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'When you have lost your inns, drown your empty selves. For you will have lost the last of England.'
- Hilaire Belloc

Bonfire boys and girls with pints of Harveys supporting the Friends of the Lewes Arms campaign

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The Morning Advertiser The Morning Advertiser Logo
November 6, 2006

Drinkers from a Sussex pub turned up the heat on Greene King this weekend in a row over their favourite ale. As previously reported, drinkers at the Lewes Arms in Lewes are up in arms over Greene King's plans to remove Harvey's bitter from a pub they have recently bought.

Greene King wants to introduce a new ale brewed at its Suffolk home but the locals in Sussex have launched a campaign to save Harvey's. Over 1,000 signatures have been collected and even the local MP has stepped in to the row.

This week the campaign hotted up as bonfire night revellers in Lewes carried banners and wore anti-Greene King slogans on their clothes. Greene King was the talk of the town. I didn't see any effigies of Greene King directors but there were some pretty heated slogans

One reveller at the bonfire night celebrations said: "Greene King was the talk of the town. I didn't see any effigies of Greene King directors but there were some pretty heated slogans."

However, Greene King managing director Mark Angela defended the plans to the East Anglian Daily Times. He said: "I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting to sell our products in our pubs. Harveys is widely available in other pubs in Lewes, it's a nice pint. We also have a healthy guest beer selection and we have lots of reciprocal arrangements with other brewers.

"One of the positive things to have come out of this is that we have all got the chance to talk about cask ales. Our whole business is founded on making sure we have a dialogue with the community. We knew this would be sensitive so we wanted to give people notice of what we are intending to do. If it doesn't work, we will review it."

Campaign organiser John May, of Friends of the Lewes Arms, said: "I am hoping sense will prevail. Both Harveys and the pub have been around since the 1720s. I know Greene King has a long heritage too but imagine how drinkers in Bury would feel if Harveys had taken over the Greene King pubs and removed their favourite beers from all but one pub, and then they threatened to remove it from that one too."

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