Bedworth pubs and clubs will be ‘half empty’ on Super Saturday, according to shock poll

  Posted: 24.06.20 at 12:38 by Nick Hudson

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MORE than half of Bedworth plans to “stay home” when the pubs and clubs are allowed to reopen their doors next week, according a new poll.

The idea of celebrating yesterday’s announcement of the end of most of Covid-19 lockdown measures has been met with a deal of reserved enthusiasm.

Boris Johnson told the nation that July 4 will see the two-metre social distancing rule cut back to a new ‘one-metre plus’ arrangement able to visit pubs, clubs, restaurants, cinemas, community centres, libraries, go to the hairdressers, stop at hotels and attend places of worship after being given the go ahead for a mass reopening of businesses on what is being dubbed Super Saturday.

The survey on Bedworth Community Forum posed the question of where would townsfolk like to go for their first pint.

Poll shock: The leaders in Tom Hartopp's survey

Out of 188 replies – a staggering 102 plumped for a quiet Saturday night in rather than enoying a beer of two down the local.

Coventry City fan Tom Hartopp, who organised the poll, said it was time to support the “local boozers”, adding: “They’ve lost enough money.”

Out of a total of 27 hostelries, five pubs and clubs were closely grouped in terms of popularity behind the “stayaway” winner ‘At Home’– ironically intrinsically part of the Government’s original message in slowing the spread of the virus.

The Plough in Smorrall Lane was ahead of The Miners Arms, followed by the Ex-Servicemen’s Club, the Liberal Club in King Street and JBs.

Dawn Allan summed up the sentiments: "A pint and a free dose of the virus. I think I'll stay home at the minute."

The Plough: Leading the pub pack for a first celebration pint on July 4

The news from the poll comes as the Government issued mew guidelines on Wednesday, ahead of lockdown measures easing on July 4, asking pub, club and restaurant bosses to ensure that customers and staff can be safe while enjoying a drink or a meal.

Music must be turned down low, ketchup sachets will replace bottles, and pints should be ordered on smartphones.

It also includes obvious measures, such as ensuring social distancing, cleaning bathrooms and reducing contact between people.

However, the atmosphere inside venues is also likely to change considerably.

Not only will they welcome fewer people in order to ensure that customers are sat further apart, but the stereo, or football match on the TV, will also be turned down.

The Miners Arms: The Marston Lane hostelry is vying for votes, and more importantly it's custom back

The guidance reads: "All venues should ensure that steps are taken to avoid people needing to unduly raise their voices to each other.

“This includes, but is not limited to, refraining from playing music or broadcasts that may encourage shouting, including if played at a volume that makes normal conversation difficult."

This is because as people start shouting or speaking up they are more likely to launch the virus into the air and spread it to other customers – so-called aerosol transmission.

Pubs and restaurants will also be asked to get their customers to order food directly to their tables using a smartphone app, where possible.

Another casualty of the coronavirus restrictions is likely to be the bottle of vinegar or jar of mayonnaise, as the Government encourages businesses to replace these with disposable alternatives.

bedworth Liberal Club: One of the leading contenders in the survey, so far

And gone are the days of picking up your own knives and forks at the counter. Cutlery should only be brought to the table with the food, according to the Government recommendations.

Here, Nub News takes a look at the details on what we can expect.

What's in?
Face coverings for staff – but not clinical face masks and other PPE which are needed in hospitals.
Working from home – unlikely to be an option for most hospitality workers, but it should be encouraged where possible.
Guestbook – venues should keep a record of all their customers for 21 days in order to help the NHS trace any outbreaks.
One-way systems – single-direction traffic inside pubs and restaurants can ensure people do not cross paths.
Extra parking – more parking spaces and bike racks will help customers and staff avoid public transport.
Queues – these should be outside and protected from traffic.
Hand sanitiser – customers should be encouraged to clean their hands when coming into a venue.
Apps – orders should be placed without contact and from the table, including via smartphone apps.
Shift patterns – staff should ideally work with the same team members each time they come to work, to avoid unnecessary contact.

What's out?
Live performances – drama, comedy and music in front of a live audience is not allowed.
Packed venues – even when it is possible to seat lots of people safely inside, it might be unsafe for them to travel to or enter the venue.
Self-service – diners should not be allowed to fetch their own cutlery, condiments or food.
Ketchup bottles – only disposable condiments should be used, or non-disposable condiment containers should be cleaned after each use.
Walls – outdoor areas should be well ventilated, which could involve "increasing the open sides of a covered area", the guidance said.
Lots of waiters – tables should be served by the same person each time.
Toilet doors – customer toilets should be well ventilated, including "fixing doors open where appropriate".
Loud music – people should not have to raise their voices, which can increase transmission.

Meanwhile, queues are here to stay, as the guidance to ensure that people wait their turn outside venues.

This will mean that managers have to cooperate with their neighbours to ensure that queues waiting to get into two places do not mingle.

This cooperation could stretch as far as staggering opening times to ensure that people are not queuing and taking public transport to the venue at the same time.

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A message from the Editor, Nick Hudson

Hi, I'm Nick Hudson, the Editor of Bedworth Nub News.

I began my local news career almost half a century ago by covering the three towns of Bedworth, Nuneaton & Atherstone for the old Observer. My first job was to collect the immaculately-typed copy of the 'Queen of Memories' Mary Ashmore from her Longford home.

I reported from the sidelines as the forward-thinking Bedworth Urban District Council was joined at the hip with neighbouring Nuneaton and worked as one authority from May 1974.

In 1983 I had the opportunity to launch the Trader weekly newspaper into Bedworth and Nuneaton for free entrepreneur Lionel Pickering.

It would be 30 years before I returned as the press secretary to the borough's first citizen Bob Copland whose charity fund in 2013-14 raised a record-breaking £70,000 and saw the magnificent achievement of the opening of the Mayor's Cafe and Community Gardens by the end of his year in office.

I'm now returning to my journalistic roots and I want you - the great people of Bedworth - to join me in making the news in your own images.

We're going back in time to resurrect a bygone golden age of local reporting - made famous by old colleagues Mort Birch and Alan Robinson who launched the Bedworth Echo 40 years ago and then seven years ago last week when Mort joined another former friend and scribe Steve Evans in creating the monthly Bedworth Post.

Both papers set out to inform, entertain and fascinate with stories about the people and places that reflect the character, flavour and rich heritage of a town steeped in history from the Domesday Book of 1086 through hat making to ribbon weaving and most famously, mining.

Bedworth Nub News will hope to capture all the above while embracing the advantages of the modern digital era where information is available 24/7 with "your town in your pocket".

The town is rooted in community spirit - something that has returned to the landscape of the UK since the awful events of the coronavirus crisis.

And Nub News can be the perfect platform for your organisation, charity, business, church, school, sports team - anyone in fact - to share your fantastic achievements with the community.

We're here to get to that heart and soul of Bedworth, delivering local news and covering national issues that impact on your doorstep.

There will always be a good read on Bedworth Nub News - because it's about you.

You can contact me with your Bedworth news by phoning 07852 490666 or by emailing [email protected].