Pubs and the community

Sometimes, it is easier to define a community pub by giving examples. Here are two very positive stories which do just that.

One Inn the Wood, Petts Wood

 I ’m sure that all of us would agree that 2020/2021 has been a very difficult time for everyone. The hospitality industry has been particularly badly affected and all of us pub-goers have missed popping in to our local, not only for great beer but also for the chat. We know that pubs matter and are the beating heart of our communities. Not only do they provide a warm welcome to their customers but they also support many national and local charities. One of our micropubs with strong community links came up with a new way to keep that support going.

When the schools did not reopen in January 2021, the majority of teaching went online. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to a device and schools were crying out for laptops and tablets. Barry and Sarah Bridge, owners of the One Inn the Wood in Petts Wood, thought they might be able to help after realising that they had a spare laptop. They spread the word to friends and customers asking if anyone else also had any spare devices.

These were then dropped off, either at the pub or at two other shops in Petts Wood, Gibsons Dry Cleaners and Laura’s Larder. Then, with the help of a customer, Peter Paterson, they were wiped of all information and uploaded with the latest version of Windows. The One Inn the Wood also bought any cables or batteries that were needed.

In total, 125 devices have been provided to local schools including St Pauls Cray Primary, St Marys Cray Primary, Crofton Primary and Perry Hall Primary. This was a great way to give new life to equipment as well as providing a much needed lifeline for children. The Bromley branch of CAMRA congratulates the One Inn the Wood for their magnificent effort.

Wendy Reynolds BR5 area representative for Bromley CAMRA

The full address of the pub is 209 Petts Wood Road, BR5 1LA

The Railway, Greenford

 In January, while the pub was closed, managers Lance and Jake heard that Greenford’s only foodbank had shut down. After speaking to people in the area, they decided to help out. A Go Fund Me page was set up to raise funds to buy essential goods and, before long, they were also receiving direct donations of such items as bread, milk, eggs, fruit and fresh vegetables for distribution. The Felix Project also helped out, along with Kuehne & Nagel and Tesco, who both have distribution centres across the road. Before long the food bank was operating five days a week. The pub has now reopened and so the project has had to end but it is hoped that it can be transferred to a local church. With thanks to Roy Tunstall for the story and to Duncan MacNichol of the Felix Project for the photograph.

The pub’s address is 390 Oldfield Lane North Greenford UB6 0AP.

The Felix Project

The Felix Project is a London based charity which collects fresh and nutritious surplus food from supermarkets and similar outlets and delivers it to charities and schools so that they can provide healthy meals and help the most vulnerable in our society. Several CAMRA members, including four bar managers from Ealing Beer Festival, work at their local depot. The Project is now opening a depot in Bow and looking for volunteer drivers, co-drivers and warehouses assistants. Visit https://thefelixproject.org/ for more details.