Well he’s over halfway, he’s weaving dangerously, dribbling, and the white line is in sight. Yes, 35 pubs down, a few more to go.
The 60 @ 60 challenge is about raising awareness of local community pubs. Their costs are soaring exponentially in the cost of living crisis and since we have less money to spend, we are spending less in places like the Local. But a good pub can be at the heart of a community. Some days it may be the only social interaction for someone living alone. It does encourage a healthy mind and body – a walk, skittles and darts, quizzes, conversation, community trips and fund raising for local charities.
And in a place like Worcester they are also key elements of our visitor economy. Publicans and their staff are our ambassadors for the city, its culture, its heritage, its buzz. The hospitality trade is crucial also for employment opportunities across the city. Many use local labour, local food for their menus, local transport.
The Ale Trail Team is growing every outing, and we pay our way. We’ve been to the oldest pubs and some of the newest, the biggest and the smallest. Practically always met with a warm welcome. Lots of support for mayoral charities OnSide and Severn Arts (thanks for the bottle for the raffle Jim). See; justgiving.com/crowdfunding/mayorofworcesteruk.
And I’ve met Bob Backenforth.
And yes, some are really suffering. Since we planned the Trail at least one has closed, and several changed hands or publican. Opening hours are getting shorter, food not always on, and less ale kept due to the uncertainty of demand. But also many are adapting, as they need to in order to remain relevant and a venue of choice. So, cheers to the final 25 – I’m on the way!