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‘It was really good to be back’: Bosses and customers react to Havering pubs reopening

PUBLISHED: 17:11 06 July 2020 | UPDATED: 17:27 06 July 2020

Susan Doherty and Di Jeffreys at The TapRoom in Upminster which opened its doors to serve its first drinks since lockdown began. Picture by Ellie Hoskins

Susan Doherty and Di Jeffreys at The TapRoom in Upminster which opened its doors to serve its first drinks since lockdown began. Picture by Ellie Hoskins

Archant

“It was really good to be back.” Havering’s pubs reopened for the first time in months and pubgoers rejoiced at being able to return.

Bailey King, Harry Philpot, Mat Mason and Connor Simpson at The Old White Horse in North Ockendon which reopened its doors once again. Picture by Ellie HoskinsBailey King, Harry Philpot, Mat Mason and Connor Simpson at The Old White Horse in North Ockendon which reopened its doors once again. Picture by Ellie Hoskins

Many of the borough’s pubs welcomed customers once more over the weekend, as part of the latest phase of the relaxation of lockdown restrictions.

Among those returning for a drink was Susan Doherty, who visited the Upminster TapRoom with her partner Di Jeffreys.

They normally go there once a week and the Upminster resident said she felt really safe during their visit.

Measures put in place included a hand sanitising station and protective screens around tables.

David Brown and Ron Harlow at The Old White Horse in North Ockendon. Picture by Ellie HoskinsDavid Brown and Ron Harlow at The Old White Horse in North Ockendon. Picture by Ellie Hoskins

Susan said: “It was nice to talk to people we have not seen for ages. It was really nice to get back out there again.

“I did not feel at all worried. It was really good to be back.”

Bailey King went to the Old White Horse, in North Ockendon, on Saturday with three of his friends and they enjoyed their drinks in the pub garden.

The South Ockendon resident said: “Not all of us wanted to go out at first but I was keen to go back. Obviously the garden was open so we were mostly in there.

Owner Clive Moseley and Dave Brown at The Old White Horse in North Ockendon. Picture by Ellie HoskinsOwner Clive Moseley and Dave Brown at The Old White Horse in North Ockendon. Picture by Ellie Hoskins

“They had sanitisers in there and were following the new rules. It was good to mingle with friends and to finally get back to the pub.”

The pub’s owner Clive Moseley revealed that the weekend was “quieter than we thought”. He had put signs up and introduced a one-way system around the pub to ensure people’s safety.

He said: “It was not bad. We had quite a few down the garden but it kept raining every now and again.”

The pub introduced a takeaway service during lockdown and Clive said it took more from takeaway beer sales than when it was previously open. Takeaway meals such as fish and chips have also proved very popular, he added.

Manager Simon Robdrup at The Optimist Tavern in Upminster which opened its doors to serve its first drinks since lockdown began. Picture by Ellie HoskinsManager Simon Robdrup at The Optimist Tavern in Upminster which opened its doors to serve its first drinks since lockdown began. Picture by Ellie Hoskins

Another place to open up was The Optimist Tavern, in Upminster, which is part of the Ember Inns chain.

Manager Lynsay Wood said it was fully booked on Saturday and admitted preparations to be Covid-secure had been “a walk in the park”.

The measures included sanitising stations and people being advised to order using an app.

She added: “You kind of just take it in your stride and get on with it, there is no point getting stressed about it. It’s life isn’t it?”

Staff member Leigh Dooley at The Old White Horse in North Ockendon. Picture by Ellie HoskinsStaff member Leigh Dooley at The Old White Horse in North Ockendon. Picture by Ellie Hoskins

You may also want to watch:

Owner Caroline Sheldon and staff member Clack with regulars David and Sarah Cordell who helped build the protective screens in the pub at The TapRoom in Upminster. Picture by Ellie HoskinsOwner Caroline Sheldon and staff member Clack with regulars David and Sarah Cordell who helped build the protective screens in the pub at The TapRoom in Upminster. Picture by Ellie Hoskins

Rosanna Parthouse and Ron Budden at The Optimist Tavern in Upminster. Picture by Ellie HoskinsRosanna Parthouse and Ron Budden at The Optimist Tavern in Upminster. Picture by Ellie Hoskins

The Optimist Tavern in Upminster reopened at the beginning of July. Picture: Ellie HoskinsThe Optimist Tavern in Upminster reopened at the beginning of July. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

The Old White Horse in North Ockendon welcomed customers as it reopened its doors. Picture by Ellie HoskinsThe Old White Horse in North Ockendon welcomed customers as it reopened its doors. Picture by Ellie Hoskins


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