A popular pub has beaten off competition from hundreds of establishments to pick up another award.
The Hastings, in Wheatridge Row, Seaton Delaval, has been named Best Social Media Pub in awards run by Heineken owned Star Pubs & Bars.
Judges were bowled over by the social media skills of licensees Peter Evans and Paul Thompson who took over two-and-half years ago and have transformed it from an unloved local with one employee into a thriving traditional pub with a staff of 16.
The judges attributed Peter and Paul’s success not only to their hard work, community spirit and £168,000 refurbishment of The Hastings, but to an engaging social media campaign which spread the word about the pub’s change of direction and brought customers flooding back.
Also singled out was The Hastings app, which rewards regulars for their loyalty with a free drink on every seventh visit, as well as the way in which camaraderie in the pub is continued on social media when customers are way from The Hastings.
Peter and Paul received the coveted award from football legend Chris Kamara at a gala celebration night in Liverpool.
Peter said: “We’re ecstatic; it’s amazing to be recognised for the changes we’ve made to the pub with a second award.
“It’s been a real community effort; local people welcomed us warmly and supported us every step of the way, from helping out with electrical and plumbing problems to printing the menus and setting the kitchen up. We couldn’t have done it without them.”
Lawson Mountstevens, Star Pubs & Bars managing director, said: “People don’t always associate social media with a traditional pub but Peter and Paul’s commitment in this area have helped them secure The Hastings’ future.
!From tweeting to Facebook they do it all brilliantly and their success is all the more remarkable as much of it is self -taught.
!They are an inspiring example of how investment, innovation and professionalism are keeping the great British pub alive.”