This provides mixed emotions.
After the crash we knew the chance of our place reopening was only 50/50. No-one who we needed to speak to would speak to us and the building itself was in very bad nick. Your support, concern and general want to see the Dog back open and throbbing could only drive us so far and, as the months wore on and the insurance didn’t, it looked like we were fighting a losing battle.
This was confirmed after a short meeting with Bluemantle a week ago. The building is to be torn down as it is not financially viable to fix.
If we’re being honest, we wised up to the fact that nothing was going to happen a while back and even though confirmation of the fact that this is indeed the end is very sad indeed, it does at least mean we can now move on. Sounds cold doesn’t it, but being left in stasis for this long has not been healthy for us mentally and physically.
The crash has already ruined lives – our hearts go out to the family of Craig Durham – and we steadfastly refuse to let it ruin any more.
So that’s that.
It will leave a gap. But all gaps are there to be filled. Something that’s already there? Something new? It’s up to you guys now, but let me leave you with this. The Dog was a special place and there are many special places around. Many places one feels at home. Places that cheer you just by being there. Places that one actively looks forward to going to. The loss of these is not something to be taken lightly but they are just places. Meeting points. Somewhere to gather. We were proud of the Dog - yes. Neil (and landlords previous) slogged for over a decade to keep his and the pub's head above water – yes – but what made it, what really made it was you. The crowd. At the bar, in the back, in the small room, sat upstairs. You’re all still here. You can’t knock that down.
The Dog has gone. You’ll all have a million memories, good and bad or just big gaps where memories should be. Long may they fester in your diseased minds.
The boy Neil can be very proud and we proud of him. We just couldn't see this latest problem out. Everyone’s luck has got to run out sometime.
There will be no thank you list. Everyone knows who did what, how well and on what occasion. It was an amazing team of 4 to, well, 400 - every band, DJ, colleague, everyone who bought a pint, everyone who loved the place from afar, everyone who loathed it from near – it all added up to one hell of a ride.
So, even though this is no way for us to call time, call time we have to. So gather yourselves and do us a favour - keep going. Remember who you are, what we did and whatever you do, don’t be a dick.