A National Poem of Thanks to Our Nation’s Publicans has been released by Pub is The Hub and arts project INN CROWD.

Alexandra Ewing reads her poem, The Public House, to Victoria MacDonald, licensee at the Cellar House, Eaton, near Norwich

The project aims to thank publicans for their resilience and continuing support of their local communities during the pandemic, despite the huge challenges they continue to face themselves.

The poem’s release marks the launch of a Winter Warmers campaign by Pub is The Hub and INN CROWD, who work with pubs to provide them with access to professional live literature, specially commissioned for pub audiences.

The initiative is based on a collection of seven heart-warming poems about pubs, commissioned by INN CROWD. The poems have been written by poets in six regions across England, with the campaign aiming to bring cheer and hope to publicans, their staff, and their local communities, and to help keep people connected.

The thank you poem for publicans is called The Public House. It has been written and performed by poet and actress Alexandra Ewing, the daughter of a former publican, who grew up in pubs in Suffolk. Ewing also, until early last year, worked for a decade front of house in the hospitality industry, including pubs.

She said: “I hope the poem will make publicans really smile and that they will feel incredibly proud of how much talent they have and how much their presence is felt, even when it doesn’t feel like it is.”

Victoria MacDonald, publican at the Cellar House in Eaton, near Norwich, said: “After such a tough 2020 for the pub industry and such a challenging start to 2021, it is wonderful that Pub is The Hub and INN CROWD have thanked publicans in this way. I would encourage other publicans to watch Alexandra’s poem. It is really beautiful and touching.”

Postcards for Positivity, which are being distributed to pubs

The video of the poem, along with all the Winter Warmers poems about pubs, are available for publicans to enjoy and share with their locals on social media. They can also be downloaded to share as posters and postcards. Find them at inncrowd.org.uk/winter-warmers/

Selected pubs around the country are also receiving ‘postcards of positivity’, featuring the Winter Warmers poem written by the poet from their region. The idea is for publicans to use the postcards to help spread cheer and keep them connected with people in their local community. 

Publicans are planning to use the postcards in food boxes, in take-away and delivery food bags, and to reach out to customers who may be at risk of experiencing feelings of loneliness.

John Longden, chief executive of Pub is The Hub, said: “Despite the immense worries, challenges, and pressures publicans have endured, and continue to face during this pandemic and current lockdown, many pubs are still a key hub of practical and wellbeing support for many people in their local communities.

“Publicans and their teams have worked tirelessly and selflessly to help support others and keep them safe, and we wanted to do something to say a special thank you and recognise their efforts. We hope they enjoy these lovely poems.”

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