Roger Gale at The Hussar in Proud of Pubs week 2008
July 18th 2008
North Thanet’s MP, Roger Gale called in at the Hussar in Garlinge on Friday as publicans across the country celebrate the second Proud of Pubs Week.
And the public are being urged to join them as the fightback to keep the great British pub alive begins.
Roger is one of more than 100 MPs visiting pubs during the national celebration of pubs, organised by The Publican magazine, which runs from July 13 to 20.
Roger saw for himself the positive contribution that The Hussar makes in its community, as well as discussing issues with licensee Renny Dobbs as pubs face up to an unprecedented series of challenges in 2008, ranging from spiralling beer prices to the aftermath of the smoking ban.
Following his visit Roger said:
“I called on a good night when Renny’s son, Ben and John Wright had organised a charity night as part of a Kilimanjaro climb to raise funds for Demelza House and the pub was buzzing.
Roger and Renny Dobbs
Tina Davies, John Wright, Ben Dobbs, Samantha Ramsey and Roger
Renny has beaten the smoking ban by providing good outdoor facilities and is currently transforming the interior to provide new coffee bar and food facilities in addition to the pool table and wide-screen sports TV to attract new custom.
The fact of the matter is, though, that pubs are finding it hard to compete with cut-price supermarket off-sales. In an age when concern is growing about anti-social drinking we ought to be encouraging the British Pub not stifling it.
Pubs also play an important part in our tourist offer – the Hussar has six bedrooms and serves breakfast – and we cannot afford to lose them at the rate they are closing. It’s time that we recognised, through taxes, the difference between on and off sales”.
Other events in Proud of Pubs Week will include pubs putting on their own Proud of Pubs Night, many of them trying out new entertainment for the first time, and pubs celebrating their barstaff.
Recent research revealed more than half of publicans (52 per cent) have seen sales drop in the year following the smoking ban – although most publicans blame the credit crunch for the drop, rather than the ban.
Daniel Pearce, managing editor of The Publican, said: “Pubs do so much for their communities and we thought it was about time that more MPs dropped in to their local to see that for themselves! Proud of Pubs Week is a great opportunity for pub landlords to shout out about all the great things they do.
“As pubs face up to unprecedented challenges in 2008, Proud of Pubs Week is the ideal time to drop into your local and give it a try.”
FOR FURTHER DETAILS ON PROUD OF PUBS WEEK CONTACT DANIEL PEARCE AT THE PUBLICAN ON 020 7955 3710 or 07941 257842