Alas, although I am happy to talk to the press, I recall that even when I used to be a reporter on local papers, I was unable to control the sub-editors’ hyperbole. I try not to walk 'round in a fury as it’s very tiring.
On the main point I totally agree - the current landlords are doing a brilliant job and there’s nothing to stop another team doing so in the future. Many things can make it difficult to run a pub - especially the pubcos which screw the licensees into the ground through outrageous contracts/leases. This is happening up and down the country. I would have to know, therefore, the individual circumstances affecting The Hill and The Telegraph.
I do know that I was told back in 2007 that The Greyhound in Sydenham was being closed and would have to go as it was unable to make a profit. After having campaigned for a decade alongside many others and after having had to force the owners to rebuild it after they illegally demolished the pub, it reopened this year and is now thriving and very popular pub.
The Blythe Hill Tavern down the road on the south circular is an incredibly popular pub and keeps winning awards. I cannot find a seat in The Dolphin on most Friday nights. A few years’ ago The Lord Northbrook in Lee was voted SE London’s worst pub by the aformentioned NewsShopper. It was taken over by a new owner who turned it into a thriving pub and sold it on to Fullers for a tidy sum.
To me most pubs that are left in Lewisham are fine landmark, Victoria or Edwardian pubs that are important to our past and our present. I wish to both preserve the building and the opportunity for the public house business to continue.