Hampshire Bowman pub landlord honours predecessor with his post-lockdown haircut
A PUB has seen its landlord undergo a post-lockdown haircut with a difference – in memory of the venue’s former landlady.
Mark Newman, landlord at the Hampshire Bowman for eight years, decided to turn his long wait for a haircut into an event, raising hundreds of pounds for charity in honour of Heather Seymour on Sunday, August 9.
Heather, who was landlady of the pub, which is in Dundridge, near Swanmore, from 2002 to 2012, had spent more than two years battling lung cancer and died at the age of 63 on May 1.
She was ‘a brilliant landlady’, according to Mark.
The 35-year-old said: ‘The Hampshire Bowman was my local – I have been coming here for 33 years and I worked as assistant manager with Heather.
‘She was a good old fashioned landlady – she welcomed everyone.’
A crowd of more than 100 gathered at the pub to watch Mark’s charity head shave, which raised more than £600 for Macmillan Cancer Support – and some raffle winners manned the clippers to cut a strip of the landlord’s hair.
Mark said: ‘I hadn’t had my hair cut since before Christmas.
‘I was due a haircut the day the government shut the barbers.
‘Before I was getting comments from regulars like ‘do you need a hair cut?
‘Now they’re asking, ‘do you need a wig?’’
The dad-of-two praised the ‘fantastic’ support of regulars for helping to pub survive the national lockdown and beyond.
He said: ‘During lockdown when we were closed we had two regulars post an envelope with £50 and a note saying ‘look after yourself and your family.’
‘The locals have been fantastic – we’ve seen a lot of loyal faces return.’
Regulars and new comers will find the pub has restricted its indoor service so to concentrate on its outdoors service – taking advantage of the pub’s large pub garden that can accommodate more than 400 patrons.
Mark said: ‘With social distancing, we can only seat about 12 indoors.
‘When the weather changes, we will have to overhaul the whole set-up – the winter could be a challenge.’
But the landlord believes the pub has a ‘fighting chance’ thanks to a £25,000 grant from the government and rent reductions from the building’s owner.
He said: ‘We have been luckier than most – but we’re not out of the woods yet.’