Though it might seem like it, I don't think you and I are are really in disagreement. We HAVE tried the 'our interests are the same' tack but Humphrey will not entertain it. I agree that whatever happens, we should not antagonise him. If he is to change his mind, he needs to have a way of saving face.
This was the second half of my letter to him:
"I think it is fair to say that all of us understand that without Sam Smiths' there would be no Blacksmith's Arms as few breweries seem interested in such idyllic village pubs anymore – and we are very grateful to you for that and know that you regard the Blacksmith's Arms as a special place. However, we believe that our gathering serves your interest as well as ours: we generate income through an activity – folk music – that is entirely in keeping with the village setting and generates income for Sam Smiths. We enjoy it, no-one else objects and it keeps your business going.
I'm sure you have your reasons for your decision, Mr Smith and I would appreciate knowing what they are. However, I do want you to know our feelings on the matter and the impact this decision will have.
Please reconsider your decision so that we can keep a gathering that is very precious to us."
To which the answer was 'no'.