Love Your Local: The Jolly Taxpayer, Portsmouth

CHEERS Regulars Angela and Graham Ward at the Jolly Taxpayer in Copnor. Pictures: Ian Hargreaves (133558-4)
CHEERS Regulars Angela and Graham Ward at the Jolly Taxpayer in Copnor. Pictures: Ian Hargreaves (133558-4)
Share this article
Have your say

It’s a family-owned pub with bags of character and a big heart.

The Jolly Taxpayer, on the corner of Eastbourne Road and Martin Road, in Copnor, Portsmouth, is a freehouse run by Ken Watson, his wife Gloria and daughter Theresa Johns.

The Jolly Taxpayer public house

The Jolly Taxpayer public house

They bought the business from Punch Taverns five years ago and have never looked back.

And that’s been great news for drinkers – because the trio are buying their beer for less which means the prices have gone down.

In the last six months, the price of Courage Best Bitter has fallen by 20p to £2.80.

And being a free house, it means there are no restrictions on what they can do.

The pub’s original ‘bottle and jug’ off-sales counter is still intact and has its own entrance. It’s where adults can go and buy cigarettes or beer in a jug or bottle and youngsters can get sweets.

The family have been at the pub since 1981 and were tenants there before purchasing it.

They knew it was the right thing to do and feared another pub company stepping in and charging extortionate rent.

Theresa, 46, said: ‘We were keen to keep it in the family and the only way forward was to buy the pub.

‘The pub company had put in its magazine that if anyone made a reasonable offer, they could have it.

‘We were able to negotiate a deal with our wholesaler and put the price of beer down at the pumps and we have been doing that ever since.

‘If we get a discount we pass it on to the customer.’

Theresa said that when her parents retire, she has no intention of selling the pub on.

‘I often get asked, when your mum and dad retire, will you still keep the pub?

‘It’s an absolute certainty that I will. It’s important the pub stays within the family. I was born only three roads away from here.’

The pub has made up Christmas hampers filled with tinned goods for pensioners and it’ll be open during the afternoon and evening on Christmas Day so no-one gets lonely.

Gloria, 68, said: ‘There’s a lot of people who live around here on their own, and this place is what they call their village.

‘We all look out for one another. If we haven’t seen someone come in the pub, and they’re someone who comes in everyday, we go out and knock on their door.’

Regulars Janine and Joe Pay will do a parachute jump on December 28 for The Multiple System Atrophy Trust, because Janine’s father John has got the condition.

The pub also supports The Rowans Hospice.