“MY LOCAL IS…”
This statement needs a big answer. So, that’s what I’ll try to give.
As I sat down to write this blog, my fingers were getting eagerly ready to type. I was conflicted about what ‘my message’ should be. What perspective should I have? As someone who has been in this industry for only a few years, I felt like an outsider looking in. However, being present during some of the most challenging times this industry has endured, it was clear to see the staying power our pubs have.
I could ramble on about the various hardships we have all faced this year within the trade. I am sure many who work in the industry know too well of these. I am not going to do that. As we peer over the horizon, it’s time to celebrate what our industry has achieved. Like other bars, venues, and organisations, we have adapted to the changing tides. I can only speak for the Castle Rock community, specifically the Canalhouse, when I say there has been a steely determination from us all to succeed these past two years. Winston Churchill once said: ‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts’.
“A humble pub is still a place of solidarity, friendship, and togetherness.”
I think back to the first time I poked my head through the double doors at the Canalhouse. I recall strolling over the bridge, armed with a plastic wallet brimming with CVs. At the time, I was a student looking for work to supplement my income while attending university. Within a week, I was suited and booted and ready to go. To someone who has never been to the Canalhouse before, it’s hard to describe the unique character it has. The rich industrial feel is still as apparent today as it was 100 years ago when it was a warehouse for distributing goods to and from the Beeston Canal. With each turn of a corner, there lies a reminder of the past. I would say this is one of the reasons why customers return.
During those early months at the Canalhouse, I recall bustling summer evenings. Our annual Waterfront Festival was a celebration of people coming together from various walks of life. Wall to wall, there was always something to enjoy. Ambitious small businesses lined up outside with their merchandise neatly laid out on display; music artists performing underneath the night sky perched on our decking; and customers enjoying the festivities long into the evening. It’s in those moments of people coming together that you realise the significance of your local pub within the community.
Even after recent global events, one thing has remained the same. A humble pub is still a place of solidarity, friendship, and togetherness. When strolling around the pub, it is clear to see. Many friends enjoy renewed company after what seems like a millennium; many experiencing the pub for the first time; our neighbouring businesses burning off steam after a hard week at work; and most importantly, we can’t forget the presence of our feline friends! I think we can all agree we have had some cracking times huddled up together in our local.
“What’s on offer is not just beer and spirits, it is a sense of community that just cannot be achieved elsewhere.”
As normality resumes (if you can call it that), the impact of the local pub is plain to see. Though sadly, some businesses have not fared too well, it is evident the pub remains a central part of peoples’ lives. Those efforts of many publicans to provide a haven for people to enjoy great beer and good times with others have certainly gone a long way. In light of this, it seems that having the courage to continue counts the most.
Here’s to 2022. Let’s make it a blast.
Would you like to write a blog post for our My Local Is campaign? Drop us an email or message on social media.
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