Great British Pub Awards 2020
Judging for the Great British Pub Awards is now complete and we are delighted to announce that a collection of eighteen pubs across our favourite haunts have been selected.
The cogitating has finished and we are now down to the crème de la crème of Great British Pubs.
Pub companies that are sponsoring the Great British Pubs event have been approached by the Morning Advertiser and have been asked to nominate seven of their Pub Heroes.
It’s no surprise that this year’s awards focus around selflessness and community spirit, and given the exceptional circumstances faced by the great British publicans this year.
Check out the finalists below. The votes are now being tallied up and the winners will be streamed online on the 24th September 2020.View the categories
Facing the UK pandemic hundreds of pubs managed to trade during the lockdown, with many of them not only continuing as takeaway local pubs but diversifying and serving their local community with specific needs.
From the outset The Keel Row launched a free delivery service for locals that were shielding. Following the pub's closure the team set up a takeaway and delivery service for the community including care homes. They have successfully launched an Afternoon Tea service serving 70-80 teas daily. No one is forgotten by this team - from collecting donations to the food bank or the local cat & dog rescue centre. Plus they lit up the pub in blue in support of the NHS and front-line workers with all the locals 'tooting' their horns in support.
A really family affair at the Anchor with the whole team pulling together to create home-cooked meals personally delivered to those shielding, and also available for takeaway for the rest of the community. The service really took off from 10 meals to now cooking 50 meals per night. Not only that, but an appeal for 2 litre milk containers had them inundated. It was so busy and at times chaotic at The Anchor, that the local Police dropped in on the third night of lockdown to check they weren't having a party!
The Grove Tavern not only wanted to help the local community with a takeaway service but worked with local tradesmen to keep them occupied making improvements to the pub during lockdown. Initially, takeaways were served though a 'make do' hatch from the tiny kitchen, where the landlord was cooking up a storm himself for the regulars. From that the publican engaged local tradesmen to improve the takeaway area into a permanent feature and made the most of the closed pub to not only spruce up the customer areas but those vitally important to good hygiene, such as re-sealing cellar floor and walls whilst there was no stock on the premises.
Pubs are always raising money for local good causes with thousands going to charities via pubs and their customers each year. But what about the pubs that were able to keep it up even through a global crisis?
Disaster struck at The Victoria when one of the two publicans was struck down with Covid-19 and was taken to St Richards Hospital ITU, becoming their longest standing Covid patient. Her husband wanted to thank the NHS. Starting with coffee machines and pods for the hospital, he didn't stop. Then there was goody bags made from donations. His efforts started a snowball effect with other joining in his fund raising efforts with a grand total of £110,000 eventually being raised. Unfortunately due to the rehabilitation now required post Covid, you won't be able to see them both in the pub but you should definitely vote and recognise their achievements.
Pubs stepped in to ensure the mental well-being of their communities as the coronavirus pandemic brought with it unprecedented challenges for people in all walks of life. The Community Mindfulness award celebrates the pubs that have worked hard to keep their communities connected and talking.
The White Horse's big-hearted manager missed his locals so much that he did a free two hour DJ set hosted on Facebook - not just once but every Friday during lockdown. It soon gained popularity getting over 1,000 views from all around the world. He also spent his spare time collecting for the local hospital's critical care ward and was recognised by the local church for his care and charity.
The heart-warming and sometimes heart-breaking story at The Horse & Jockey is that they set up a 'listening ear' service which supports the elderly and vulnerable. Calling each day to talk to people in their community that sometimes don't see or speak to anyone else. The support has continued and is invaluable.
The Community Services category highlights the pubs that have worked hard to help protect and engage with elderly and vulnerable customers, engaging with outside agencies and ensuring people are being looked after.
The Buck organised a group called Helping Covid-19. Before lockdown, the newly formed group managed to deliver 7,000 leaflets around the local community of Driffield with the publican's contact number on. This was supported by a Facebook group and website, with the help of the local council. Six volunteers coordinated all the requests for help, with 10 more volunteers assisting with with shopping and dog walking. The pub also helped deliver prescriptions to vulnerable people and provided PPE to the NHS and key workers. The Buck managed to bring together a whole community.
In addition to their 'listening ear' service, The Horse & Jockey in Melling helped deliver 15,000 meals to vulnerable people within their community. The pub also assisted with the collection and distribution of prescriptions, taking pets to the vet, and taking vulnerable people to hospital and doctors' appointments.
The Lion Brewery played an important role in the local community of Ash during lockdown. It acted as a hub for elderly residents to visit for those who didn't have anyone else or didn't have family members nearby. The pub has also helped the elderly to fill out forms for self-employment furlough, as well offering a takeaway food service and free delivery service in the local area.
Feeding the community
Food has become an integral part of many pubs' offerings, and during lockdown many pubs shifted to run takeaway services and provided free meals to vulnerable people in their local communities. This award recognises those pubs that are a great example to the trade and kept food services going during lockdown.
The Horse & Jockey in Melling mobilised a group of caring villagers and set up a community kitchen. They are still delivering meals now to those who are shielding and have nobody else. The pub now offers both takeaway services and a community kitchen service, and despite losing out financially, they brought a community together at a time when social distancing has forced us apart.
Even before pubs were forced to close, the Keel Row in Seaton Delaval set up a free delivery service for those who were apprehensive about visiting public places or had underlying health conditions. They fully launched a takeaway and delivery service during lockdown, with prices for home-cooked meals reduced to ensure all of the community were able to access the service. Meals were delivered to local care homes and sheltered accommodation, a food bank was set up and an afternoon tea service was a huge success within their local community.
The Swan in Thornbury set up a Facebook group and advertised with various organisations that they were cooking food for the vulnerable. They delivered food seven days a week, both lunchtime and during the evening. The pub also made regular calls to vulnerable people, ensuring that they were safe during lockdown. On two occasions, customers celebrated their 90th birthday during lockdown, so the Swan delivered a special three-course meal so they could celebrate properly. 'Fish and chip Friday' was also set up for elderly residents.
A key difficulty faced during lockdown was supporting front-line workers, but these pubs didn't shy away from that challenge. This award celebrates the pubs that stepped up to do whatever they could to support their local front-line heroes during lockdown.
The Junction Tap decided to buy a 3D printer, helping to make clips used to attach the protective plastic visors for doctors and nurses working closely with coronavirus patients. The pub managed to make over 1,000 clips; these were safely collected, sterilised and delivered to hospitals in need across the country.
Keeping the community entertained
With people suffering during lockdown, pubs up and down the country reached out to their local communities to help connect people and provide entertainment and a welcome relief. This award recognises pubs that stepped up to the challenge with some stunning examples of innovation and amusement.
The Two Brewers in Clapham streamed its popular Sunday Night Drag Show, known as The Power of Three, making it bigger and better by adding an extra act, so it became known as the Power of Four. The pub also streamed a Eurovision-themed drag contest which was hugely popular during lockdown.
There has been no greater time of uncertainty for those working in the pub industry and the coronavirus pandemic saw teams separated during lockdown. This award recognises the pubs that gave back to their staff during amid the pandemic.
The White Lion ensured all of their staff were financially supported during lockdown, committing to paying each staff member 100% of their wages out of the pub's own savings prior to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme going live. They also offered mental health support for staff who needed someone to talk to during such a difficult time.
Ei Publican Partnerships Pub Hero of the Year
As part of the Great British Pub Awards 2020, seven pubs from the Ei Publican Partnerships estate have been shortlisted for Pub Hero of the Year. The award celebrates the company's pubs which have really shone during lockdown.
The Brickmakers in Norwich, Moody Cow in Upton Bishop, Willows in Upton, Mowden Hotel in Darlington, Horse & Jockey in Melling, Old Thatch in Ferndown, and Dick Whittington in South Ox have all been shortlisted for the Pub Hero of the Year Award.