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'It feels like we're opening for the first time again': Celebrations as Shropshire pubs reopen

By Rob Smith | Church Stretton | Dining out | Published:

The day pub landlords and drinkers have been waiting for has arrived.

Michael and Sherrie Darch-Williams prepare to reopen, with their one-year-old daughter Dottie

Staff at bars across the region are today pulling pints once again.

The Kings Arms in Church Stretton has spread its seats out and will only be offering table service, while hand sanitiser points are spread around the pub.

"We're excited and nervous at the same time," said landlady Sherrie Darch-Williams. "It feels like we're opening the pub for the first time again.

"We closed on March 20, I think we knew that we were going to close because it seemed like the next step from the government.

"We live at the pub so it's very strange in a sense. We have only been here three years but it's been our local for 12 years – we know everyone.

"It has been really strange not seeing everybody."

Tables have been spaced out in the beer garden at the Kings Arms

She and her team have been working flat-out to make all the necessary adjustments to comply with government guidelines.

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They plan to make use of their beer garden to seat as many people outside as possible, and make the most of situations where two or more employees are part of the same household so can be in closer contact.

Sherrie admitted that although a lot of work has gone into making things safe to return, she would not blame those who decide to give pubs a miss for the time being.

"It's not for everyone, but I certainly think there will be a lot of people still wanting to come out and wanting that little bit of normality.

Hand sanitiser is on offer around the bar

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"We are lucky here, we have family members who work here.

"We've done all our risk assessments, we are taking bookings for food.

"We're not always going to get it right first time but I think we have this time."

She was full of praise for the Joule's brewers, who have supported them in their preparations, as well as their loyal staff and customers.

"We are looking forward to seeing all our old customers, and new ones."

Rob Smith

By Rob Smith
Reporter

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based at Ketley in Telford.

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