UPDATED: Aylesbury pub closures because of ‘traveller funerals’

Library image of Aylesbury town centre. Many pubs in and around the town were closed last night (Wednesday).
Library image of Aylesbury town centre. Many pubs in and around the town were closed last night (Wednesday).

There are reports that last night’s widespread pub closures in Aylesbury were because hundreds of travellers were expected to head into town following funerals at Bedgrove Catholic Church this week - however police are remaining tight-lipped on why many pubs were shut.

There were reports today (Thursday) that there may be another traveller funeral in the area on Friday.

An anonymous source told this paper: “The pub closures were because of an Irish traveller/gypsy funeral.

“I’ve been told there is another traveller funeral on Friday and that the pubs may have to close again - but no decision has been made yet.”

A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: “Thames Valley Police is aware of a number of public houses temporarily closing in Aylesbury town centre and the surrounding areas in the past few days.

“The decisions not to open have been taken by the owners/landlords of the licensed premises.

“Officers from the neighbourhood team have been liaising with Pubwatch and our partner agencies and will be visiting licensed premises over the next few days to provide additional reassurance.

“Anyone with any concerns can report these to the local neighbourhood team via the non-emergency number 101.”

Another source said: “A whole chain of pubs across Aylesbury were told to close yesterday because of the travellers turning up.

“The police did not want to get involved - they wanted to wash their hands of the whole thing.

“The travellers just turned up in horses and carts without any warning.

“A lot of pubs were already open by then, but along with shops in Bedgrove, we were all told to close.”

It is reported that the White Hart remained open last night and that a lot of the travellers went there.

There are unconfirmed reports that the travellers caused ‘disruption’ in Bedgrove by parking on verges and blocking entrances to residents driveways.

Another source said: “My friend and I got locked in The Harrow yesterday (Wednesday) eating lunch as there were said to be 500 travellers in and around Aylesbury pubs that had just left a funeral.

“They were radioing through to each other to close but The White Hart stayed open and that is where the majority were said to be.”

Share your experiences by e-mail: neil.shefferd@jpress.co.uk.