all colours have let the large Pub Companies like Punch Taverns get away with murder. These companies are only interested in profit all way by tying them into one source for all their beers through themselves at unrealistic prices to the tenant and will even bankrupt the tenant to meet their targets. Just look what price Weatherspoons can sell beer at make a profit. razor08
  • Score: 44

12:26pm Fri 15 Aug 14

Omega Point says...

"Community pubs Minister". Is that his formal title or just a bit of the responsibilty of his office, either way I like it
"Community pubs Minister". Is that his formal title or just a bit of the responsibilty of his office, either way I like it Omega Point
  • Score: 17

12:29pm Fri 15 Aug 14

Fat Harry says...

eeoodares wrote:
Fat Harry wrote: Pubs should be for the whole community I suppose, but allowing Tories in might be stretching it a bit.
What a silly comment, its a shame that people like you turn a good news story negative.
Sorry, I've been drinking.
[quote][p][bold]eeoodares[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Fat Harry[/bold] wrote: Pubs should be for the whole community I suppose, but allowing Tories in might be stretching it a bit.[/p][/quote]What a silly comment, its a shame that people like you turn a good news story negative.[/p][/quote]Sorry, I've been drinking. Fat Harry
  • Score: 16

4:30pm Fri 15 Aug 14

Old_Man says...

They didn't want to change the character of the pub yet it now resembles a kindergarten. Hence I no longer go in there.
They didn't want to change the character of the pub yet it now resembles a kindergarten. Hence I no longer go in there. Old_Man
  • Score: -3

5:23pm Fri 15 Aug 14

nearlyman says...

....Its a catch 22. No government wants to be seen to be encouraging the disgraceful practice of drinking for pure enjoyment, and so they allow the pubcos to rear end every tenant there is by overcharging on everything and forcing them to buy it from them. If it was not allowed the government day, of whatever colour, would be accused by the other side of losing control of this social problem. Its a question of which shareholders you prefer. The Pubcos....profit at every opportunity for the faceless.........or community shareholders who would like a bit of profit maybe...but its not the end of the world if none is achieved. (and easier to make on account of better deals as free agents) I know which I prefer.
....Its a catch 22. No government wants to be seen to be encouraging the disgraceful practice of drinking for pure enjoyment, and so they allow the pubcos to rear end every tenant there is by overcharging on everything and forcing them to buy it from them. If it was not allowed the government day, of whatever colour, would be accused by the other side of losing control of this social problem. Its a question of which shareholders you prefer. The Pubcos....profit at every opportunity for the faceless.........or community shareholders who would like a bit of profit maybe...but its not the end of the world if none is achieved. (and easier to make on account of better deals as free agents) I know which I prefer. nearlyman
  • Score: 11

7:47pm Fri 15 Aug 14

notpedallingpaul says...

eeoodares wrote:
Fat Harry wrote:
Pubs should be for the whole community I suppose, but allowing Tories in might be stretching it a bit.
What a silly comment, its a shame that people like you turn a good news story negative.
Agree, why make it political?
[quote][p][bold]eeoodares[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Fat Harry[/bold] wrote: Pubs should be for the whole community I suppose, but allowing Tories in might be stretching it a bit.[/p][/quote]What a silly comment, its a shame that people like you turn a good news story negative.[/p][/quote]Agree, why make it political? notpedallingpaul
  • Score: -45

12:44am Sat 16 Aug 14

buffaloboro says...

Even though I now live in the USA I was one of those who invested in the GB ( since the take over I've managed to have a grand total of five pints in the place so not a great rate of return ) .
Although it is great to have this level of Govt. at the GB I still think that there is a lot more that Govt. can do to actually help pubs to survive.
Personally I don't think that the cheap deals I see in the supermarkets really help any pub' & I wish that more was done to prevent the pubco' free-for-all.
Even though I now live in the USA I was one of those who invested in the GB ( since the take over I've managed to have a grand total of five pints in the place so not a great rate of return ) . Although it is great to have this level of Govt. at the GB I still think that there is a lot more that Govt. can do to actually help pubs to survive. Personally I don't think that the cheap deals I see in the supermarkets really help any pub' & I wish that more was done to prevent the pubco' free-for-all. buffaloboro
  • Score: 15

11:15am Sat 16 Aug 14

smudge2 says...

buffaloboro wrote:
Even though I now live in the USA I was one of those who invested in the GB ( since the take over I've managed to have a grand total of five pints in the place so not a great rate of return ) .
Although it is great to have this level of Govt. at the GB I still think that there is a lot more that Govt. can do to actually help pubs to survive.
Personally I don't think that the cheap deals I see in the supermarkets really help any pub' & I wish that more was done to prevent the pubco' free-for-all.
Great support for our local pubs from a person who does not live round the area and will probably never drink in the pub again but can tell his Yank friends that he has a share in " quaint " old English pub .....Thanks !!
[quote][p][bold]buffaloboro[/bold] wrote: Even though I now live in the USA I was one of those who invested in the GB ( since the take over I've managed to have a grand total of five pints in the place so not a great rate of return ) . Although it is great to have this level of Govt. at the GB I still think that there is a lot more that Govt. can do to actually help pubs to survive. Personally I don't think that the cheap deals I see in the supermarkets really help any pub' & I wish that more was done to prevent the pubco' free-for-all.[/p][/quote]Great support for our local pubs from a person who does not live round the area and will probably never drink in the pub again but can tell his Yank friends that he has a share in " quaint " old English pub .....Thanks !! smudge2
  • Score: -15

12:54pm Sat 16 Aug 14

marvell says...

Was listening to Radio York the same day and they did a big feature on pubs closing and a very good interview with York CAMRA about it.

Interesting that Kris Hopkins refused all radio interviews. Perhaps because they would have asked him about the 31 pubs per week in the UK closing and the part the big pub companies are playing by their high rents and premiums on beer that could be bought 70% cheaper on the open market.

Interesting that the Tory party are against any type of reform of the tied house system. Incidentally the big pub companies donated nearly £250,000 to the Tory party coffers!!
Was listening to Radio York the same day and they did a big feature on pubs closing and a very good interview with York CAMRA about it. Interesting that Kris Hopkins refused all radio interviews. Perhaps because they would have asked him about the 31 pubs per week in the UK closing and the part the big pub companies are playing by their high rents and premiums on beer that could be bought 70% cheaper on the open market. Interesting that the Tory party are against any type of reform of the tied house system. Incidentally the big pub companies donated nearly £250,000 to the Tory party coffers!! marvell
  • Score: 15

6:27pm Sat 16 Aug 14

buffaloboro says...

Hi Mr smudge, I'm not sure why you felt the need to write that. I'm a member of camra and I happily put money into a place that I believe in. Years ago I also tried to do what I could at the time to keep the john bull open.
Personally I don't see the GB as a 'quaint' old pub but more a progressive one.
Hopefully you drink there and when I am next over I'll buy you a pint and no can tell me your thoughts on America.
have agreat day!
Hi Mr smudge, I'm not sure why you felt the need to write that. I'm a member of camra and I happily put money into a place that I believe in. Years ago I also tried to do what I could at the time to keep the john bull open. Personally I don't see the GB as a 'quaint' old pub but more a progressive one. Hopefully you drink there and when I am next over I'll buy you a pint and no can tell me your thoughts on America. have agreat day! buffaloboro
  • Score: 8

11:47am Sun 17 Aug 14

julia brica says...

buffaloboro wrote:
Hi Mr smudge, I'm not sure why you felt the need to write that. I'm a member of camra and I happily put money into a place that I believe in. Years ago I also tried to do what I could at the time to keep the john bull open.
Personally I don't see the GB as a 'quaint' old pub but more a progressive one.
Hopefully you drink there and when I am next over I'll buy you a pint and no can tell me your thoughts on America.
have agreat day!
The campaign to keep the John Bull open was a downright disgrace.
The orchestration of insults, falsehoods and intimidation towards Peter Turnbull was utterly deplorable.
So if you were a party to that you should be ashamed.
[quote][p][bold]buffaloboro[/bold] wrote: Hi Mr smudge, I'm not sure why you felt the need to write that. I'm a member of camra and I happily put money into a place that I believe in. Years ago I also tried to do what I could at the time to keep the john bull open. Personally I don't see the GB as a 'quaint' old pub but more a progressive one. Hopefully you drink there and when I am next over I'll buy you a pint and no can tell me your thoughts on America. have agreat day![/p][/quote]The campaign to keep the John Bull open was a downright disgrace. The orchestration of insults, falsehoods and intimidation towards Peter Turnbull was utterly deplorable. So if you were a party to that you should be ashamed. julia brica
  • Score: -9

12:57am Mon 18 Aug 14

buffaloboro says...

Personally I think the biggest disgrace was the loss of a great community asset for a 'car park'.
Personally I think the biggest disgrace was the loss of a great community asset for a 'car park'. buffaloboro
  • Score: 0

1:02pm Mon 18 Aug 14

Fat Harry says...

julia brica wrote:
buffaloboro wrote: Hi Mr smudge, I'm not sure why you felt the need to write that. I'm a member of camra and I happily put money into a place that I believe in. Years ago I also tried to do what I could at the time to keep the john bull open. Personally I don't see the GB as a 'quaint' old pub but more a progressive one. Hopefully you drink there and when I am next over I'll buy you a pint and no can tell me your thoughts on America. have agreat day!
The campaign to keep the John Bull open was a downright disgrace. The orchestration of insults, falsehoods and intimidation towards Peter Turnbull was utterly deplorable. So if you were a party to that you should be ashamed.
Give it a rest, Matthew.
[quote][p][bold]julia brica[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]buffaloboro[/bold] wrote: Hi Mr smudge, I'm not sure why you felt the need to write that. I'm a member of camra and I happily put money into a place that I believe in. Years ago I also tried to do what I could at the time to keep the john bull open. Personally I don't see the GB as a 'quaint' old pub but more a progressive one. Hopefully you drink there and when I am next over I'll buy you a pint and no can tell me your thoughts on America. have agreat day![/p][/quote]The campaign to keep the John Bull open was a downright disgrace. The orchestration of insults, falsehoods and intimidation towards Peter Turnbull was utterly deplorable. So if you were a party to that you should be ashamed.[/p][/quote]Give it a rest, Matthew. Fat Harry
  • Score: 6

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree