The Queen’s Head mystery appears a little less murky today, as Selkirk’s derelict but cherished pub is linked to a Fife-based company called Dolcas Ltd.
Scottish Borders Council’s licensing unit, according to its public records, disclosed the name of the Queen’s Head’s “present premises licence holder” to be Rosyth-based Dolcas Limited, to whom the licence was transferred in 2011 from the previous owners Punch Taverns.
The licensing unit told us that being named as the premises licence holder does not guarantee Dolcas Ltd owns the Queen’s Head, but “it is most common for the owner to retain the premises licence, and the tenant to become premises manager”.
A second source confirmed the link to Dolcas Ltd. Council assessors value all heritable properties for local taxation purposes, and its ‘valuation rolls’ are kept for public view at St Mary’s Mill in Selkirk and online at www.saa.gov.uk.
The latest valuation roll, up to March 31, also names the “occupier” of the Queen’s Head Inn at 28 West Port – who is liable to pay business rates – as Dolcas Limited in Rosyth.
The council explained that, again, while this does not guarantee Dolcas owns the Queen’s Head, “in most cases the occupier would be the owner”.
Dolcas, with a company registration number SC 389381, is registered to an address at Torridon House on Torridon Lane in Rosyth, which is also the address of an accountancy firm, and tens, if not hundreds, of other companies.
The free business “transparency” website www.companycheck.co.uk summarises Dolcas Ltd as an “active business” “incorporated in Scotland on 23rd November 2010”, “run by one current member”, with “one shareholder owning the total shares within the company”.
Elsewhere, the business information and intelligence website www.duedil.com adds: “Dolcas Ltd does not have any child companies”. Its page, it says, was last updated on March 12 of this year.
Dolcas Limited’s annual return, filed to Companies House on November 23, 2012, publically names the “officers of the company” – Dolcas’ single director and shareholder – as Louise Mair, and cites her address in Leith.
But there are still more mysteries to solve: who is behind the unidentified Facebook group ‘Queen’s Head Selkirk’, who claim to be a “rival buyer” to Selkirk’s proposed community buy-out?
Will they reveal their identity “by the week’s end”, and open the pub “by end of July 2013” as they promise? And, if so, will they need DIY SOS?
Watch this space.