CAMPAIGNERS and council bosses are calling for a historic pub site to remain as a leisure venue – after bosses shut their doors for the very last time.

As rumours continue to circulate about the future of the Dick Turpin, off the A127 near Wickford, a pub, takeaway and music venue are top of the wish-list for ex-customers and council bosses.

Residents and regulars say a pub or something similar would work well and also call for a return of the iconic bike and classic car meets.

Faye Barfoot, 40 from Wickford, said: “I liked it just the way it was. It’s closing because of the lockdowns. Before that it was rammed.”

Scarlett Keeling O’Callaghan, 23 from Wickford said: “A fast foot outlet would be good but it could possibly make it too busy when pulling back onto the A127. It is already a nightmare, this could get too dangerous.

“I’d like it to still be a pub but who knows.”

Greene King bosses confirmed earlier this month the pub will not re-open and hoardings at the site have only fuelled rumours about the venue being demolished.

But bosses are keeping tight lipped around the future of the site after it was listed for sale with commercial agents AG&G.

Kerry Smith, Independent deputy leader of Basildon Council blamed the Government for our failing pubs.

He said: “It’s sad to see these pubs shut down and they are not getting the support needed to keep them going.

“This is a landmark site and the Government should be backing them rather than using them as cash cows.

“This is still an ideal site for a pub, in my opinion but for that to happen we need the Government to stop hitting our pubs with constant tax changes and opening laws.

“Due to the size I can’t see it being too long before developers start to eye it up. It should be kept as a pub as we are losing our history.”

Resident Mike Hernaman, 34, from Rayleigh, said the biker evenings were so popular and should be brought back.

He added: “I liked it the way it was, great in the summer on Tuesday nights as a biker, but obviously not making enough money, or was it and this virus that killed it off?”

James Goulding, 38 from Canvey, said: “With the music venues shutting down, this could be turned into one.

“There is and always will be a demand for good live music.”

Brian Jones, 41, from Wickford, said: “It should be kept as a pub that has a great menu and not just a carvery.

“I like the idea of live music, just give more options for people to go out and do something different.

“We don’t need more flats it’s too congested around here already. We don’t need more.”