They’re all part of the family at the Golden Bowler pub

FRIENDLY The Golden Bowler in Stubbington Lane, Stubbington.
FRIENDLY The Golden Bowler in Stubbington Lane, Stubbington.

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Regulars at the Golden Bowler pub in Stubbington really are part of the family.

If some of them aren’t seen for a few days, landlord and lady Kevin and Georgie Cross will put in a call to check up on them.

The Crosses run one of the last completely family-owned pubs in the region – and they took it over from Georgie’s parents who had run it since 1980.

The couple pride themselves on being part of the community.

Georgie said: ‘There’s a lot of people around here who are senior citizens and for some of them, we’re a lifeline.

‘They know the other customers and they’re our friends as well. If we don’t see them for a few days we will give them a call or go through the grapevine to find out if they’re alright.

‘We just see it as part of what we do.’

Kevin added: ‘Everybody knew everybody back then, just as they do now. We’ve got generations of families who come here.

‘It’s about providing an environment for people that’s comfortable and pleasant, and that they want to come back to.’

That loyalty doesn’t only extend to customers – chef Darren James has been with the pub for 27 years.

Food has become increasingly important to the pub, with people drawn to its home-made food.

‘Darren’s a village boy,’ said Kevin, ‘so a lot of our customers know him and we have people who eat in here almost every day.’

Regular Ian Collins, 63, said: ‘It’s a real pub with real people – it’s not an alcoholic McDonalds. It’s like pubs used to be.’

Ted Searle, 90, said: ‘I’m here almost every day, I have my lunch here more often than not. It’s virtually a family, I know everyone and they’re all so kind and considerate.’

Staff also do a lot of work for charity. They’ve raised more than £50,000 for Guide Dogs for the Blind through various events and regular raffles since taking over the pub.

Earlier this year Kevin and his son Callum, 15, also cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats, raising £2,300 for the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK.