Villagers in Wellington held their first Zoom meeting yesterday with the aim of a shared vision to reopen their local pub before Christmas.
From Wellington Community Website:
The Old Boot is closed at the moment.
A small group of villagers has got together to see whether the pub can be re-opened and what is entailed called the Pub in Wellington Group. They have investigated what resources are available e.g. through the Plunkett Foundation and CAMRA; and have discovered what other villages have done. They have also set up a website www.wellingtonpub.org as well as a Facebook page.
Lockdown rules have prevented a public meeting being held, to share information about how the village can keep a pub in the village, establish a volunteer Committee to explore the community buying the pub and to test public opinion. This is the most urgent action that will be taken as soon as it is legal and safe to do so.
Covid has decimated the pub and hospitality trade. There may be some very able people looking for work in the hospitality trade, as a result, when we come out of lockdown.
In his series on BBC 2 “Saving the Local Pub” Tom Kerridge notes that over 500 rural pubs have closed in 2019, never to re-open. Once a village loses its pub, it has lost its heart of the community. It also has an adverse effect on house prices.
There are a number of factors that are essential to make a successful pub.
- Great real ales and lagers that customers want to drink. Our pub has the benefit of being a Free House, i.e. not tied to a brewery.
- Excellent food – from a skilled creative chef who provides food that people want, both ‘bar food’ and ‘eating out special dinner’ food. This must also be coupled to well trained and courteous waiting staff.
- Friendly relaxed atmosphere – created by a good ‘mine host’ landlord as well as good decor and layout.
These things are all included in an outline plan drawn up by the Pub in Wellington Group. However, the bottom line is that even if we get all the above points right, the pub will fail spectacularly if residents don’t use it.
Our hope is that if residents have some of their own money invested in the pub, through buying shares, they will want to make it succeed.
Parishioners who wish to support the re-opening of a pub in Wellington are asked to register their interest by emailing to the following email address: email@example.com.