A pub landlord is preparing to close a landmark after nearly three decades.

Landlord of the Herschel Arms, Tom King, 72, has spoken of the difficult decision which has come after rent couldn’t be agreed on with the landowner.

On August 5 Tom broke the news to his loyal customers on Facebook, stating: “I have been putting this off for over a week now but Thursday, August 31 is my last day in the Herschel.”

Speaking to the Observer, Tom said: "It's nobody's fault really. It's just an inability to agree which happens in a lot of businesses - rents have gone mad everywhere."

Slough Observer:

Tom has fronted the Herschel Arms since 1995 and says the situation has left him feeling "overwhelmed" and "let down".

Recounting his time in the Herschel, Tom said: “Great days, great times, great music, late nights, early mornings – 27 years and eight months.

“The Herschel Arms has had a good impact on the community, we’ve had a good run. We also do a lot of charity work, feeding the homeless.”

Slough Observer:

"Every day is a highlight - its a shrine really.”

Tom has seen many families grow as well as lose loved ones, who are commemorated in a mural painted by Tom and an artist during the pandemic.

He added that what will happen to the mural is his “greatest anxiety” when considering the closure.

Jackie, Tom’s partner who sadly passed away 18 months ago is specially commemorated on the mural.

Slough Observer:

Before taking over the Herschel Arms, Tom was in the British Legion.

He later went on to take over a pub in Ireland before changes in his home life saw him move across the country where he managed The Fur Cone in Maidenhead.

A two-year stint at The Huntercombe led him closer to his biggest venture in Slough where he took on the Hershel at a time when pubs were hustling and bustling.

Speaking of Slough in the 1990s, Tom said: "It was fantastic - I used to be very busy. Come Christmas this pub used to be mega busy. They would come in from High Wycombe, Bracknell, Maidenhead, and even Uxbridge. You cannot envisage that now.

"Everything has changed, the cost of living, families, parking - it isn't all downturn. We have some great people in Slough - the best people.

“We have had a lot of parents who have brought their kids here for their first drink."

The Herschel Arms last day of trading is August 29, ahead of Tom handing the keys back on August 31.

Situated on Park Street, the Herschel Arms has been open as a pub since 1860.

“For whatever reason it has come to this and there doesn’t seem to be a way out," Tom added.

Last week The Herschel Arms saw a special guests visit - Cassie Herschel-Shorland, a direct descendant of William Herschel, a famous astronomer who the pub was named after.

Slough Observer:

Following the closure announcement, Tom has seen people come from far and wide for one last visit.

Inside the pub, the ceiling and walls are covered with photographs of customers, staff and musicians – which have been on show since 2003.

“I’m worried about it [Herschel Arms] being wrecked – we have so many memories in there. Not just mine – predominantly customers.”

Sadly, Slough is currently seeing a spate of pub closures, with The Three Tuns, The Coachmakers Arms, The Rising Sun and The Rose and Crown all closing over the last few years.