Cheers to a top award for village pub

Sharon Herron, landlady of The Keel Row at Seaton Delaval. Picture by Jane Coltman
Sharon Herron, landlady of The Keel Row at Seaton Delaval. Picture by Jane Coltman

The team and regulars at a pub in south east Northumberland have been toasting to success in a national competition.

The Keel Row in Seaton Delaval was the winner at the Britvic Lifting Spirits Awards ceremony in London, run in association with the Morning Advertiser.

Sharon Herron and Natalie Walters of The Keel Row with the award.

Sharon Herron and Natalie Walters of The Keel Row with the award.

Fund-raising in recent years for Macmillan Cancer Support by the team in memory of beloved regular Peter, who sadly lost his battle with cancer, has now brought in nearly £20,000.

Another Seaton Delaval pub, The Hastings, was also among the finalists.

Both establishments support each other with community activities and the £1,000 prize money has been shared between them – The Keel Row will give £500 to Blyth Star Enterprises and The Hastings will donate £500 to Daft as a Brush Cancer Patient Care.

The Keel Row collects and is a drop-off point for the local food bank and for the last five years, it has operated its very own mini-bus that was kindly donated by one of its regulars.

The vehicle is mainly used to pick up elderly customers living in sheltered accommodation (independent living) who do not often get the opportunity to get out.

Its free family fun days and Christmas carol service have always been well supported by the public and every year, the pub asks its community to donate an Easter egg for children who are in hospital or visiting A&E over the period.

Landlady Sharon Herron said: “We were ecstatic to win this title, especially as the other finalists have done so much in their communities.

“Our staff are fantastic and they deserve to be recognised with a national award. They come along to the pub during their free time to help with our charity functions and events.”

“We couldn’t achieve awards like this without The Keel Row community – their generosity and support is amazing and whatever we’re involved in or organise, they are always there,” she added.

As well as its fund-raising activities, The Hastings hosts ward surgeries attended by local county and parish councillors and networking sessions for the North East Chamber of Commerce.