A PUB which has served its community during the pandemic has scooped a national award.

The Spread Eagle in Bromley Cross has won the Pub Shop category at the 21st annual Great British Pub Awards,for adapting to provide a vital community service during lockdown.

Like every other pub in the country, the Hough Lane boozer was not allowed to pull its pumps when the lockdown was enforced in March.

But instead it opened a community shop and rolled out a free, seven-day delivery service to ensure those who were shielding to access essential food.

This then expanded into a hot food delivery service, before afternoon tea deliveries were introduced.

Special balloon bouquets and goodie boxes were also made available to parents in the area whose children who were finishing high school and wanted to mark the occasion.

The pub carried out its work with the help of volunteers and on a not-for-profit basis, with any produce left at the end of the week donated to care homes.

The Bolton News:

Staff and volunteers carry packages with afternoon teas before delivering them to residents

The Great British Pub Awards changed its focus this year.

The aim was to recognise and celebrate publicans’ selfless acts of kindness in lockdown.

Ed Bedington, editor of pub trade brand The Morning Advertiser, which organises the Great British Pub Awards, said: “Early on in the pandemic we received calls from pub owners telling us of the community work going on in towns, villages and cities.

"This was all being done despite the pub owners fearing for their own livelihoods.

"But they knew, even though they faced adversity themselves, they had to continue to support people in their communities. That’s just what publicans do.

“So, we wanted to bring to life these moving stories and give pubs the recognition.”

Nearly 1,000 pubs entered across the 15 categories and the winners were chosen by the public. More than 65,000 voters had their say, before a virtual awards ceremony hosted by TV presenter Stephen Mulhern

Coca-Cola has provided a £165,000 fund for the winning pubs, to help them continue their community work and make vital business improvements.

Coca-Cola GB brands director Paul Grace added: “Pubs are a vital part of Great British culture and provide a huge support to local communities.

"This year more than ever before, they’ve needed our support in return, which is why telling their stories through these awards is so important.

“Many of the pubs we’ve heard from have achieved amazing things in lockdown, crucially, with the support of their loyal customers.

"We must all keep looking out for each other while restrictions remain in place, to overcome the challenges that are still on the horizon.”

For more information and to watch the awards ceremony, which tells the stories of all the winning pubs, visit www.greatbritishpubawards.co.uk.