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Love Your Local: The Lord Raglan, Emsworth

L-R Paula Beer barmaid (nickname Pull 'A' Beer) and landlady Sally Mahoney


Picture: Paul Jacobs (141408-3) PPP-140513-144210001

L-R Paula Beer barmaid (nickname Pull 'A' Beer) and landlady Sally Mahoney Picture: Paul Jacobs (141408-3) PPP-140513-144210001

It’s a pub that has been down on its luck.

The Lord Raglan, in Queen Street, Emsworth, is now looking forward to a brighter future after going through a tough winter.

The traditional local was swamped with water in December after a bout of heavy overnight rain, resulting in carpets and kitchen equipment being ruined.

It was thanks to caring neighbours banging down the door to alert the landlords that the situation wasn’t made any worse.

Then only last month, the pub suffered another setback when its chimney caught fire.

The incident was dealt with by Havant fire station after crews spotting flames coming from the roof.

Despite the run of problems, landlords Sally and Peter Mahoney are determined to put the past behind them and concentrate on making The Lord Raglan the best it can be from now on.

Sally, 35, said: ‘A lot of people thought we were shut.

‘Someone rang the pub at the end of February asking when we were going to be open again – but we had never shut.

‘Obviously people were not aware, but we just ploughed through it.

‘It has been very tough.’

Sally said that trade was now starting to pick up again and plans have been laid out for the summer.

She wants to hold barbecues in the pub’s impressive garden, which overlooks Mill Pond, and welcome some more live music.

A new chimney pot has been installed and the pub’s been given a refurbishment and a fresh coat of paint.

And there’s more good news because new flood gates are being installed to ensure the pub is better protected.

Sally said: ‘The brewery (Fuller’s) has been very good to us. The garden is looking good again and a lot of work has been done outside to try to liven the place up again.

‘There will be lots of barbecues in the garden this summer.’

Sally praised her regulars for rallying around and showing their continuous support – and said the pub wouldn’t have been able to survive without them.

‘The locals have been extremely supportive, they’ve been coming in for a drink and they have been putting a bit of money behind the bar for us,’ she said.

‘We couldn’t have done a lot of things without our customers. Without them the pub would have probably shut.

‘It’s never crossed our minds that we would ever leave.

‘We just had a run of bad luck and that’s part of being in the pub trade.

‘It hasn’t fazed us.’

The pub prides itself on serving a range of traditional food, and a summer menu is being launched this month.

LANDLADY Sally Mahoney juggles her time running her pub with looking after four-year-old daughter Layla-Rose.

Sally is married to Peter, 36, who is in the Army and helps out behind the bar when he can.

The couple, who have a team of 22 staff, took on the Lord Raglan about four years ago at a time when Sally was already working there as a barmaid.

She started there to cover the bills while studying at university.

Sally and Peter originally planned to take over when he came out of the army, but when the pub became available, they decided it was too good an opportunity to miss.

Sally said: ‘We knew the pub had potential and when it became available we decided to go for it because we thought we may not get the chance again.

‘It was the best decision we’ve made.

‘Layla-Rose is an only child but this is a family-friendly pub and lots of children come here, so she has made lots of friends.’

Asked what she loves about her job, Sally said: ‘I love the everyday challenges, the different people you meet and the social camaraderie side of it. We get young groups of people who come in as well as older ones so it makes for a nice atmosphere.’

Sally said the biggest challenges she faces in the pub trade, like many others, is competing with supermarkets and their cheap prices.

‘The supermarkets are able to sell bottles of wine for £3 or £4, and yet we have to sell one for £17,’ she said. ‘So some people think it’s better to get one from the supermarket and drink at home.’

 

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