Cheer for pubs

PUBLISHED: 11:14 19 January 2006 | UPDATED: 09:27 06 May 2010

Carol and Les Hendry at The Bird in Hand at Gosmore

Carol and Les Hendry at The Bird in Hand at Gosmore

CHEERS! Two pubs in Comet country have topped the regional heat of a national competition. The Bird in Hand in Gosmore and the Red Lion in Preston have both won prizes in the Anglia heat of trade paper the Morning Advertiser s best pub awards. Both pubs w

Tim and Jane Hunter at the Red Lion

CHEERS! Two pubs in Comet country have topped the regional heat of a national competition.

The Bird in Hand in Gosmore and the Red Lion in Preston have both won prizes in the Anglia heat of trade paper the Morning Advertiser's best pub awards.

Both pubs will now go forward to the national finals in London in February.

The Bird In Hand won the Village Pub of the Year category for its role as a focal point of community life.

The pub, which has been run by Carol Hendry and her husband Les for the last six years, offers a mobile phone top-up service and has a petanque court in the rear garden, used by three teams in the village.

As well as offering its own transport facility for special events, the pub also has an arrangement with a local taxi firm for cheaper fares.

Carol was instrumental in setting up a monthly village newsletter and is in the process of helping set up a weekly farmers' market.

The pub has previously won the Morning Advertiser's Fundraising Pub of the Year regional category, and fundraising is still ongoing for the local hospice and the village hall.

If the Bird in Hand is successful in London, regular drinkers can expect to be in on the celebrations. Carol said: "If we won the overall village pub, we'd have a big party here for the customers because it's them who have helped us get it."

Tim Hunter from the Red Lion in Preston said he is "absolutely over the moon" with his pub's success in the Cask Beer Pub of the Year category.

The pub always has five cask beers and one real cider on the bar and Tim says that real ale has "a very good following" with customers.

Four of the beers change regularly, and customers are offered a taster and information about the beers to help them make their choice.

Mini beer festivals are also held, themed around the names given to the beers, such as those with birds or animals in their title, or around ales sourced from the same county.

Tim and his wife Jane, who have run the pub for nearly seven years, have an impressive track record for awards and accolades.

The Red Lion has been in the Good Beer Guide every year the couple have been at the helm and has also won five regional awards from CAMRA.

The Red Lion and the Bird In Hand will find out on February 2 whether they have won.

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