Historic High Wycombe pub The Antelope has closed

Historic High Wycombe pub has closed

Historic High Wycombe pub has closed

First published in News
Last updated
Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

ONE of Wycombe’s oldest pubs has closed its doors for the final time today.

Time has been called on The Antelope by landlord Dave Burr, who cited the loss of Pure nightclub and the high rates charged by its pub company as the main reasons for its closure.

Punters have frequented the Grade II Listed building in Queen’s Square since at least the eighteenth century.

Mr Burr said: “It isn’t so much the money side of things but the emotional side, we’ve been here 12 years, but we just cannot compete with the big boys. It’s a sad day for us and for Wycombe.”

The 46-year-old added that he made sure enough money was on-site to pay his eight staff members before he pulled the plug.

But Mr Burr, who sold his house ten years ago to help finance the pub, said he and his partner had lost about £250,000 and he also faces the prospect of being chased by the banks for a further £100,000.

See Friday’s Bucks Free Press for more on this story.

Will you miss The Antelope? What do you think of Wycombe's nightlife? Leave your comments below or email bfpnews@london.newsquest.co.uk.

Comments (32)

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3:13pm Mon 20 Jan 14

miccles says...

VERY SAD.
VERY SAD. miccles
  • Score: 28

3:39pm Mon 20 Jan 14

1wycombe says...

Blame the goverment the mess were in no.....hahahahah....
Blame the goverment the mess were in no.....hahahahah.... 1wycombe
  • Score: -13

4:50pm Mon 20 Jan 14

heatherboom says...

Always sad when a non-Wetherspoons pub has to close it's doors because it can't compete.
Always sad when a non-Wetherspoons pub has to close it's doors because it can't compete. heatherboom
  • Score: 33

5:18pm Mon 20 Jan 14

DocLes says...

This is a crying shame. Although I no longer live in High Wycombe, every time I return there, a little more history and some wonderful memories have been chipped away.
This is a crying shame. Although I no longer live in High Wycombe, every time I return there, a little more history and some wonderful memories have been chipped away. DocLes
  • Score: 33

5:27pm Mon 20 Jan 14

AmershamBob says...

Very sad day for High Wycombe, however the pub had been going downhill for a number of years, not catering for its core clientelle that had been going there for years. After being away for a few years I came back beofre Christmas to find a pub empty on a Saturday night (unheard of before 2010!) and playing the most horrendous music as loud as possible. They need to look at O'Neils or The Bootlegger and see where they went wrong. RIP The Lope.
Very sad day for High Wycombe, however the pub had been going downhill for a number of years, not catering for its core clientelle that had been going there for years. After being away for a few years I came back beofre Christmas to find a pub empty on a Saturday night (unheard of before 2010!) and playing the most horrendous music as loud as possible. They need to look at O'Neils or The Bootlegger and see where they went wrong. RIP The Lope. AmershamBob
  • Score: 47

5:28pm Mon 20 Jan 14

chepping100 says...

Hopefully someone will take over the Antelope, give it a deep cleanse and turn it into a decent pub.
Hopefully someone will take over the Antelope, give it a deep cleanse and turn it into a decent pub. chepping100
  • Score: 61

5:40pm Mon 20 Jan 14

grazza49 says...

So sad to hear this - we've got some great memories of The Antelope in the mid/late '60s. Ray the landlord, Big Ron, Steve, Rash and the rest of the guys and ladies.
Ah well, let's look back with our rose tinted specs. as usual.....
So sad to hear this - we've got some great memories of The Antelope in the mid/late '60s. Ray the landlord, Big Ron, Steve, Rash and the rest of the guys and ladies. Ah well, let's look back with our rose tinted specs. as usual..... grazza49
  • Score: 6

5:54pm Mon 20 Jan 14

PinkSamand the Shakers says...

I met my husband in this glorious pub 47 years ago. Friday and Saturday nights you could hardly get in the door. Well thanks to the no smoking ban and high rents I suppose trade declined markedly. Health and Safety and the Banks have tolled the bells on many small businesses.
Although we no longer live in the area, always so sad to hear news like this. Bucks council should be ashamed to see this pub close. Will there be anything left of the original High Wycombe next time we are visiting the area?

In memoriam....Peter(Ra
sher) and Jenny xx
I met my husband in this glorious pub 47 years ago. Friday and Saturday nights you could hardly get in the door. Well thanks to the no smoking ban and high rents I suppose trade declined markedly. Health and Safety and the Banks have tolled the bells on many small businesses. Although we no longer live in the area, always so sad to hear news like this. Bucks council should be ashamed to see this pub close. Will there be anything left of the original High Wycombe next time we are visiting the area? In memoriam....Peter(Ra sher) and Jenny xx PinkSamand the Shakers
  • Score: 15

6:23pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Stu1966 says...

Whats Pure closing got to do with it? I thought that would have helped trade.
Whats Pure closing got to do with it? I thought that would have helped trade. Stu1966
  • Score: 13

6:34pm Mon 20 Jan 14

mato198808 says...

AmershamBob wrote:
Very sad day for High Wycombe, however the pub had been going downhill for a number of years, not catering for its core clientelle that had been going there for years. After being away for a few years I came back beofre Christmas to find a pub empty on a Saturday night (unheard of before 2010!) and playing the most horrendous music as loud as possible. They need to look at O'Neils or The Bootlegger and see where they went wrong. RIP The Lope.
Exactly the same here! Went outside into the garden at 9pm on a Saturday and we were literally the only ones there! Was really dissapointed as hadn't been there for years as living in Bournemouth and had told my girlfriend it'd be great. It wasn't.
[quote][p][bold]AmershamBob[/bold] wrote: Very sad day for High Wycombe, however the pub had been going downhill for a number of years, not catering for its core clientelle that had been going there for years. After being away for a few years I came back beofre Christmas to find a pub empty on a Saturday night (unheard of before 2010!) and playing the most horrendous music as loud as possible. They need to look at O'Neils or The Bootlegger and see where they went wrong. RIP The Lope.[/p][/quote]Exactly the same here! Went outside into the garden at 9pm on a Saturday and we were literally the only ones there! Was really dissapointed as hadn't been there for years as living in Bournemouth and had told my girlfriend it'd be great. It wasn't. mato198808
  • Score: 9

7:07pm Mon 20 Jan 14

tj1000 says...

A sad day indeed. The number of pubs going over to gastro theme pubs and supermarkets selling cheap booze, is killing what was the social hub of this country. Pubs were what made this country tick and the Antelope was one of them. Shame
A sad day indeed. The number of pubs going over to gastro theme pubs and supermarkets selling cheap booze, is killing what was the social hub of this country. Pubs were what made this country tick and the Antelope was one of them. Shame tj1000
  • Score: 12

7:47pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Shaggeh says...

Pissy wissy
Pissy wissy Shaggeh
  • Score: -4

8:28pm Mon 20 Jan 14

OctoberW says...

Pub companies have a lot to answer for, They charge stupendous rates for beer, buying wholesale from the breweries, and then selling onto the pub for a higher price.. The pub is not able to buy direct anymore.. and if the pub does well, they just squeeze it harder.. Very difficult to make a go of a business in this situation. Pure night club closing has meant the younger people who would be out for a party, head somewhere else on a weekend, as the night club didn't open til late, they would head for the pubs first.. its had a dire effect on several pubs in the town..
Pub companies have a lot to answer for, They charge stupendous rates for beer, buying wholesale from the breweries, and then selling onto the pub for a higher price.. The pub is not able to buy direct anymore.. and if the pub does well, they just squeeze it harder.. Very difficult to make a go of a business in this situation. Pure night club closing has meant the younger people who would be out for a party, head somewhere else on a weekend, as the night club didn't open til late, they would head for the pubs first.. its had a dire effect on several pubs in the town.. OctoberW
  • Score: 24

9:03pm Mon 20 Jan 14

fishyfingerz says...

when i first arrived in wycombe in 2007 it was full of rocky type people and was packed. Then went i went in last year they had a dj palying dubstep and it was dead. dont know if that alienated all the original crowd
when i first arrived in wycombe in 2007 it was full of rocky type people and was packed. Then went i went in last year they had a dj palying dubstep and it was dead. dont know if that alienated all the original crowd fishyfingerz
  • Score: 31

9:35pm Mon 20 Jan 14

townraider says...

I beleive we are not getting the student business in the town.. they are either staying in UNI or heading off to Reading
I beleive we are not getting the student business in the town.. they are either staying in UNI or heading off to Reading townraider
  • Score: 0

10:25pm Mon 20 Jan 14

JustJus says...

S**t hole!
S**t hole! JustJus
  • Score: 11

11:43pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Mr Totterdge Hill says...

JustJus wrote:
S**t hole!
Run into the ground as have most of cheery Big Ol Dave's pubs have been.

House in danger???

Quelle surprise after damaging the many watering holes he and his company have taken over... it's some sort of scam... like accet stipping without the accets to start with?

Just don't buy a used car from this chap...
[quote][p][bold]JustJus[/bold] wrote: S**t hole![/p][/quote]Run into the ground as have most of cheery Big Ol Dave's pubs have been. House in danger??? Quelle surprise after damaging the many watering holes he and his company have taken over... it's some sort of scam... like accet stipping without the accets to start with? Just don't buy a used car from this chap... Mr Totterdge Hill
  • Score: 20

12:44am Tue 21 Jan 14

realist_highwycombe says...

I no longer live in Wycombe but did live here for 9 years - during that time I saw what was a great "alternative" pub go downhill quite a bit.

It always used to have a bit of a grimey feel to it but that was part of the charm of the place - however it went from grimey to downright dirty with the stench of bleach and musty, dirty carpets and floors taking over.

Unfortunately it was also quite expensive - not something to worry about if you have plenty of people through the door but if not........

I am sure a lot of it was out of the landlords hands but stuff such as a deep, deep clean could have lifted it.

I hope The Hobgoblin is still going strong at least! A nail in the coffin for the better end of town as apposed to the horrific friday/saturday night Frogmore experience!!
I no longer live in Wycombe but did live here for 9 years - during that time I saw what was a great "alternative" pub go downhill quite a bit. It always used to have a bit of a grimey feel to it but that was part of the charm of the place - however it went from grimey to downright dirty with the stench of bleach and musty, dirty carpets and floors taking over. Unfortunately it was also quite expensive - not something to worry about if you have plenty of people through the door but if not........ I am sure a lot of it was out of the landlords hands but stuff such as a deep, deep clean could have lifted it. I hope The Hobgoblin is still going strong at least! A nail in the coffin for the better end of town as apposed to the horrific friday/saturday night Frogmore experience!! realist_highwycombe
  • Score: 10

1:35am Tue 21 Jan 14

Grant F says...

Ray Gibbs the landlord back in the 60/70s was my grandad and the pub was in our family for 3 generations (87 years). Happy memories helping Grandad restock the shelves on a Friday after school. Always remember it being packed out, especially with the market stall holders. Only been back twice since he left in the early 80s.
Ray Gibbs the landlord back in the 60/70s was my grandad and the pub was in our family for 3 generations (87 years). Happy memories helping Grandad restock the shelves on a Friday after school. Always remember it being packed out, especially with the market stall holders. Only been back twice since he left in the early 80s. Grant F
  • Score: 9

2:23am Tue 21 Jan 14

bigmark30 says...

I had six good years working the door at the lope and many good friends made, seems a shame but it had gone right downhill recently, but you never know someone might take it on and return it to the great pub it once was.
I had six good years working the door at the lope and many good friends made, seems a shame but it had gone right downhill recently, but you never know someone might take it on and return it to the great pub it once was. bigmark30
  • Score: 14

8:19am Tue 21 Jan 14

Kingsley25 says...

I used to love the Antelope. A wonderful, historic pub with a friendly crowd and a great atmosphere. It's been awful now for a good 10 years or so however, really ever since they put the dance floor in and aimed itself at a different market, completely alienating the regular punters who'd been going for so long. I'd love to think someone could take this over and restore it to how it used to be.
I used to love the Antelope. A wonderful, historic pub with a friendly crowd and a great atmosphere. It's been awful now for a good 10 years or so however, really ever since they put the dance floor in and aimed itself at a different market, completely alienating the regular punters who'd been going for so long. I'd love to think someone could take this over and restore it to how it used to be. Kingsley25
  • Score: 20

9:51am Tue 21 Jan 14

Marsh Wanderer says...

Mr Totterdge Hill wrote:
JustJus wrote:
S**t hole!
Run into the ground as have most of cheery Big Ol Dave's pubs have been.

House in danger???

Quelle surprise after damaging the many watering holes he and his company have taken over... it's some sort of scam... like accet stipping without the accets to start with?

Just don't buy a used car from this chap...
Too true, how many more pubs will this man ruin? Half a dozen pubs plus have closed after this man has owned them. I wouldn't use the place after they started the discount prices for students, why should I, a Wycombe resident and long time customer be made to pay more for a pint than someone who is in the town for a couple of years studying?
[quote][p][bold]Mr Totterdge Hill[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JustJus[/bold] wrote: S**t hole![/p][/quote]Run into the ground as have most of cheery Big Ol Dave's pubs have been. House in danger??? Quelle surprise after damaging the many watering holes he and his company have taken over... it's some sort of scam... like accet stipping without the accets to start with? Just don't buy a used car from this chap...[/p][/quote]Too true, how many more pubs will this man ruin? Half a dozen pubs plus have closed after this man has owned them. I wouldn't use the place after they started the discount prices for students, why should I, a Wycombe resident and long time customer be made to pay more for a pint than someone who is in the town for a couple of years studying? Marsh Wanderer
  • Score: 29

10:07am Tue 21 Jan 14

Scruffs says...

The pub started to go down hill when bald John took it over back around 2000. It has gradually got worse and worse since then.
Finger crossed the Goblin is allowed to retain its genuine charm. Once that has gone, that's it.
The pub started to go down hill when bald John took it over back around 2000. It has gradually got worse and worse since then. Finger crossed the Goblin is allowed to retain its genuine charm. Once that has gone, that's it. Scruffs
  • Score: 7

10:10am Tue 21 Jan 14

chepping100 says...

Stu1966 wrote:
Whats Pure closing got to do with it? I thought that would have helped trade.
Maybe Pure and The Antelope have the same customer base. One goes, then the other goes.
[quote][p][bold]Stu1966[/bold] wrote: Whats Pure closing got to do with it? I thought that would have helped trade.[/p][/quote]Maybe Pure and The Antelope have the same customer base. One goes, then the other goes. chepping100
  • Score: 6

1:27pm Tue 21 Jan 14

Moddie Boy says...

A sad loss for Wycombe. It used to be a great pub in my youth but got really scruffy in recent years so I stopped going there.
A sad loss for Wycombe. It used to be a great pub in my youth but got really scruffy in recent years so I stopped going there. Moddie Boy
  • Score: 6

7:42am Wed 22 Jan 14

grazza49 says...

PinkSamand the Shakers wrote:
I met my husband in this glorious pub 47 years ago. Friday and Saturday nights you could hardly get in the door. Well thanks to the no smoking ban and high rents I suppose trade declined markedly. Health and Safety and the Banks have tolled the bells on many small businesses.
Although we no longer live in the area, always so sad to hear news like this. Bucks council should be ashamed to see this pub close. Will there be anything left of the original High Wycombe next time we are visiting the area?

In memoriam....Peter(Ra

sher) and Jenny xx
Wotcha Pete - I met my missus in the Antelope, too.
1968 - and she's still with me all these years later!
[quote][p][bold]PinkSamand the Shakers[/bold] wrote: I met my husband in this glorious pub 47 years ago. Friday and Saturday nights you could hardly get in the door. Well thanks to the no smoking ban and high rents I suppose trade declined markedly. Health and Safety and the Banks have tolled the bells on many small businesses. Although we no longer live in the area, always so sad to hear news like this. Bucks council should be ashamed to see this pub close. Will there be anything left of the original High Wycombe next time we are visiting the area? In memoriam....Peter(Ra sher) and Jenny xx[/p][/quote]Wotcha Pete - I met my missus in the Antelope, too. 1968 - and she's still with me all these years later! grazza49
  • Score: 2

8:39am Wed 22 Jan 14

Jade12 says...

Very sad! I cant help but feel High Wycombe has lost a lot of its history and colour. Its wonderful to read all of the memories that have been made in that pub.
Very sad! I cant help but feel High Wycombe has lost a lot of its history and colour. Its wonderful to read all of the memories that have been made in that pub. Jade12
  • Score: 1

11:57am Wed 22 Jan 14

Craig.... says...

Gutted! I no longer live in Wycombe, but when I do I always try to get back in to my old haunts for a drink. Was only there last Friday and absolutely kicking myself that we didn't go in for one last drink.

RIP The 'Lope. Many good memories.
Gutted! I no longer live in Wycombe, but when I do I always try to get back in to my old haunts for a drink. Was only there last Friday and absolutely kicking myself that we didn't go in for one last drink. RIP The 'Lope. Many good memories. Craig....
  • Score: 0

12:51pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Wycombe1324 says...

I have worked for Dave in the past and have to say despite all of the negative comments I have found him to be a very fair man who tries his best to look after his staff when he can. The pub shutting down has been a long time coming and the whole of town has lost a lot of customers due to Pure closing, without a late night venue such as Pure students and residents go elsewhere, Yates's even ship them off in coaches a few days a week to Watford! People are staying at home more and taking advantage of the cheap supermarket booze. It's extremely difficult to compete with the likes of the SU and Yates's with large entertainment budgets and drinks deals which blow all other traditional pubs out of the water. The police are eager to keep as many people over one side of town to make it easier for them to control kick out time and unfortunately for the Antelope they chose Frogmoor, giving Yates's a late licence. With the canopies being wrecked in the bad weather this would have hit the pub badly since the pub boasts such a large outside area. There are so many different factors as to why the pub had to shut down and I'm sure it'll be open again within a few months, hopefully as it were before.
I have worked for Dave in the past and have to say despite all of the negative comments I have found him to be a very fair man who tries his best to look after his staff when he can. The pub shutting down has been a long time coming and the whole of town has lost a lot of customers due to Pure closing, without a late night venue such as Pure students and residents go elsewhere, Yates's even ship them off in coaches a few days a week to Watford! People are staying at home more and taking advantage of the cheap supermarket booze. It's extremely difficult to compete with the likes of the SU and Yates's with large entertainment budgets and drinks deals which blow all other traditional pubs out of the water. The police are eager to keep as many people over one side of town to make it easier for them to control kick out time and unfortunately for the Antelope they chose Frogmoor, giving Yates's a late licence. With the canopies being wrecked in the bad weather this would have hit the pub badly since the pub boasts such a large outside area. There are so many different factors as to why the pub had to shut down and I'm sure it'll be open again within a few months, hopefully as it were before. Wycombe1324
  • Score: -7

10:47am Thu 23 Jan 14

chepping100 says...

Wycombe1324 wrote:
I have worked for Dave in the past and have to say despite all of the negative comments I have found him to be a very fair man who tries his best to look after his staff when he can. The pub shutting down has been a long time coming and the whole of town has lost a lot of customers due to Pure closing, without a late night venue such as Pure students and residents go elsewhere, Yates's even ship them off in coaches a few days a week to Watford! People are staying at home more and taking advantage of the cheap supermarket booze. It's extremely difficult to compete with the likes of the SU and Yates's with large entertainment budgets and drinks deals which blow all other traditional pubs out of the water. The police are eager to keep as many people over one side of town to make it easier for them to control kick out time and unfortunately for the Antelope they chose Frogmoor, giving Yates's a late licence. With the canopies being wrecked in the bad weather this would have hit the pub badly since the pub boasts such a large outside area. There are so many different factors as to why the pub had to shut down and I'm sure it'll be open again within a few months, hopefully as it were before.
“The police are eager to keep as many people over one side of town to make it easier for them to control kick out time and unfortunately for the Antelope they chose Frogmoor, giving Yates's a late licence.”

Is this true? This has had a devastating effect on the businesses in the Frogmoor area. The police have no right to dictate which businesses can locate in a particular area.

*** POLICE STATE WYCOMBE ***
[quote][p][bold]Wycombe1324[/bold] wrote: I have worked for Dave in the past and have to say despite all of the negative comments I have found him to be a very fair man who tries his best to look after his staff when he can. The pub shutting down has been a long time coming and the whole of town has lost a lot of customers due to Pure closing, without a late night venue such as Pure students and residents go elsewhere, Yates's even ship them off in coaches a few days a week to Watford! People are staying at home more and taking advantage of the cheap supermarket booze. It's extremely difficult to compete with the likes of the SU and Yates's with large entertainment budgets and drinks deals which blow all other traditional pubs out of the water. The police are eager to keep as many people over one side of town to make it easier for them to control kick out time and unfortunately for the Antelope they chose Frogmoor, giving Yates's a late licence. With the canopies being wrecked in the bad weather this would have hit the pub badly since the pub boasts such a large outside area. There are so many different factors as to why the pub had to shut down and I'm sure it'll be open again within a few months, hopefully as it were before.[/p][/quote]“The police are eager to keep as many people over one side of town to make it easier for them to control kick out time and unfortunately for the Antelope they chose Frogmoor, giving Yates's a late licence.” Is this true? This has had a devastating effect on the businesses in the Frogmoor area. The police have no right to dictate which businesses can locate in a particular area. *** POLICE STATE WYCOMBE *** chepping100
  • Score: 9

8:41pm Fri 24 Jan 14

david gantzel says...

Slack reporting. Very sorry to hear High Wycombe's oldest pub, the Antelope has closed. When the Horse and Jockey in St Mary's Street and the Three Tuns closed the Antelope became the oldest pub. it was the centre of military activity in the 18th Century.
The Antelope has never been in Queen Square - it is in Church Square.
Note Queen Square has no apostrophe 's. Again slack reporting. I would have had my knuckles rapped when I was at BFP.
DAVID GANTZEL
Slack reporting. Very sorry to hear High Wycombe's oldest pub, the Antelope has closed. When the Horse and Jockey in St Mary's Street and the Three Tuns closed the Antelope became the oldest pub. it was the centre of military activity in the 18th Century. The Antelope has never been in Queen Square - it is in Church Square. Note Queen Square has no apostrophe 's. Again slack reporting. I would have had my knuckles rapped when I was at BFP. DAVID GANTZEL david gantzel
  • Score: 6

12:58am Sat 1 Feb 14

jonjonjon123 says...

david gantzel wrote:
Slack reporting. Very sorry to hear High Wycombe's oldest pub, the Antelope has closed. When the Horse and Jockey in St Mary's Street and the Three Tuns closed the Antelope became the oldest pub. it was the centre of military activity in the 18th Century.
The Antelope has never been in Queen Square - it is in Church Square.
Note Queen Square has no apostrophe 's. Again slack reporting. I would have had my knuckles rapped when I was at BFP.
DAVID GANTZEL
Dave burr get out of the pub trade .you couldn't run a bath !,,,,,,,, try demolition next time ,,,,, your good at wrecking things SHAME on you ?cowboy
[quote][p][bold]david gantzel[/bold] wrote: Slack reporting. Very sorry to hear High Wycombe's oldest pub, the Antelope has closed. When the Horse and Jockey in St Mary's Street and the Three Tuns closed the Antelope became the oldest pub. it was the centre of military activity in the 18th Century. The Antelope has never been in Queen Square - it is in Church Square. Note Queen Square has no apostrophe 's. Again slack reporting. I would have had my knuckles rapped when I was at BFP. DAVID GANTZEL[/p][/quote]Dave burr get out of the pub trade .you couldn't run a bath !,,,,,,,, try demolition next time ,,,,, your good at wrecking things SHAME on you ?cowboy jonjonjon123
  • Score: 8

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