Love Your Local: The Windsor Castle, Gosport

PRIDE Joy Merry, landlady at the Windsor Castle in Gosport. Picture: Steve Reid (123388-881)
PRIDE Joy Merry, landlady at the Windsor Castle in Gosport. Picture: Steve Reid (123388-881)

College in running for top national awards

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Pub customers can be assured of a quality pint of beer at The Windsor Castle.

The Gosport pub has received a ‘Master Cellarman’ award for its fine brews and the cleanliness of its glasses and cellar.

The Windor Castle in Gosport.   Picture: Steve Reid (123388-893)

The Windor Castle in Gosport. Picture: Steve Reid (123388-893)

The gong takes pride of place at the bar of the pub in St Thomas’s Road.

Landlady Joy Merry, who has been in charge of the pumps for eight years, said the award only highlighted what has been common practice at the pub for years.

‘We pride ourselves on selling a good quality pint,’ she said.

‘The customers love our London Pride and HSB ales.

‘Some of them refuse to drink it in any other pub.

‘We’re kept on our toes because if we’re found to be slipping below our normal standards then the award will be taken away from us.’

Joy, 52, sees her cosy, traditional pub, which was known as The Rising Sun in the 19th century, as the centre of the community.

‘There’s a man who lives three lampposts away from the pub who we walk home. And there’s another regular who normally comes in every day at 3pm,’ she said.

‘If he doesn’t happen to turn up then we knock on his door to make sure he’s OK.

‘I’m here to help people. I’ve given my telephone number out before in case someone needs someone to speak to and don’t have anyone when there’s an emergency.

‘It’s what running a pub is all about. You have to be there for people.

‘You’ve got to listen and be their marriage counsellor, lawyer, solicitor, barrister and teacher.’

Last year regulars discovered someone in the community had been diagnosed with cancer. So they teamed up and cleared rubbish in their conservatory in a bid to make them feel as comfortable as possible.

In 2010 10 regulars walked from Warsash to the pub to raise money for Breast Cancer UK.

The pub has also dug deep and raised money for Canine Partners, a charity which trains dogs for disabled people, and vet charity PDSA over the years.

Joy, who employs five barmaids, said: ‘We are a die-hard community place and I am so passionate about it.’

‘I’ve got the best bunch of staff in Gosport.

‘I wouldn’t be able to function without them.’

Live music is held every Friday and customers are treated to a quiz on Sundays.

Barmaid Vickie Moyle, 40, said: ‘There’s a great atmosphere here. Everyone is lovely, friendly and helpful.’