'Please, please, please support local' - Landlords' plea for support when lockdown ends

Landlords Christopher Brown and Cara Green with traffic light system installed for the loos inside T

Sculthorpe Aviator landlords Christopher Brown and Cara Green are still hoping to bounce back in 2021. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A couple who bought a pub in Norfolk at the start of the year has pleaded with customers to stay local and show their support after lockdown ends.

Sculthorpe Aviator landlords Christopher Brown and Cara Green bought the pub in January and opened their doors to punters in March.

Seventeen days later, the pub was forced to close for the first national lockdown. 

After reopening in July, the pub had to close its doors once again following the second lockdown throughout November.

Ahead of lockdown easing on December 2, Mrs Green is asking people to avoid the chains and support their locals.

“All I can say is please, please, please, support locals in these times,” she said.

“The big companies will survive and bounce back, but small businesses are fighting to survive. 

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"For us, it is also our home you save and it puts food on the table for us and our children.”

Co-owner of the Sculthorpe Aviator in Fakenham, Cara Green. Picture: Cara Green

Landlord Cara Green had pleaded with people to support their local. - Credit: Archant

The pair have only managed to trade for a third of the year as a result of the pandemic. They carried on despite the changes they had to make to their business.

“At our own expense, we’ve had [to introduce] social distancing, one way systems, sanitiser stations, masks, sterilised glasses, the government’s NHS track and trace system,” she said.

The Sculthorpe Aviator in Fakenham. Picture: Archant

The Sculthorpe Aviator in Fakenham is hoping people come out and support them after the second lockdown. - Credit: Archant

“We have done everything we were told to do, we even lost seating to allow for social distancing which, in effect, is losing us money.”

The pair even built a functioning traffic light to keep punters safe from coronavirus when using the pub’s toilets.

Mrs Green said they had received funding to support them,  but that it was not enough to cover rent for a month.

The Sculthorpe Aviator in Fakenham. Picture: Archant

The Sculthorpe Aviator in Fakenham. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

It isn’t only the loss in trade which is hurting them, but also waste when beer and food go off if they are forced to close.

While it might seem all doom and gloom, Mrs Green said she is looking forward to opening again, amid hopes that Norfolk will be in tier one come December 16, when the current tier levels are reviewed.

And she said the pub has its fingers crossed for a good 2021, adding that they are already planning for the year ahead, with different functions planned and ideas they were unable to do this year.