THE new joint licensee of a revived Cosham pub hopes to turn its fortunes around – and is backing The News Steer Clear campaign.

SUPPORT James Anderson at  The Swan in Cosham.  Picture: Steve Reid (114392-563)
SUPPORT James Anderson at The Swan in Cosham. Picture: Steve Reid (114392-563)
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Portsmouth pub hopes to steer away drink-drivers

Experienced pub manager James Anderson has joined forces with Tom Speerling to become the new licensees of The Swan in High Street, Cosham.

And one of their first acts in the job was to support our initiative aimed at clearing the roads from drink-drivers over the Christmas and new year period.

Mr Anderson, 39, said: ‘Providing a free soft drink to designated drivers is essential as a lot will be coming in from Portsmouth during the Christmas period and we’ve all seen the horror stories connected to drink-driving.

‘The Steer Clear campaign is a valid and worthwhile objective that, at the end of the day, is going to get the issue out there.

‘It is about being responsible and showing the community that if you want to have a good time, it doesn’t have to involve getting into a car and driving.’

Councillors ordered The Swan to close for 21 days last month after a man’s skull was fractured in a brawl, as reported in The News.

But it was allowed to keep trading after a raft of agreements were put in place by the police and owners Punch Taverns. Mr Anderson, 39, has his sights firmly set on transforming the pub into a family-friendly venue.

‘I was asked to come down from Worcestershire and was told there was a few issues with the pub in the past. I went on the internet and read a report about an horrific attack there, but when I came down I saw it was a community pub with a lot of potential’, added Mr Anderson.

‘We have to grasp its roots again and become a community pub. With all the pubs closing down, this has to be one of the pubs that gives the community somewhere to go.’

The pub will be holding quiz nights on Mondays, poker nights on Thursdays, live music at weekends and will be introducing a new menu with fresh, home-cooked food in the new year.

Mr Anderson added: ‘We just want people to come back and give it another chance. It’s not going to be managed like it was before.’


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