Mark Rawlins, landlord of Anchor Inn
“I’m all for the Guardian’s campaign. The VAT hike and cheap supermarket alcohol haven’t helped and younger people are now talking to each other more through social media. Pubs are the hub of the community and a great place for people to socialise. We want to take things back to basics and support the games leagues who are suffering at the moment. We’re big on food and proud to feature real ales from local breweries such as Prior’s Well and Maypole. We’re also holding a beer and music festival this Bank Holiday weekend which our customers log. You have got to give customers something different - if you don’t then they won’t come back in. “
Mark Churchill, landlord of The Queen’s Head and Corner House
“I’m delighted the Guardian have started this pub campaign and we’ll definitely be backing it. Since the beginning of the year I’ve invested £285,000 in the Queen’s Head and the newly-opened Corner House which used to be Bar X-Cetra. I’m just trying to raise the profile of these places and give people more reasons to come into the town centre. If we can pull people from outside Worksop and they can go somewhere nice for lunch then it benefits everyone. There is a common misconception that there’s a lot of trouble in town on Friday and Saturday which we need to get away from. We’re really trying to offer something a bit more premium to attract people back into town which will benefit all pubs.”
Wayne Cadman, landlord of the Mallard
“We have been here for 10 years and decided from the outset we wanted to do something different in order to be successful because we are so small and there are big players in Worksop. We have grown year on year and are proud to be a traditional cask ale house which specialises in contentintal lagers, specialist beers and even old-fashioned fruit wines.
It’s very much part of the local community and an extension to our customers’ living rooms and there’s no jukebox or fruit machines to distract yourself other than the art of conversation. The good pubs back then are still successful now - customers vote with their foot where they go to relax and have a good time.”
Susan Hale, landlady at The Grafton Hotel
“I think it’s great the Guardian is supporting our local pubs. I think this situation will turn around - it’s not going to last forever. But current pricing structures and cheap supermarket booze has got to change. We’re in a better position as we have our own micro-brewery which is really taking off. This is also a very strong community pub and a proper traditional Worksop boozer - everyone knows everyone and looks after each other. I’m very fortunate to have the clientele I do - we all pull together and that’s what’s needed in this day and age. Too many people seem to go in their shell these days and anything which encourages people back into socialising in pubs is a good thing.”
Alan Dack, landlord at The Woodhouse Inn
“The community spirit hasn’t gone - it’s just that people can’t afford to come out and spend as they used to. I’ve been here for eight years and I used to have to line up the pints on the bar at 12pm for the factories - that has all changed. There was a welding firm near here that shut last Friday which is another nail in the coffin - I could guarantee there’d be lots of workers in at 4.30pm. They took off licensing away from pubs and gave it to corner shops and we just can’t compete with those prices.
“People can now buy cheap booze and stay at home to watch Sky TV. Any campaign to help the pubs and encourage more people has to be welcomed and we support it.”
Andrew Woods, landlord of The Shireoaks Inn
“The main thing that can’t be sold is the traditional pub atmosphere but people just haven’t got the money or the jobs in Worksop and there is far too much cheap booze in the supermarkets. There needs to be more factory jobs here but people have got to go out of town to pay the bills, which in turn is killing off local pubs which used to be much busier in the evenings. I do well but there’s certainly been a drop in trade in the last few years. All the pubs that have shut is down to people not going in them - there’s just not the money around there used to be. It’s not an easy time but I think it’s good the Guardian is supporting local pubs.”