#MYLOCALIS Round-up and Winner Announcement!

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We announced the relaunch of our annual campaign #MyLocalIs  back in January this year…

The aim of the campaign is to get people reflecting on the importance of pubs in their own lives, as well as in society overall. As you can imagine, this brought up some wonderful thoughts and connections. For most of us, pubs are significant in being a physical space for comfort, human interaction, relaxation, fun, friendship, and memories, away from the stresses and superficial things that life can bring.

‘My local is my home from home, with drinks and smiles that makes me want to stay a while, bottles of beer, bundles of cheer, faces new and old,  all brought together under one roof’ – Eddie


‘My local is my special place where I meet friends new and old. A place I feel confident and comfortable to go in alone. always knowing you’ll get a warm welcome from the friendly staff who go above and beyond to make your stay special.’ – Sam


Sadly, a lot of great establishments have not survived the pandemic. Among those that have, including us here at Castle Rock, there has been little help from our government to ensure we come out OK on the other side.

Only this week, an announcement revealed that, despite persistent lobbying by UKH and others, the government refused to maintain a lower rate of tax throughout spring for the hospitality and tourism industry. As a result, we feel more reliant on public support and repeat custom to our sites than ever before.

But it’s not all doom and gloom…going through the submissions for #MyLocalIs in particular has been a truly humbling experience, especially in seeing the common values we all share. To hear how much a sense of community, friendliness, care and even something as simple as a nice environment and good beer means to you, helps keep us on track with delivering the essentials of what makes a good pub.

After going through lots of heart-warming personal accounts of “pub love”, we’re pleased to announce, the winner of the #MyLocalIs 2022 campaign is: PAUL HARRIS

Congratulations! We will be in touch to give you your prize of £50 gift card and 2 x tickets to our Yard Party!


Here’s what Paul said:

‘My local is somewhere where troubles and worries fade into the background, yet are discussed openly. Where connections are made, re-made and celebrated. They are hubs for creativity, arts, music, and emotion, and sit within the heart of our community. Now – more than ever – they are vital to our way of life.’ – Paul Harris


It is now our time to thank you, the customers, for playing your part in what makes a pub special. Without you, we are nothing and your support is essential to our survival. Finally, we want to show our gratitude to all of you who shared your thoughts and feelings about what your local means to you, it has been a pleasure to read. Thank you for taking the time to share.

A fitting way to end seems to be in this submission from Mike O’hUigin, who manages to poetically capture a thread that was felt by many of us during the lockdown and restrictions that resulted from the pandemic:


The Ambience Of A Bar

Ninety-two days since I last saw the inside of a bar!

I could have crossed the Sahara it seems so far,

But I haven’t been dry during this time,

For I leant on bottles supplied from the brewery by a friend.

But there are many things I am without,

Where is the company,

And the ambience of that place,

Banter and chatter instead of this deafening silence I face.

Dogs at my feet and youngsters enquiring after my health,

That’s living that’s part of life’s wealth,

You must grab living by the scruff of the neck,

Existing is not living, you’re just tarrying for death.

I have engaged with my eldest daughter in virtual drinks,

Each at our computers visible on screen,

But presence is absent an intangible yet vital essence of being,

There’s more to life than just what we are seeing.

In a bar you can arrange to meet friends,

But there is also the magic of the unexpected guest,

Or a chance meeting that can change everything,

Also it’s a place to wind down, a travellers rest.

New bar staff who become old fiends,

The entertainment in a good bar is those who are there,

Maybe paid musicians but mostly just people who tell a tale,

Laughter and company is the ambience of a bar.

Mike O’hUigin 2020

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