Nigel Pearson, the Landlord at the Dog & Partridge, sent me this for the blog. Thanks Nigel

On March 20th pubs were told that the lock down was going to happen. Greene King contacted me and they required all premises to close at 9.30pm on the 20th March.

Lockdown begins at the Dog & Partridge.

More communication from Greene King would follow on the 21st March and information was given along with a list of tasks to be completed. These included such things as emptying the beer lines, removing all stock from the pub, removing all monies from the site and taking it to the bank. Basically we were left with an empty shell.

Next, the government announced a furlough scheme for employees. Within that week all staff were furloughed. Shortly after, I also went on furlough.

So, the rest of March – April – May was interesting!

What to do next? I’d never had time off like this and I knew it was going to be at least a 3 month closure, as in this trade, with close contact between people, we were not going to be the first to open! I did register to be a helper when the government asked for volunteers but nothing seemed to come of that.  

Penny and I spent the odd hour painting our home and garden, walking, cycling and a lot of time relaxing on the roof during lockdown (in a pub with no beer) and if my dog could speak, she would be saying ‘Can you go back to work, these walks are getting too much at 19 years old’? 

We held weekly quizzes with the family online through Zoom and kept in touch with my team on Messenger, also holding the odd quiz.

Throughout all this we were missing our family; even though we see them online it was difficult but most of all my brother and sister and I have not seen our mum now for 4 months as she is in Hillcroft at Slyne (who have done a brilliant job in keeping their charges safe)

On Monday 8th June I received a call telling me that I would be going back to work for a day as checks needed doing on the pub but then received information that I would be returning to work on Friday 12th June. 

Since then we have not stopped.

Reopening procedures, deliveries, repairs, my training, team training and setting up the premises to be as Covid safe as we could.

The government then announced that pubs could open on 4th July 

Greene King announced that their pubs would be opening on Monday 6th July so we can open safely with all the new policies in place, ensuring that my team can work in a safe environment and my customers can come into a safe environment as well.

So on July 6th we finally open the doors but it’s weird!

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