#countdowntolockdown is here again with one of those heart-warming stories about a community owned wet led boozer that is defying the odds.
Lifeafterfootball is renowned for its cynicism but I know a good news story when I see one and no amount of lockdowns is going to dampen the spirts of villagers in Worthington.
That’s right – one of Leicester’s favourite sons Frank Worthington was so popular they decided to name a village after him in the seventies*** (this may not be true).
There is a history of this of course as Chilwell in Nottinghamshire was recently renamed after former Leicester left back Ben.
This also may not be true of course but, what is undoubtedly bona fide fact, is that the 608 – Malt Shovel LE65 1RQ is a terrific village pub.
Worthington is in prime North West Leicestershire countryside but, apparently, the pub was in line for a sale to developers.
(view from the car park)
However, a group of villagers with no experience in the pub trade – beyond drinking in the pub – put together a consortium and are doing a rather good job.
I posted a picture on Twitter of a terrific cheese cob and pint of Moon Door (Charnwood) which got a response from Graham McKay, who is not only a Crystal Palace fan, but also one of the pubs owners.
“Glad you liked the place… making a go of a wet led village pub has been a challenge, but word is getting out there.”
“The pub was allegedly being sold to developers so five of us put our hands in our pockets and Marston’s sold it to us for a fair price… we probably do 20 times the beer they were selling before though… village pubs are a huge part of our culture and very important.”
“We are engineers, lawyers and farmers… nobody knew much about running a pub. It’s been a real blast. Steep learning curve and we have made mistakes but the people vote with their feet and we’ve had lovely feedback from all manner of customers.”
Fair play to Marston’s for flogging it at a fair price and a wet led pub is never easy in these times, especially in a village of 1,350 punters.
However, I was there on a Saturday afternoon and the barmaid was getting some good-natured stick about the quality of the fire!
I was there with my daughter, post hockey, and listening to a bit of football on the radio whilst having a decent Pedigree (Marston’s) and then a sensational Moon Door (Charnwood).
The barmaid came over and I asked her if they did any food and she said only cheese or ham cobs – what more do you want!
I asked her how it was going with the 10pm closing and table service and she replied that: “We are probably more busy if anything. The local community really come to to support us.”
There was a couple giggling away on a nearby table who had been on it all afternoon and there was a good thoroughfare of people coming and going.
What a pub. Great to see a community owned wet led Free House can be a success by selling good local homebrew, cobs and providing a friendly atmosphere.
It’ll never catch on!!!