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Author Adds new twist to Pub Fight

Jason Hippisley


Prize-winning author A S Byatt has lent her support to the fight to save an historic city pub.

As the sale of the Adam and Eve pub to Lincoln Minster School was due to be completed today, Dame Antonia has waded in to the controversy, saying the 400-year-old inn should be left alone.

Campaigners fighting the closure of the pub under the school's 5m redevelopment plans have been given hope by the author's intervention a week ahead of a public meeting in the city.

The pub was used as a location for the film Possession, the novel for which Dame Antonia won the Booker Prize in 1990, the year she was made a CBE.

The movie, which stars Gwyneth Paltrow, was shot in and around Lincoln in September and is due for release later this year.

Possession involves a moving scene in the snug of the Adam and Eve where Aaron Eckhart, Miss Paltrow's opposite number challenges his feelings for the star, who plays a colleague at a Lincoln university, which was filmed in parts of the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside.

Dame Antonia (64) said: "I would be very upset if the pub closed.

"I have known it since I was a child.

"In places like Lincoln where there isn't much left, it really ought to be left alone."

She visited the pub on a tour of the set as the film was being made.

Her opinion echoes that of more than 4,000 people who have signed a petition against the closure and campaigned for a successful U-turn from the Church School Foundation.

The foundation that runs the school is now trying to attract a brewery to sub-let the pub and keep it open.
For the foreseeable future Scottish and Newcastle, which has sold the Adam and Eve for an undisclosed sum, will continue to manage the pub.

The Save the Adam Campaign has even involved in its fight the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, who are patrons of the schools company.

Jim Cowan, a farmer who has led the campaign to save the pub with teacher Mike Miller and archaeologist Naomi Field, said: "We have achieved an enormous amount and I think it shows the true strength of feeling for the pub that A S Byatt has now got involved.

"We are very pleased she has come forward with her support, particularly at this stage as a public meeting looms," said Mr Cowan.

Pub Regular Steve Crawford said: "It's great that A S Byatt has come on board, but we still need people to turn out to the public meeting."

Called by the city council as part of its consultation on the school's change of use application, the meeting at the Lawn on Monday, January 22, starts at 7.30pm.


From the Lincolnshire Echo 15/01/2001

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