The White House pub has been at the heart of the Bladon community since the 16th Century and is the last remaining community facility in this village, which is the resting place of Sir Winston Churchill. It's also the pub where Churchill “learned to drink” when he lived at nearby Blenheim Palace. With a growing population of just under 1,000 residents and thousands of visiting tourists, this important and historic pub is the lifeblood of the community.
However now its current owners, Greene King, have put it on the market and the concern of local residents is that it will be purchased, run as a pub for a few weeks and then shut down and a change of use applied for. This would mean it would go the way of so many other pubs in the local area and be turned into flats.
Having listed the pub as an Asset of Community Value, the community now has an opportunity to put in a bid to buy and manage the future of the pub. However time is running out - our bid needs to be in before March 2019 and we have to raise over £500,000. Local residents have already pledged over £100,000 but we need much more if we are to turn our vision for Sir Winston's pub at the heart of our community into a reality.
Randolph Churchill, great grandson of Sir Winston Churchill, has been very supportive of our efforts and has said: “Our family is very proud of our association with Bladon and the love and care the community gives towards my great grandfather’s resting place. Your plans very much have our family blessing.“
Can you help us save Winston's White House?
All donations received here will be put towards the purchase of the pub. Should we not make the required amount to bid for the White House, all money collected will be donated to local community and charitable projects.
Should you wish to invest and become a shareholder, please follow our story at http://bladoncommunitypub.org/ and @Bladon_Pub or join our mailing list to be notified when Bladon Community Pub’s official Community Share Offer opens.
Our Vision for the Pub
Our aim is to secure the future of the White House for the benefit of Bladon, the wider community and visiting tourists, as a flourishing friendly and welcoming village pub. The pub will be a free house that serves local beers and sensibly priced, freshly cooked, good food prepared using locally sourced ingredients. It will be the heart of the village as a place for social gathering, cultural activities, somewhere to meet people and exchange information, and it will promote a cohesive and friendly community in the area. We would intend to run a programme of monthly and weekly evening events at the pub (e.g. quiz, music, specialist food nights, sports activities such as Aunt Sally), day-time events for local residents (e.g. being open for breakfast for school-run parents and early morning dog walkers, running a day time book club), and provide a base and lunchtime venue for visitors to Winston Churchill's grave and the neighbouring Blenheim Palace Park.
Our vision is that a thriving, community owned White House would be ‘more than a pub’ and deliver charitable outcomes by enabling greater community cohesion, improving access to community services and help reduce social isolation for the growing elderly population in the village.
We are in the process of registering as a Community Benefit Society (CBS) with a large membership base primarily drawn from the villages in the immediate vicinity of the pub. Although we will market our community share offer more widely, the democratic governance structure of the CBS will ensure that local people will remain in control of the society and its pub.