Love Your Local: The Chairmakers in World’s End, Hambledon

DOUBLE ACT Managers Edwina and Nick West. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (13979-8002)
DOUBLE ACT Managers Edwina and Nick West. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (13979-8002)

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It’s a pub that’s in the middle of nowhere – but The Chairmakers pulls out all the stops to ensure it doesn’t go unnoticed.

It has a huge front garden which is used to put on beer festivals with live music and hog roasts.

The pub’s next festival will be held on June 28 and 29.

A steel band, 60s and 70s cover band and a DJ will play tunes and five real ales and some guest cider will be available from barrels.

The pub, in Worlds End, Hambledon, holds raffles for Ian’s Charity, which was set up following the death of Ian Norris.

The pub has raised £2,500 towards the worthy cause.

Ian, 18, died of a rare form of cancer on June 28 2010 and worked with the pub’s managers Edwina and Nick West when they ran their previous pub – The Hampshire Hog, in Clanfield.

More was done to help others when 23 cyclists rode 23 miles on March 23 to raise cash for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham, Portsmouth.

Starting from the pub, the team pedalled to The Crown Inn, in Bishop’s Waltham, then onto The King’s Head, in Wickham, before going back.

Though the amount raised has not yet been counted, everyone hopes to have hit the pub’s target of £3,000.

Edwina 50, and husband Nick, 41, have run the pub for four years.

Edwina wanted to support the hospital unit because her son James, 17, needed a week’s worth of treatment there when he was born.

She said: ‘Part of being a pub is about supporting the community around you and trying to get other pubs around you to do the same.

‘You need to be more than just a pub.

‘The neo-natal unit and the people who work there don’t get the recognition they deserve and should be getting more support.

‘They (the staff) do fantastic work.

The treatment they (the babies) get gives them a start in life.’

A general knowledge pub quiz is held on a Monday.

Talking of what she enjoys about the job, Edwina said: ‘It’s a friendly atmosphere with the staff.

‘We have a great team who like to have a laugh with the customers.

‘Our carvery on Sundays helps to bring people in.

‘They enjoy home-cooked food.

‘We’re very much a country place and we’re in the middle of nowhere, which is part of our appeal.

‘We have a few locals but it’s more food led.’

MEET THE MANAGERS

VETERANS Edwina and Nick West have spent a large part of their lives in the pub trade.

Edwina has spent 23 years working in pubs and Nick has been in the industry for 15 years.

They met while Edwina was working as the assistant manager of The North Star, in Fareham Road, Gosport, and have now been married for 20 years.

Nick said he wanted them to run The Chairmakers because he relished the challenge.

‘We were given the chance to run a pub which was quite run-down,’ he said.

‘Our challenge was to bring it back up to how it should be and I feel that we’ve done that.

‘It’s something we have enjoyed doing.

‘The first New Year’s Eve we were here we were sat in the bar by ourselves.

‘For the latest one we managed to get 120 people in for sit-down meal.

‘We provide free taxis for people on occasions like that so they don’t have to worry about getting home.’

Before going into pubs Nick worked for ferry company Wightlink for 14 years.

‘I had got to that point in life where I wanted a new challenge,’ he said.

‘I’ve got no regrets.

‘At first I was a bit apprehensive about making the change, as you would do with any job because I had made some good friends over the years.

‘I love what I do and I don’t see it as being a job.

‘I love the drinking and socialising aspect that comes with it.

‘We’ve got plans for the pub but we don’t push things on people all at once.’