Pub award finalists from same village

Two of the finalists for a national competition that recognises the work of pubs in their communities are only half-a-mile apart.

Friday, 7th July 2017, 3:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 7:45 am
Sharon Herron, landlady of The Keel Row at Seaton Delaval. Picture by Jane Coltman.

The Hastings and The Keel Row in Seaton Delaval are on the shortlist for the Britvic Lifting Spirits Awards, run in association with the Morning Advertiser.

The winner will be announced next week at a ceremony in London.

Landlords Peter Evans and Paul Thompson at The Hastings in Seaton Delaval. Picture by Jane Coltman

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

Its free family fun days and Christmas carol service has 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.

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

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

Landlords Peter Evans and Paul Thompson at The Hastings in Seaton Delaval. Picture by Jane Coltman

The Keel Row team said: “All in all, we are a well-supported community pub, despite being a drive-to destination, and we have many kind-hearted and generous customers who get involved in raising funds for worthy causes.”

The Hastings has supported the Daft as a Brush Cancer Patient Care charity as a result of a chance meeting between current landlords Paul Thompson and Peter Evans and a volunteer on the day they came to view the pub.

Funds are raised through a quiz night every week, a special week of events in the last week of July and staff doing activities such as a sponsored silence and hair-dyeing.

It also hosts ward surgeries attended by local county and parish councillors and networking sessions for the North East Chamber of Commerce.

Mr Evans and Mr Thompson said: “In December 2015, we followed our major refurbishment with bringing back to life a disused shell of a former function room.

“In setting out this £25,000 project, we were clear that we wanted it to be used by community groups, as well as for private dining meetings and functions.”