Love Your Local: The Surrey Arms

CHEERS Manager Zoe Banks is helping raise money for a good cause. Picture: Sarah Standing (122611-4871)
CHEERS Manager Zoe Banks is helping raise money for a good cause. Picture: Sarah Standing (122611-4871)
Picture: Hampshire Constabulary

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The Surrey Arms is more than just a pub that serves beer and food.

Situated in Surrey Street, a side street off Portsmouth’s shopping centre in Commercial Road, the boozer strives to do all it can for worthy causes.

After the pub’s previous manager Debbie Rose, 50, lost her battle with cancer, staff decided to organise family fun weekends in aid of The Rowans Hospice, where Debbie was looked after.

Now new manager Zoe Banks, 38, is looking to set up the pub’s third fundraiser event since Debbie’s death in July last year.

On previous occasions there was a disco, live music and children played pass-the-parcel, decorated home-made fairy cakes and adults took part in pool competitions.

More than £1,500 was raised for the hospice during the last two events, which were held in 2010 and 2011.

Zoe, who previously worked as a barmaid at the pub for six years, said: ‘We feel that it is important to continue raising money in Debbie’s memory.

‘She was a lovely woman with bags of character. She was popular with everyone.

‘We haven’t got dates for the next event finalised yet but we’re definitely looking to hold one at some point this year. This is a traditional locals’ pub.’


MANAGER Zoe Banks is a veteran in the pub trade.

She has spent 20 years behind the bars of boozers in Portsmouth.

Zoe was the manager of The Albany, in Commercial Road, Landport, for 10 years until it closed in 2006.

She also worked as a barmaid at The Ship Anson, at The Hard, Portsea and the former Town House, Southsea.

Though Zoe has contemplated working in other fields she has always been reluctant to leave the job she loves.

‘People have said to me before they’ve seen me down and upset about something, but when I get behind the bar I’m a completely different person,’ she said.

‘I guess I’m in my element.

‘I love talking to people. Pubs are the centre of a community. They bring people together.

‘We pride ourselves on being a community pub. It’s a great place to go for a pint and something to eat.’

The pub has extended the hours it serves food until from 6pm to 8pm. It has also introduced a loyalty card scheme where people get a stamp for every drink they buy.

Once they get 10 stamps of the same drink their next one comes free. ‘The new scheme came into force two weeks ago and has gone down well with the customers,’ Zoe said.