Denmead pub puts on third annual Christmas lunch as a treat for older people in the community

FOR three years in a row, a Denmead pub has spread joy to older people in the community as it puts on a fun and festive lunch.

Monday, 9th December 2019, 3:20 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 12:16 pm

This year was no exception as around 120 pensioners packed into the White Hart to pull crackers, eat turkey and have a laugh with friends.

The past two lunches were so successful that publicans Steve and Julie Burridge welcomed guests again today for an afternoon of Christmas cheer.

Everything is laid on free of charge by the pub, from transport to drinks to a delicious carvery lunch with Christmas pudding for afters, and visitors were entertained by a raffle and bingo.

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Ted Denning, 77, at the back, and Peter Sparrow, 82 Picture: Sarah Standing (091219-3188)

Donations were collected on the day to be split between Rowans Hospice and the memory café at Denmead Community Centre.

Jan Clorley, who was attending for the second time, said: ‘I think it’s just amazingly generous, the way they do this every time is absolutely brilliant for local people.

‘A lot of people don’t go out so it’s great for them and it really is a nice lunch.’

A dedicated team of local people took time out from their work to help Steve and Julia with their now famous Christmas dinner.

Paul Stallard, 82, and Rowena Curd, 72, both from Denmead. Picture: Sarah Standing (091219-3173)

Volunteer Chris Ranger helped collect residents to bring them to the meal and passed out carvery dinners.

He said: ‘Steve and Jules do a great event and it’s nice to give something back to the community.

‘We just give up our time and help them out, it’ll make [the guest’s] day.’

Christmas tunes were performed to the jolly crowd by Joanne Bryant, who used to be a singer at Harry Limes Showbar in Southsea.

Joan Coombes, 70, and Phil Percy, 67 Picture: Sarah Standing (091219-3184)

‘When I heard it was the White Hart and a pensioners’ do I thought it would be a nice thing to do, to come out of ‘retirement’ and sing some songs.’ said Joanne, who grew up in Denmead.

This year’s event was due to take place on December 2 but pub regular, 75-year-old Pam Baker, couldn’t make it so the owners rescheduled to make sure she could attend.

Pam said: ‘How many would do that? It’s absolutely amazing, they just do everything, it’s really good fun as well.

‘They really make it enjoyable for everybody.’

Chris Ranger serves Pam Baker her Christmas dinner. Picture: Sarah Standing (091219-3186)
Landlords Julie and Steve Burridge Picture: Sarah Standing (091219-3196)
Joanne Bryant. Picture: Sarah Standing (091219-3204)