Love Your Local: The Swan, Bedhampton

PLANS Maddie Faulkner, left, owner of The Swan, with manager Cathy Smith. Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (122419-1)
PLANS Maddie Faulkner, left, owner of The Swan, with manager Cathy Smith. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (122419-1)
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Tucked away in the middle of a residential area, The Swan doesn’t attract a lot of passing trade.

But manager Cathy Smith is determined to change the Bedhampton pub’s fortunes and turn it into a haven for families.

She’s asked Havant Borough Council for planning permission to build a 13ft children’s play area in the beer garden complete with monkey bars, a tree house, slide and climbing frames.

Cathy, 37, manages the pub on behalf of leaseholder Maddie Faulkner and lives above the bar with her partner Tony Molloy.

And Cathy says her ideas are part of her bid to improve the pub’s reputation.

‘Years ago it used to be a bad pub and I think the reputation has stuck,’ she said.

‘But I’ve tried my best to turn the place around, and now I want to encourage more families to stop by.

‘I’m proud to be here. It’s a proper community pub with a fantastic bunch of locals.

‘I would never give up on this place and I don’t put up with any trouble.

‘We’re off the beaten track so a lot of people probably don’t even know we’re here.’

The pub, which is on Jessie Road, has also begun raising cash for worthy causes.

More than £500 was raised for children’s charity Dreams Come True at a horse race night on Saturday, July 7.

Unfortunately a fun day in aid of The Rowans Hospice at the weekend was a washout – but staff are determined to hold another one next month.

The pub is looking to hold quiz nights in the near future.

A function room, which can hold up to 150 people, can be hired out for free. The pub has darts, pool and football teams. Chef Tony Whaley, 32, of Nottingham, has worked at the pub since November.

He’s determined to see it become a household name.

‘I’m passionate about food and I’ve got so many ideas for the pub’s menu,’ he said.

‘We already hold an all-you-can-eat curry buffet with all the trimmings on a Wednesday and I get up at 6.30am every Sunday to make home-made roast dinners.

‘We want to see this place become more

family-orientated.’

He added: ‘Cathy is a top landlady. She gives everyone a warm welcome and makes the customers feel at home.

‘She’s like a mother to some of them.’

For more information about the pub call (023) 9248 2387.

Meet the landLord

MANAGER Cathy Smith already knew a thing or two about the pub industry when she decided to take over The Swan.

She ran The Golden Lion, in Bedhampton Road, Bedhampton, for eight years before deciding she needed a fresh challenge.

‘After The Golden Lion had a refurbishment it went through a really good spell and I felt it was the right time to move on,’ she said.

Cathy, who grew up in Leigh Park, developed her love for local boozers when she worked as the supervisor of The Heron, in Petersfield Road, Havant, when she was 19.

But she decided to pursue a career as a care worker before having her two sons Sam Rowlands, 13, and Kai Rowlands, eight.

After having Kai, Cathy took on part-time bar work before taking over The Golden Lion.

‘It was during that time I realised how much I had missed the job,’ she said.

‘Now I’m focused on making The Swan the best pub it can be.

‘I’m passionate about the job.’