Love your Local: The Painters Arms

CHEERS Customers Raymond Oxlade, Brian Hills, and Ivon Stanley.  Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (114384-3)
CHEERS Customers Raymond Oxlade, Brian Hills, and Ivon Stanley. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (114384-3)
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Painters Arms landlady Bernice Gofton doesn’t like the thought of her customers being alone on Christmas Day.

So with the help of daughter Donna Holland, 34, and mum Dot Darbyshire, 87, she intends to dish up a festive lunch at the pub, in Lake Road, Landport, for those who won’t have any company this year.

After she closes up the pub at 3pm, Bernice will push the tables together and get the place ready for a Christmas gathering.

The 61-year-old introduced the idea last year when she let 30 regulars join the family for a dinner, some mince pies and a glass of mulled wine.

This time around she plans to serve up a small buffet in the evening too and play festive tunes for her guests before they make their way home.

Bernice, who has been in charge of the pumps for the past three years, said: ‘It’s all about bringing the community together.

‘It plays on my mind when I think about others who don’t have any loved ones to stay with at Christmas.

‘So I throw my doors open, it doesn’t cause any harm and we all have a great laugh.

‘Everyone gets a party hat and all I charge is £5 per head for the guests.

‘Everyone gets their money’s worth.’

Bernice, who runs The Painters Arms on behalf of Enterprise Inns, has given it a major facelift since she took over in 2008.

The pub has been given a modern touch with its new kitchen, blue painted exterior, lighting and extra beer garden plants.

This year the pub has raised more than £100 for Tom Prince Cancer Trust, which is based in Haslemere Road, Southsea.

It pulled in the amount by selling roses during Easter and on Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day.

This week cash was raised from a cards evening among locals.

On new year’s eve the pub will hold a Blues Brothers tribute night, which starts at 8pm.

Dot, who lives in Montgomerie Road, Somers Town, helps out her daughter in the kitchen seven days a week.

She said: ‘I love the company at the pub. You meet some really nice people day in and day out. I get on well with most of the locals and I like to have a bit of banter with them and have a laugh.

‘It’s nice to get out and about. If I stayed at home I would just be sat in my chair staring at the four walls.

‘I love to have my independence though.

‘So I go home every night and come back to the pub and help out every day. I wouldn’t ever move in.’