When life gets tough we sometimes need someone to turn to for help.
CHEERS! From left, regular Yvonne Harrison who nominated landlady Ann Redman and staff Tracie Taylor, Debby Johnson, Naomi Clarvis Picture: Paul Jacobs (123485-2)
And in Yvonne Harrison’s case she knew she didn’t have to look far for some company after her husband Sam died of cancer in November last year.
Mrs Harrison’s local pub The Prince of Wales, in West Street, Havant, has made sure she doesn’t get lonely and always has someone to talk to.
Mrs Harrison, of Brockhampton Road, Havant, said: ‘A local can be the centre of a community with so many local shops now disappearing.
‘I can always ask someone to help in the pub now that I am on my own and I can even ask for help to take the top off a medicine bottle.’
Ann Redman, 46, has been in charge of the traditional back-street boozer for nearly four years.
‘The Prince of Wales is a great pub with a great landlady,’ Mrs Harrison said.
‘Ann has a wonderful personality. She is hard working, kind and helpful and we have lots of friendly banter.
‘I do not feel isolated and Ann has always encouraged me to come along to the pub, even just for a coffee and a lunchtime snack.’
Two weeks ago the pub held an event to raise money for The Rowans Hospice, where Sam was cared for until he died.
Visitors were treated to a general knowledge quiz, a finger-food buffet and a raffle with prizes.
Around £250 was raised for the worthy cause.
‘Yvonne asked me to do something for the hospice and I was more than happy to help,’ Mrs Redman said.
‘I was quite close friends with Sam because he was a regular in here. We had some good banter together.
‘Now I’m even closer friends with Yvonne than I was before.
‘Helping out the local people is just something I do.
The pub also offers discos and darts nights.
Its football team raises money for a charity towards the end of every season.
And customers are regularly encouraged to put their spare change in a Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) charity bottle on the bar.
Mrs Redman hires three barmaids and her husband Andrew, 47, and son Gary, 20, help out from time to time.
‘It’s nice that it’s a family affair,’ Mrs Redman said.
‘We all get along very well. Gary and I bounce off each other and there’s plenty of banter between us and the customers.’
Barmaid Debby Johnson, 46, has worked at the pub for four years.
She said: ‘It’s a really friendly pub and we’re all friends here.’
MEET THE LANDLADY
LANDLADY Ann Redman knows a thing or two about how a pub works.
Prior to taking over the reins at The Prince of Wales she was the bar manager at the former Cobden Arms and a barmaid at the former Black Dog.
Both pubs used to be in West Street, Havant.
Mrs Redman, who grew up in St Nicholas Road, Bedhampton, went into the drinks industry because she loved working with people.
‘I was offered a part-time job working in the Black Dog when I was 18 and I jumped at the chance because I love people and socialising.
‘This is a proper locals’ pub that still has a lounge with an open fire and a public bar with wooden tables and chairs throughout.
‘Normally it’s your builders, dart players and pensioners that like to use the lounge space as it’s quieter and doesn’t have music.
‘Making the place into one big bar wouldn’t work.
‘A lot of places have gone downhill after doing that.’
Mrs Redman had never stepped foot inside The Prince of Wales before she took it over – and was initially put off when she went to view it.
‘It was very traditional and I was looking at it through the eyes of the Cobden Arms, which had been modernised during the time I was there.
‘But when I went home I had a chat with my husband Andrew and decided to give it a chance.
‘I’ve not once regretted my decision. I love it here and I love my locals.
‘That’s why I think about decisions with my heart and not my head.
‘I prefer old-style pubs now. They’ve got more character and it’s what people like.’